DIRECTV NOW’s Technical Issues Are Nothing New — So Why Do New Streaming Services Have So Many Issues?


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Authentic scrambled reception on a TV screen

Authentic scrambled reception on a TV screenA lot has been made this week about all the hiccups DIRECTV NOW is experiencing—mostly the sports blackouts and crashes that we have be seeing recently.

However, this is nothing new as all new streaming services see issues. So why is this? Why do new streaming services always have so many issues?

There are a few reasons.

First when users sign up for a new service they typically use it more often than they would a few days or weeks later. This pounding is not just about streaming but also jumping around menus and in and out of shows. This puts an extra hard load on servers and can crash them.

This is similar to what happens with new videos games on day one.

Second it is difficult to predict exactly how people will use a service. This is why Amazon is extremely slow in its roll out. No matter how long you test once a new program gets into the wild suddenly you find some conflict with an older version of an operating system.

The last reason is predicting demand. If demand is higher than expected setting up extra servers to address the load is not a quick process. Buying servers and adding extra space to host the server can take days or weeks.

If you give it a few week it is likely that DIRECTV NOW as with all new streaming services will improve. Now with that said DIRECTV NOW needs to do better about communication. Subscribers would be far more likely to accept some early bumps in the road if DIRECTV NOW would be more upfront in explaining what was happening.

This is something all services should learn from. Cord cutters—and really all customers—just want to know what is happening rather than being left in the dark.

DIRECTV NOW did send us this Tweet in reply to this post.

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