Sometimes firepower may not be enough. AT&T Inc.’s (NYSE:TC) DirecTV Now streaming service launched recently to great fanfare after a long wait. The service offers a limited time promotion of 100 channels for $35 a month.
A 100 channel bucket of online streaming channels for $35 seems like a pretty good deal. The problem, so far, is that some of them don’t work.
Buffering And More
One major issue seems to be buffering which occurs when the download speed is too slow and the streaming content freezes. This has been reported on Facebook and other social media sites as well as through major news media.
Other issues include crashes, non-function features and more. It’s apparently not a “one-off” issue either. In fact, the outages have been so common that the “problem loading video content” error message, QP1502 has become a frequent hashtag on Twitter.
A Google search revealed that online searches for “QP1502” tend to spike between 7 and 10 p.m. ET.
An AT&T spokesman said, “we are working quickly to address” what was described as a problem affecting a “limited amount of customers.”
The spokesman added, “With any new technology there are going to be fixes that need to be made. While we understand we still have work to do, overall feedback on DirecTV Now has been very positive.”
The company did not say how many people had signed up for the service but said the initial response exceeded expectations.
Most DirecTV Now customers are biding their time and hoping the glitches are fixed soon. Others have already started looking elsewhere.
For the most part there are few complaints about other services such as Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLXC), Amazon.com Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMZNC) Amazon Prime or Hulu. That is not to say these services didn’t have startup issues just like DirecTV.
DirecTV Now's main rival is DISH Network Corp.’s (NASDAQ:DISHC) Sling TV. Reviews of that service from as recently as this past summer indicated repeated technical failures, especially during high traffic times.
Some reviewers suggest that the best of the streaming services is PlayStation Vue from Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNEB). Others have criticized the service and none of the streaming services seem to outshine cable or even satellite dish providers (well-known for weather-related downtime).
If you want to stick with DirecTV Now but don’t want AT&T for your data, T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE:TMUSC) has a deal for you. The carrier said it will be able to stream DirecTV Now on its network with no cap, just like they can on AT&T.
The company also said it would reimburse customers for DirecTV Now for a year if they port a phone number from the AT&T network to T-Mobile and sign up for at least two lines.
In a statement T-Mobile said, "Both DirecTV Now and the DirecTV apps stream free on T-Mobile with a faster, more advanced network that covers nearly every American.”