DirecTV Now launch rocky with early adopters having poor experience, getting 'Error 60'

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited December 2016
Wednesday saw the launch of AT&T's DirecTV Now internet TV service, but the first day of operation was allegedly anything but smooth.




Besides just apps on the iOS App Store not being discoverable for a few hours, a wide range of users have complained about poor performance. Some others have been completely locked out of streaming, getting "Error 60" messages displayed by an Apple TV trying to play back content.

Error 60 is the code that's displayed when a single user has too many streams going on. However, most users reporting the error are only trying to run a single stream, and getting the error anyhow.

Initial AppleInsider testing performed periodically after launch on Wednesday and in the early morning Thursday confirmed many of the issues experienced by customers. An "Error 60" we received cleared up after rebooting the streaming Apple TV, but very long streaming times, and interrupted streams persisted throughout most of Wednesday.

On early Thursday morning, problems seem rectified somewhat, with fewer instances of buffering playback stops, and no Error 60 manifestations. As the errors seem related to peak viewing times, and early service demand, it appears that the problems are insufficient streaming capacity on DirecTV's end.

Regular monthly pricing for DirecTV Now is split into four tiers: Live a Little with more than 60 channels for $35; Just Right with more than 80 channels for $50; Go Big with over 100 channels for $60; and Gotta Have it with more than 120 channels for $70. HBO and Cinemax are also available as $5-per-month add-ons.

For a limited time, customers who pre-pay for three months get a 32GB fourth-generation Apple TV with Siri remote, which according to DirecTV will take 3-4 weeks to ship. Users wanting to pay only one month in advance are given a Fire TV stick.

Further, AT&T mobile customers can stream content for free via the DirecTV Now app. In a move copying T-Mobile's Binge On, AT&T will waive in-network data fees associated with DirecTV Now or the company's existing FreeVIEW and Fullscreen on-demand services -- raising concerns about net neutrality violations.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    I was home all day yesterday so I got to use it a lot. Worked great. Nice PQ, guide that made sense to me and quick. Really quick. Channel changes were lightning fast. That is until evening and the bottom dropped out. Got the Error 60 over and over. Give it some time though. First day hiccups.
    sirlance99
  • Reply 2 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,276member
    Apple and many other companies have had a similar issue because they opened it up for everyone to try from the beginning. I signed up for 3 paid months to get a 4th gen Apple TV on the cheap, which I was coincidentally going to be buying anyway. I think these companies should follow Gmail's original plan of invitations to keep the hype up and still be able to scale usage.

    Unfortunately you need Silverlight so it's a no-go for me on Safari for Mac, but on iOS it worked fine. They say it only works for the 4th gen Apple TV and up (due to the App Store), but they have an AirPlay button so you can very easily and with great results put to an older Apple TV (which I did last night). I'm not sure I'll use the service much, therefore I'm not expecting to keep it, but I did like their website's design and speed. A built-in DVR function and family accounts would be a nice addition, but seems like a decent way to cut the cord if you currently pay for cable TV.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,658member
    crawdad62 said:
    I was home all day yesterday so I got to use it a lot. Worked great. Nice PQ, guide that made sense to me and quick. Really quick. Channel changes were lightning fast. That is until evening and the bottom dropped out. Got the Error 60 over and over. Give it some time though. First day hiccups.

    did you already have DVT and you added this as a service or were you completely new. I have not called DVT yet, but was planning on talking to them over xmas about fixing my plan with them, the cost has gotten too high over the last few years and I was thinking about switching over to AVT and Hulu and Netflix only but would miss having live cable TV since I do not watch any local station.
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 4 of 18
    crawdad62 said:
    I was home all day yesterday so I got to use it a lot. Worked great. Nice PQ, guide that made sense to me and quick. Really quick. Channel changes were lightning fast. That is until evening and the bottom dropped out. Got the Error 60 over and over. Give it some time though. First day hiccups.
    Ditto, used it last night and was working OK for me - perhaps they rectified issues by the time I got around to using it.

    As a TWC user where they had agreements with pretty much no channels to use their apps, I can now sign in on Disney and other apps now. Really nice to be able to do this. With Charter (who took over TWC) just raising my monthly bill by $61 I plan to kill my cable TV but keep the internet. 
  • Reply 5 of 18
    It seems that this article is premature.  Please define a wide range of users...Really seem to be scraping for content.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    Yesterday afternoon and last night worked great. Agree with the nice interface and speed. This morning was a no-go... go the Error 60 when trying to launch the app on iOS.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    I have had DirecTV for over eight years now. Their boxes are crap and their software is awful at best. And since AT&T bought them it has only gotten worse. So why do I stay with them you might ask? Well I live in the country and the only alternative is Dish (internet access is real slow so "online" TV is a non starter). Their channel selection is good compared to Dish. It's almost the same but not quite, so I stick with DirecTV. I have the newest equipment but it is just terrible. The screen freezes, sometimes won't come on at all, channel changes are extremely slow and who hasn't had to restart or unplug the box to get things working again (I have 3 other friends that have DirecTV and they have the same experience)? So be forewarned that this new option they offer will not improve, it will continue to deteriorate with each iteration. Yes, it will change, but that will just introduce new problems. From my experience with them over the years, there is no way I will even consider this option. Someone needs to come in and completely reinvent the TV watching experience. I had hope that Apple might try to, but they continue to stagnate as time goes on. Perhaps a new company will come along and absolutely shake up the industry and blow the doors off of what we have to accept (if we want TV) as a "good" experience. I do hope my experience does not mirror others here in this forum when it comes to DirecTV, but I would proceed with caution.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    FatmanFatman Posts: 314member
    I'm using Vue, it's not perfect, but I'm happy (talked about it in detail in a prior post). However, I want ATT to also succeed, competition really drives better technology (just as Google and Samsung keep Apple from becoming complacent). I'm keeping my eye on Sling too - I'm not loyal (yet) but sticking with Vue until another better option is introduced.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,276member
    sog35 said:
    I use 2 streams by myself with Vue. 5 streams total.
    How do you watch two streams at once? Rather, why?
    Sorry I'm not going back to 1980's TV watching. I'm not watching TV on someone elses schedule.
    Their minimum package is 60 channels and this over the Internet which is not "1980's TV watching."

    Even with a free AppleTV I'm not temped.
    I would have thought you already had a 4th gen Apple TV.
    I'm sorry I can't live without DVR for 3 months.
    I'm sure you could, and based on your comment I wonder if you should attempt to do so to just how poor your willpower is. We all need to test to ourselves from time-to-time to balance ourselves so we don't make asses of ourselves by being hyperbolic, emotional wrecks on tech forums over an optional service that no one is forcing you purchase. I think it would be good for you to learn how to exhibit a little self-control.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,276member
    Fatman said:
    I'm using Vue, it's not perfect, but I'm happy (talked about it in detail in a prior post). However, I want ATT to also succeed, competition really drives better technology (just as Google and Samsung keep Apple from becoming complacent). I'm keeping my eye on Sling too - I'm not loyal (yet) but sticking with Vue until another better option is introduced.
    Vue seems like a more complete service at this time, especially with DVR. I haven't checked out Vue so I can't compare the UI and other usability/ease-of-use aspects, but I was impressed with DTVN yesterday—but I only signed up because I was coincidentally needing to buy a 4th gen Apple TV. I doubt I'll keep the service after the 3 months, but maybe DTVN will surprise me.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,658member
    I have had DirecTV for over eight years now. Their boxes are crap and their software is awful at best. And since AT&T bought them it has only gotten worse. So why do I stay with them you might ask? Well I live in the country and the only alternative is Dish (internet access is real slow so "online" TV is a non starter). Their channel selection is good compared to Dish. It's almost the same but not quite, so I stick with DirecTV. I have the newest equipment but it is just terrible. The screen freezes, sometimes won't come on at all, channel changes are extremely slow and who hasn't had to restart or unplug the box to get things working again (I have 3 other friends that have DirecTV and they have the same experience)? So be forewarned that this new option they offer will not improve, it will continue to deteriorate with each iteration. Yes, it will change, but that will just introduce new problems. From my experience with them over the years, there is no way I will even consider this option. Someone needs to come in and completely reinvent the TV watching experience. I had hope that Apple might try to, but they continue to stagnate as time goes on. Perhaps a new company will come along and absolutely shake up the industry and blow the doors off of what we have to accept (if we want TV) as a "good" experience. I do hope my experience does not mirror others here in this forum when it comes to DirecTV, but I would proceed with caution.


    I have been a DVT customer since 97 so I have lots of experience with their product. All boxes from all the content providers suck that is a given, I work in the this industry and extremely knowledgeable about how this all this works and DVT products tend to be a little better but have similar issues. Generally speaking DVT has always had the best product, I mean that from an overall experience, not just the hardware. Fios was the only product that came close to what DVT offer.

    With that said I have to agree since AT&T took over, DVT is having issues I have not see before, as you pointed out freezing and slow channel changes and the DVR unit just locking up for no reason. In the last two years I seen more issue since the AT&T logo showed up on the screen, I wish DVT would not do the auto update of their software they fix one thing and break another. At least the fix the problem with the audio not working on HDMI when switching between channels.

    I will also tell you part of the reason for freezing video, breakup and slow channel changes could be due to the HDD in the DVR unit. Video is first buffered on the HDD before you see it that is why you can stop and pause live TV. If your drive is having issues or has bad sectors which all drive do this cause issues with live TV being buffered on the drive. I put up with it since I know you will loose all your recorded content if they have to replace your DVR unit. Network DVR solves this problem but this does not work well for satellite based DTV.

  • Reply 12 of 18
    Instead of waiting for the AppleTV to ship, I went into an AT&T Wireless store and signed up for the 3 months directly with them and walked out with the AppleTV 32GB in hand.
    Soli
  • Reply 13 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,276member
    bwh1248 said:
    Instead of waiting for the AppleTV to ship, I went into an AT&T Wireless store and signed up for the 3 months directly with them and walked out with the AppleTV 32GB in hand.
    Nice. I didn't know that was an option, but wasn't concerned as it will take 2–3 weeks to arrive my new UHDTV doesn't arrive until mid-December. 

  • Reply 14 of 18
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,184member
    maestro64 said:
    I have had DirecTV for over eight years now. Their boxes are crap and their software is awful at best. And since AT&T bought them it has only gotten worse. So why do I stay with them you might ask? Well I live in the country and the only alternative is Dish (internet access is real slow so "online" TV is a non starter). Their channel selection is good compared to Dish. It's almost the same but not quite, so I stick with DirecTV. I have the newest equipment but it is just terrible. The screen freezes, sometimes won't come on at all, channel changes are extremely slow and who hasn't had to restart or unplug the box to get things working again (I have 3 other friends that have DirecTV and they have the same experience)? So be forewarned that this new option they offer will not improve, it will continue to deteriorate with each iteration. Yes, it will change, but that will just introduce new problems. From my experience with them over the years, there is no way I will even consider this option. Someone needs to come in and completely reinvent the TV watching experience. I had hope that Apple might try to, but they continue to stagnate as time goes on. Perhaps a new company will come along and absolutely shake up the industry and blow the doors off of what we have to accept (if we want TV) as a "good" experience. I do hope my experience does not mirror others here in this forum when it comes to DirecTV, but I would proceed with caution.


    I have been a DVT customer since 97 so I have lots of experience with their product. All boxes from all the content providers suck that is a given, I work in the this industry and extremely knowledgeable about how this all this works and DVT products tend to be a little better but have similar issues. Generally speaking DVT has always had the best product, I mean that from an overall experience, not just the hardware. Fios was the only product that came close to what DVT offer.

    With that said I have to agree since AT&T took over, DVT is having issues I have not see before, as you pointed out freezing and slow channel changes and the DVR unit just locking up for no reason. In the last two years I seen more issue since the AT&T logo showed up on the screen, I wish DVT would not do the auto update of their software they fix one thing and break another. At least the fix the problem with the audio not working on HDMI when switching between channels.

    I will also tell you part of the reason for freezing video, breakup and slow channel changes could be due to the HDD in the DVR unit. Video is first buffered on the HDD before you see it that is why you can stop and pause live TV. If your drive is having issues or has bad sectors which all drive do this cause issues with live TV being buffered on the drive. I put up with it since I know you will loose all your recorded content if they have to replace your DVR unit. Network DVR solves this problem but this does not work well for satellite based DTV.

    I've been a DTV customer a long time as well. I feel their boxes are better than the competition. I'm extremely happy with the HR54. I upgraded from a HR34. I experienced a lot of freezing last year due to some glitch in their software. It drove me nuts when the same Fan Duel or Carnival Cruise Line commercials would freeze the video. Not sure if that had anything to do with AT&T or not. 
  • Reply 15 of 18
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,980member
    Couldn't watch shit last night except ABC which is OTA anyway. Everything else showed that I need subscription while I did subscribe to Go Big package!
  • Reply 16 of 18
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,012member
    Google throws half-backed products at consumers. Why complain AT&T. It will get better over-time. All good for price and overall channels package. $5 HBO/Cinemax is nice unlike Amazon charging lot more. For me deal-breaker is no LMN in base package. I have to pay extra $15($50 package) to get that one channel. I will sign-up for 3-months and get free Apple-TV than drop it Walk into an AT&T store and prepay for 3 months and walk out with an Apple TV today. This is where TV Streaming don't get it. They can offer packages but let customer add single channel of what they like most(missing from their base package) with small delta cost.. Ala-carte is the best deal for consumers but until that happens, let consumers add 1,2,,,5 channels paying small charge instead to force to move up to higher package.. SLING is no better but I can subscribe $25 orange package and add $5 delta package giving me A+E, lifetime,LMN, etc for total $30. So,$50 DirectTVNOW vs $30 SLING, I will go for SLING. Sony VUE even doesn't support any of A+E channels.
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 17 of 18
    does the new DTV service allow you to activate other apps on the ATV that require cable provider sign in, or are you limited to watching everything through their app?
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