Just two days after its national launch, Sling TV's engineering squad had to swing into action last night amid customer complaints about buffering issues and error messages.
The official Sling TV Twitter handle (@Sling) acknowledged on the social network that the company was aware that some customers were reporting issues and that its team was looking into them and would keep customers apprised of its progress. Update: TV Predictions was first to report on the issue.
“We addressed issues impacting some of you yesterday (8-18 errors). Fix applied. Up all night to ensure you don’t see this going forward,” Sling TV said in this tweet posted Wednesday morning. The service appeared to be working without issue as of 9:30 a.m. ET. (read our review of the Sling TV service here).
Sling TV has been asked for more detail on the root cause of the issue (Update: they are not commenting beyond what's been tweeted so far). Sling TV has not announced a subscriber count for the OTT service, which starts at $20 per month following a one-week free trial period, but did tell Broadcasting & Cablelate last month that “hundreds of thousands of people” had already preregistered for the service.
Like any OTT service that features live TV feeds, some hiccups are to be expected as Sling TV relies on best-effort broadband connections rather than nailed-up, managed IP links. Sling TV compensates by implementing adaptive bit rate techniques that cause the stream’s resolution and bit rate to fluctuate based on the quality of the user’s broadband connection.
On Twitter, most users seemed to be forgiving of last night’s technical hiccup for a Dish Network-backed OTT service that is targeted to cord-cutters and millennials.
“[N]o worries with growing pains. You are blazing new trails so it’s too [sic] be expected. Sling away,” tweeted one Sling TV user.
“[A]ll great things have their glitches. Love the service, keep up the great work,” tweeted another.
“Figured you would have growing pains, good to see the quick responses on it!!,” another user posted on Twitter.
And so it went, though one user did inquire on Twitter about whether Sling TV would be issuing refunds, while another remarked that he "gave up and turned it off. Frustrated. I knew there will be bugs to work out, though. Still very excited to have the product!"