As a cord cutter, I tend to watch movies far more often than television. However, the buzz around HBO's detective drama True Detective was really positive, so I figured the show was worth a shot. Last night, I fired up my Samsung Galaxy tablet and launched HBO Go, intending to watch the season finale. My wife and I had glasses of wine after finishing a delicious dinner, and we were ready to stream the finale on our Chromecast player.
Image from washingtonpost.com
Unfortunately, the HBO Go app froze on launch. I instantly blamed some combination of Comcast, Samsung, and Google, but there was no issue with any other apps on my tablet, and my Internet connection was as fast as ever. That's when I realized that True Detective's popularity overwhelmed HBO Go.
This morning, the True Detective crash made the news. What does it mean when a show brings down HBO's cloud service? Is it a sign that streaming has truly come of age? Netflix already struggles to stream 1080p during peak hours and recently started paying for the privilege. Of course, many HBO viewers had the option to watch the show on cable, but the fact that people chose to stream instead is what I find most interesting—aside from the fact that its popularity prevented me from watching the show.
Did you experience the HBO Go/True Detective crash last night? Was this a watershed moment for online delivery of content, or just a ploy to get people to subscribe to HBO?
EDIT: Checked the 'news' mentioned, which makes it clear the freeze was both a bandwidth and separate solar interference problem. Still getting (3/11) brief but regular interference freezes on channels here via FIOS; understand the spring/fall satellite glitches are about two weeks each.
We were a week behind, and, on the second attempt, were able to watch Episode 7 on our AppleTV without any issues or buffering. But when we clicked to watch the finale, we weren't able to get anything to play.
We did our normal response, nothing, while the DVR blinked a light here or there, then flashed dU1, then slowly came back to life. Our recordings picked up with a notification they had been interrupted. No streaming was involved, but quite a coincidence.
Of course there are those who will think HBO did this on purpose, but who knows
What is the meaning of life?
My hard wired connection to Comcast through my TiVo had no issues of course.
Does this just point out that streaming is still not all it is cracked up to be?
Would I have stayed happy not knowing how good it could be?
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It shows that streaming services can be overwhelmed if it's a scheduled show—a premier or a live event—that draws more viewers than anticipated. Regular broadcasts don't suffer from network congestion, streaming does. However, it's more of a bandwidth allocation issue than a specific limitation of the medium. HBO should have had a handle on it, which is likely why conspiracy theories exist that the crash was intentional. My guess is HBO (and others) will do what it takes to avoid a similar situation going forward.
Comcast does offer an internet plan that includes HBO Go but many people are borrowing passwords.
And it should be noted that HBO has gone on record as saying that at this point they do not intend to crack down on sharing of login information, as they hope it will increase subscriptions.
Toss me one over here too
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Of course you can't use these services outside the country - unless, maybe, via a virtual U.S. IP. I
t will never be as good as regular TV. No high res. audio, no real good PQ. and buffering! I'm glad this happened I tried Roku and netflix- both suck eggs. Neither has anything worth a watch or my time.
Asking to borrow someone else's login, who pays for the service, is highly frowned upon by the Mods here. You're basically stealing the service, even though HBO is a bit loose on that. Besides, as someone mentioned, they would be giving you their account information (username, pw) with which you could cause all kinds of problems for them.
Disagree. We get excellent PQ/AQ for most of what we stream. HD audio is not offered yet but it will come, at a price for those of you who pay for cable. The HBO Go outage was due to the servers being hammered all at once, which is a rarity. PQ/AQ also has a lot to do with your service provider as well.
+1 Only streaming quality issue I have had was with Netflix but even that is getting much better. I haven't checked specifically if I was getting SuperHD or HD but the Netflix PQ has been more than acceptable lately.
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