It seems one potential drawback of mixing a critically acclaimed show and streaming media is the potential to crash servers.
HBO concluded the first season of True Detective last night, but those that chose to watch it through HBO Go, the cable service’s online portal, may still be waiting as you read this. There were plenty of tweets from disgruntled users last night as they took photos of loading screens that just kept spinning endlessly as it tried to load the final episode. HBO finally commented as the complaining increased.
Due to overwhelmingly popular demand for #TrueDetective, we've been made aware of an issue affecting some users. Please try again soon.
— HBO GO (@HBOGO) March 10, 2014
While annoying for users, possibly some of whom aren’t even HBO subscribers, it’s also an interesting sign for the state of streaming media. This is now a go-to source of viewing for shows that have even just aired, and for a commercial-free service such as HBO, it really doesn’t matter whether someone watches the show on traditional television or through an app. But when you have a show take off the way True Detective did, I’m willing to bet HBO wishes more people had watched it traditionally.
Considering the service has been around for a little over four years now and this is its first major outage, that’s a pretty good track record. We’re sure the company will be taking a long, hard look at its infrastructure this week with the fourth season of Game of Thrones just about to launch. But if you encounter problems, perhaps just decide Wednesday night is your HBO night instead of trying to crush in right after the episode has aired.