What if Sky Go is a no-go?

If you want to keep track of the latest live sporting events, movie releases or blockbuster US dramas then you’re no longer bound to the confines of your living room thanks to apps such as SkyGo, which lets you stream content over a computer or mobile device.

Such services are a godsend for anyone who’s ever been dragged kicking and screaming around a garden centre when the football’s on, or those who regularly go to war over who gets custody of the remote control for the evening. But what happens when these services go down?

This was a situation faced by a number of Sky Go customers who sat down with their devices to watch last Sunday’s two big matches – Liverpool v Chelsea and Toulon v Munster – and found the service had crashed on all systems.

The bad news if this happens is there doesn’t appear to be much anyone can do about it.

Sky Go… going, going, gone?

Both Sky and the BBC had issues with their on-demand streaming services earlier this month when Sky Go, Now TV (Sky’s smart TV gizmo – you can read more about it in Mark’s article Which streaming service is best?) and the BBC iPlayer all crashed due to a mystery streaming bug that seemed to affect Apple devices in particular.

And while aunty Beeb was able to fix the problem within a few hours, the outage had Sky techies scratching their heads after it continued into a second day, when the problem was eventually solved by introducing an app update that was made available through the Apple App Store.

Bad Friday

Although this seemed to fix the glitch, it was still no consolation for those customers who’d missed the Good Friday sports-fest that included important Football League and Super League games, as well as F1 practice sessions.

Sky was very apologetic, putting out the following statement: “We are really sorry. We know that customers continue to experience problems with Sky Go and Now TV on iOS devices. We are working very hard with Apple to fix it. We'll keep you updated here. Other devices are unaffected. Thank you for your patience and understanding."

Sky wouldn’t, however, go so far as to issue refunds or even allow customers to register an additional device in order to continue viewing. And it seems customers who’ve suffered at the hands of this latest glitch last Sunday will also just have to grin and bear it.

So it looks like the best option is to pre-empt such problems and takes steps to avoid downtime before it actually happens.

Get the better of the gremlins

In times of televisual adversity, people often take to message boards and social media to try and get a fix for the problem or just vent their spleen in the hope that someone is looking in – and Sunday’s outage was no different.

One apparent fix for the problem was to download the Sky Sports app and stream content through that as it seemed unaffected by the glitch – however, for this app to work you have to be a Sky Sports subscriber so no good for anyone who had purchased a Now TV day pass.

Another option is to register more than one device on which you can watch Sky’s streaming services, and as the Sky problem seems to predominantly hit Apple users, it’s probably worth registering an additional Android device or Windows laptop.

And if you’re a Sky Go Extra customer, you can register up to four devices to further minimize the risk of downtime interrupting your viewing.

These fixes are neither failsafe nor ideal, but given the glitch has struck twice in the space of a week, it looks like it’s a straight choice between that or voting with your feet and unsubscribing.

If it comes down to a showdown between the garden centre v beer garden, though, you’re on your own…

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