Time Warner cuts back live TV iPad app due to overwhelming demand (updated)

“We were pretty sure that our iPad app was going to be fairly popular, but we had no idea that it was going to be the most downloaded app in the iTunes store yesterday. The demand was overwhelming, in more ways than one. At about 8 o’clock last night the app crashed under a much heavier load than we anticipated,” Jeff Simmermon blogs for Time Warner. “Our engineering team is working as hard as they can to put a fix in place and get everything up and running as soon as they can.”

“For the time being, the app is running with only 15 channels. We have found that by temporarily reducing the number of available channels, we can ease strain on the authentication process,” Simmermon reports. “This will enable us to offer at least some sort of an experience to our customers while we get a fix in place. We’ll add the other 17 channels back in as soon as we can fix the underlying issue, and we’ll be adding more channels in future iterations of the app as well.”

“On the one hand, this is a nice problem for us to have — it’s great to see that our customers are excited about this, and we’re thrilled to know that our vision of TV’s future is one that the public wants,” Simmermon reports. “In other words, it’s not a good party unless you run out of beer.”

Simmermon reports, “On the other hand, this is really frustrating for us and our customers, too. And we’re really sorry for the inconvenience. We know how frustrating it can be when a brand-new product doesn’t work well. Please bear in mind that this our first foray into the iPad app world, and the first cable company to offer live streaming to the iPad at all. We’re going to figure out a fix and implement it as soon as we possibly can. We appreciate your patience and understanding, and again, we’re sorry for any frustration.”

Source: Time Warner Cable Untangled

UPDATE: March 17, 2011, 3:55pm EDT: The TWCable TV app worked for the first time for us at 3:55pm ET. It appears the problem was with Time Warner Servers not responding (due to heavy demand) with authorization approval. When that happens, it seems that the app presents the following error message:

TWCable TV app error

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Joe Architect” for the heads up.]

33 Comments

    1. Typical childish MDN, always taking a cheap shot thinking that people believe them. It does get old. How about the Apple TV flickering problem since the latest update? At some point you have to cycle the power to the Apple TV because Netflix goes away until you do. My iPhone couldn’t do something as simple as change time Sunday but hey, let’s bitch about Time Warner because it’s not Apple. Geez. Like angry little 10 year old spoiled kids.

      1. agreed.

        i also hate it when they take a buzzword from apple and cram it down my throat in EVERY headline.

        “REVOLUTIONARY” iPad

        and most recently

        leaves competition “FLUMMOXED”

        it makes the rest of us “fanboys” look like lemmings.

      2. Did you ever think that perhaps Time Warner Cable should go the extra mile for Signature Service or any other paying customers who are not being served due to some mistake of Time Warner Cable installers’ / App developers’ instead of leaving their customers to diagnose and repair problems created by Time Warner Cable?

        This is not the first thing, by far, that we’ve had to fix ourselves or cajole a fix out of them regarding a mistake of their making.

  1. MDN, not sure who you spoke to but my setup is what you describe above and it works just fine. In fact, we also have two airport expresses to extend the home wireless. No issue any where in the house or backyard.

    NetTW modemAirport Extremehome wireless

    I have absolutely no problem changing and viewing the channels. In fact, its kinda cool to walk up and down the stairs watching the news on the iPad…much less on the back porch.

      1. Perhaps Time Warner Cable should go the extra mile for Signature Service customers that are not being served due to some mistake of Time Warner Cable’s installers instead of leaving customers to diagnose and repair problems created by Time Warner Cable’s setup?

        This is not the first thing we’ve had to fix ourselves or cajole a fix out of them regarding a mistake they made.

  2. The program worked fine for me last night. Tonight, it tells me that”the programmins is only available to TWC video subscribers” (like me) and won’t let me access the channels. Called national desk at TWC, no one could help me. If Apple is an exercise on how to introduce a new product properly, then TWC is the antithesis. Is anyone else not feeling the love?

  3. Same here, using an Airport Extreme in bridge mode to a Linksys to a non-Wifi Time-Warner voip cable modem. App worked, early yesterday morning then buckled. I noticed the reduced channels this morning when the app worked again.

  4. Sounds like Time Warner had the software version of iPad 2’s hardware supply line strain. All the people complaining about iPad’s release without sufficient stock and that they should run up the price to slow demand. Blah, blah, blah.

    Hey, when you make something (hardware or software) that appeals to masses of people, you may see demand outpace supply. For all the sour pusses that waited in line only to find that te cupboards were bare, heavy demand is a GOOD thing. It means that it has struck a positive cord with the target audience.

    Now Time Warner and Apple can continue to work on solutions to meet demand.

  5. Time-Wanker has been advertising it heavily on their TV service. Hopefully they’ll go back to the drawing boards (not sharp enough for a CAD program you might say) and come up with a solution that works.

  6. I was wondering about why I only had 15 channels today, instead of the 31 I got yesterday afternoon. This evening I had 31 again.

    As for MDN’s problem, did you check to make sure they have your MAC number correct? Did you change any settings? Did you ever clone your MAC number to another device?

    I’ve always used my own cable modem, Linksys, no probs here.

      1. Read the update, and I agree that giving it time while the demand stabilizes, and they get the backoffice stuff working.

        Just one last thing, you did reboot your modem, right?

  7. Not a MAC address issue. You have internet so obviously the modem is working and configured.

    Most likely just from the authorization sever being overloaded of blocked by a firewall. App could only function by reading your IP address and verifying its in one of time warners blocks. Possible TW’s list is missing some blocks or the server is maybe reading the address improperly (geting the 3G address)

    PS Chrissy nice avatar but looks horrible when reduced!

  8. I thought it was just me having the same problem as MDN. Apparently it is happening to everyone who waited until later to download. It is happening to a significant amount of users!
    PS:@KenC Not a MAC address issue.

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