It’s that time of year again—sun outages are back.
Twice a year, all television customers (not just TDS customers) may experience some degree of television interference due to sun outages. This fall, the solar satellite interference are expected from Oct. 4-14, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Solar interference happens when the sun’s path across the sky gets lower each day. During the spring and fall for about two weeks, the sun is directly behind the line of sight between TV satellites sending signals and the receiving satellite antennas here on earth. When the antenna is looking into the sun, the interference from the sun overrides the signals from the satellite. The sun causes “solar interference” to all geostationary satellite signals.
At first, the effects of a sun outage are minimal. But they can gradually worsen to the point of total outage. Some channels will experience “macro-blocking” or “tiling” of the picture before and after peak times. These are the channels we receive digitally from the satellite.
Sun outages typically last as long as 15 minutes a day. The effects of a sun outage vary in degree from minimal to total outage throughout the 15 days. Once it reaches its peak, the interference will gradually decrease, becoming less noticeable each day after.
Unfortunately, there is nothing TDS can do to prevent sun outages from occurring. Each satellite service that we receive signals from will experience this interference in the time frame mentioned above.