The chance for sun outages returns

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.

sun outage 1Solar 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.

"Macro-blocking" or "tiling" of channels occurs during sun outages.

“Macro-blocking” or “tiling” of channels occurs during sun outages.

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.

About Cheryl McCollum

Cheryl McCollum is an Associate Manager of Public Relations at TDS Telecom. She has 25 years of media experience. She’s worked as a newspaper reporter in Northfield, Minn., and Beaver Dam, Wi. She worked in media relations and advocacy for the Wisconsin Medical Society and the Wisconsin Bankers Association. She also worked in communications and advocacy for Habitat for Humanity of Dane County. She has a Journalism and Political Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She’s married, has two adult children and enjoys traveling, especially to U.S. state capitols.

No comments yet.

Leave a Comment