Twice a year, all television customers (not just TDS TV and TDS TV+ customers) may experience some degree of television interference due to sun outages. This spring, the solar satellite interference is expected from the last week of February through the first few weeks of March (roughly Feb. 24-March 10).

Sun outages happen due to solar interference. For a few weeks every spring and fall, the sun is directly behind the line of sight between TV satellites. One satellite is on Earth receiving signals, the other is in space sending signals. When the antenna on earth is looking into the sun, the interference from the sun overrides the signals from the satellite.

At first, the effects of a sun outage are minimal. Some channels will experience “macro-blocking” or “tiling” of the picture before and after peak times (see image, left). But the interference can gradually worsen to the point of blocking the satellite signal entirely.

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 impacted 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. If, however, you lose the signal on channels for more than about 15 minutes, or all your channels are impacted, please give our repair team a call (1-888-225-5837).

Main image courtesy of the NOAA.


  1. WHY DOES TDS TV SO OFTEN HAVE scattered sound PROBLEMS ON CHANNEL 212, MY favorite cable channel MSNBC !

    CHECKING OTHER CABLE NEWS STATIONS, I SEEM TO SEE THAT CNN HAS OCCASIONAL PROBLEMS, FOX “NEWS” HAS ALMOST NONE: this content, thin and faulty as it is, ironically is faultlessly delivered.
    This seems to have nothing to do with solar flaring, because it’s the usual pattern.

    Please investigate my observations, and repair the problem!

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