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Spring sun outages could impact your video signal

Twice a year, all television customers (not just TDS TV customers) may experience some degree of television interference due to sun outages. This spring, the solar satellite interference is expected from about February 28 until March 19.

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.



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