Sun outages expected now through mid-March

Dear TDS Customers, 

Each spring and fall TV service for TDS Cable and TDS TV+ experience a technical phenomenon called “sun outages”.  During this period the sun causes solar interference for all geostationary satellite signals. For any specific city, please review the SES website.

As the sun’s path across the sky gets lower each day, there are times when it is in a direct line behind a communication satellite that is sending signals to a receiving satellite antenna here on earth.  When the antenna is looking into the sun, the interference from the sun overrides the signals from the satellite.  This is when a sun outage occurs.

In general, spring sun outages in the United States will take place during the last week of February and the first two weeks of March.

In general, fall sun outages in the United States will take place during the last week of September and the first two weeks of October.

The duration and severity of the outages will vary from a slight interruption in reception for a few seconds to complete loss of signal for several minutes at a time.  Once it reaches its peak the interference will gradually decrease becoming less noticeable each day.

Unfortunately, there is technically nothing we can do to prevent sun outages from occurring.  Each satellite service that we receive signals from will experience this interference in the timeframe mentioned above.

Sun Outage Effects
At first, the effects of a sun outage are minimal. Gradually, it may worsen to the point of total outage.  Some channels will experience “macro-blocking” or “tiling” before and after the peak times, as exampled in this picture to the right.



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