It's that time of year again when believe it or not, the sun can interfere with television signal for short periods during the day. Let's take a look at the most obvious question.
What is a sun outage?
Sun outages (or solar interference) occur during February/March and September/October of each year. It results in the poor signal or complete loss of satellite signal for short periods of time each day for around a week. This time of the year they are occurring October 5th - October 12th from 1:35 pm to 5:05 pm.
Solar interference is a natural part of satellite operations.
The effects will be seen on most channels and will occur during various times of the day. Interruptions can last from just a few minutes to up to 15 minutes a day and can range from mild to severe.
Sun Outage takes place when the orbital positions of the satellite and the sun are in one line. The earth station receives signals from both, but the more powerful sun rays subdue the desired signal, causing a loss of service. Since Armstrong receives our signals from a variety of satellites, the sun outages can occur at different times on different channels.
What to expect during a sun outage?
You may see sparkles in the first days of the sun outage time-frame. It may gradually deteriorate to the point of total outage. Some channels will experience freezing, tiling or complete loss of audio and video.
This Solar interference will be seen in ALL levels of television service. The channels involved are ones we receive from satellites. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done technically or otherwise to prevent the sun outage effects. It is a worldwide event.
While there is nothing we can actually do to stop this from happening, we hope that explaining this event will help to keep you from getting too frustrated with this brief interruption.
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