Sun outages expected March 1-9

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.

This year, the spring outages are expected from March 1 to 9.

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.

About Garrett Seymour

Garrett works on the Corporate Communications team as a Brand Journalist. On a day-to-day basis, he helps tell TDS’ story through a variety of multimedia tools on various online venues. In May of 2020, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Journalism School with a degree in Strategic Communications. He also has a passion for emerging communication methods and received a certificate in Digital Studies. Originally hired as a Corporate Communications Intern in college, Garrett is thrilled to be a part of TDS’ diverse and inclusive company culture.
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