TV FAQs

What is solar interference and how does it impact your video signal?


Solar interference has the potential to affect TV services twice a year during February/March and September/October. Solar interference causes the degradation or loss of satellite signals for short periods of time, up to 15 minutes each day, for 5-7 days.

Solar interference happens when the arc of the sun crosses the Earth’s equator and traces a line that places it directly behind the satellites from which we download much of our video programming. This causes a phenomenon known as a solar transit fade, or sun outage. The exact date, time and duration of such disruptions depends on the location of the receiver, the satellite in question, the size of the receiving dish and other factors.

During the solar interference window, there may be brief interruptions on a number of TV channels due to the alignment of the sun and satellites. The effects may be seen on most channels and will occur during various times of the day. Most of our programming will be able to recover after 5-15 seconds of impact, but channels that are still received on satellite dishes in local markets, such as sports networks that are subject to blackout rules (ESPN, Fox Sports, etc.), will continue to be impacted as they have in years past. All satellite and cable television providers experience sun outages during the same period.