Solar interference affects TV services twice a year during February/March and September/October.
The arc of the sun crosses the Earth’s equator and traces a line that places it directly behind the satellites from which much of our video programming is downloaded. The sun radiates across the entire frequency spectrum including the microwave frequencies used by the satellites. This causes a phenomenon known as a solar transit fade, or sun outage. The exact date, time and duration of such disruptions depends on several factors like the location of the receiver, the satellite in question and the size of the receiving dish.
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. All satellite and cable television providers in the northern hemisphere experience sun outages during the same periods.
Approximate times for spring 2016 sun outages in our area are March 1 – March 4 between 1:45 pm and 3:45 pm.