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Can my TV service be affected by solar interference?

Published 10/21/2015 05:25 PM   |    Updated 10/05/2016 08:56 AM

Yes, interference from the sun can cause an interruption or distortion of television signals that are transmitted by satellites. This can happen when the sun's radiation overwhelms the satellite signal.

In the northern hemisphere, sun outages occur before the March equinox (February, March) and after the September equinox (September and October). At these times, the apparent path of the Sun across the sky takes it directly behind the line of sight between an Earth station and a satellite. The sun radiates strongly across the entire spectrum, including the microwave frequencies used to communicate with satellites (C-band, Ku band, and Ka band), so the sun swamps the signal from the satellite. The effects of a sun outage range from partial degradation (increase in the error rate) to total destruction of the signal. The effect sweeps from north to south from approximately February 20 to April 20, and from south to north from approximately August 20 to October 20, affecting any specific location for less than 12 minutes a day for a few consecutive days.

Source: Wikipedia article Sun Outage

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