USA Communications with offices in Blairstown and Shellsburg, Iowa | 319-436-2224 or 1-800-248-8007
Cable service may be disrupted by sun outages
An astronomical phenomenon called sun outage disrupts cable TV service twice a year around the equinoxes. At these times, the sun’s low path in the sky takes it directly behind a communication satellite that transmits signals to a station on earth. The sun’s rays interfere with the signals between the communication satellite and the earth station. A sun outage occurs because the earth station cannot distinguish between the energy from the sun and its intended communication signal.
Peak outage time occurs when the sun, satellite and the earth station are exactly aligned with each other. The interference declines gradually as the sun starts moving away from the satellite and earth station alignment, until it is no longer a factor—until the next interference season when the sun starts heading south (northern hemispheric in autumn).
Customers may notice the effects of the solar outage — picture will degrade with increased tiling and/or pixilation, black screen or “One Moment Please” on the screen. You might even lose certain channels for a little while. Unfortunately, there is nothing USA Communications can do to prevent the sun from interfering with your TV viewing. Channels generally will be impacted from 12:00pm – 4:00pm Central Time. In most cases any channel should not be impacted for more than about 20 to 30 minutes per day. If you have any questions, please contact our office.