Sun To Cause Radio, TV Outages

Date posted - February 26, 2016

Sheldon, Iowa — Two times a year — around spring and fall — you may notice some temporary interruption of certain services. Some of the big ones are satellite radio and television programs.
satellite dish in snow
Greg Andringa with the cable TV division of HTC Communications tells us about it. He says most of the cable TV channels you watch come via satellite.

Experts tell us that there are a lot of stray radio signals coming from the sun, and when the sun gets into a position that is directly lined up with a dish, it overwhelms the receiver and instead of picking up the signal from the satellite, it picks up noise from the sun. Of course the sun is in that same position two times per year on its seasonal journey across the sky, thanks to the change of the tilt of the earth.

Andringa says that for about ten days, from around ten to twenty minutes in duration, satellite signals can be interrupted. But that’s just for one group of channels on one satellite.

We asked Andringa for his best advice to viewers who are watching or listening to a program that gets interrupted.

KIWA Program Director Tom Traughber says the same sun phenomenon can affect satellite radio programming. He says you can expect potential issues with KIWA’s satellite programs to begin around Sunday, February 28th and last possibly as long as Tuesday, March 8th, starting a little after 3:35 in the afternoon each day, and lasting until as late as 3:56 PM.

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