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Sun Outage

Sun Outage Definition

Sun Outages or Solar interference occurs every February/March and September/October of each year, and results in the degradation or loss of satellite signal for short periods of time each day for about 2 weeks.

Solar interference is an inherent part of satellite operations. The effects will be seen on most channels and will occur during various times of the day. Interruptions can last from just a few minutes to up to 15 minutes a day and can range from mild to severe.

A Sun Outage takes place when the orbital positions of the satellite and the sun are in one line. The earth station receives signals from both, but the more powerful sun rays subdue the desired signal, causing a loss of service. Since Charter Communications receive our signals from a variety of satellites, the Solar Outages can occur at different times on different channels.

A Sun Outage is similar in behavior to a rain fade. The high energy level and broadband nature of the sun's energy can overpower a satellite's downlink signal and effectively wash out a receive signal with noise. Due to the angle of the sun in relationship to the satellite, a sun outage is actually a mixture of degraded receive performance with the possibility of a circuit outage. 

Note: Sun Outages do not affect Internet, Phone or Video On Demand services

Sun Outage

Service Impacts

You may see sparkles in the first days of the sun outage timeframe. It may gradually deteriorate to the point of total outage.

Some channels will experience blocks or freeze frames in the picture before and after the peak times.
sparkle blocks

  • These are the channels we receive digitally from the satellite.
  • Once it reaches peak, the interference gradually decreases and becomes less noticeable each day after the peak.
  • Unfortunately, there is technically nothing that can be done to prevent the sun outage effects.
  • Sun outages are a short–term problem
  • Sun outages are not TV outages
  • If any group of channels is affected for much more than 15 minutes or if all channels are affected at one time, the technical department should be notified. There may be a problem that is unrelated to sun outages or you may need to contact us.
  • The degree of interference depends, among other things, on the bandwidth that the receiver is using at the time.

Affected Areas and Times

Sun Outage TV service disruptions typically last about two weeks. The table below identifies when we expect the disruptions to be at their peak in your area. Please remember that peak disruption dates and start times are approximate and can last about 4 hours each day.

Location Outage Time (EDT)   Location Outage Time (EDT)
Alabama October 5-9, 2:57 PM   Nebraska October 8-12, 2:43 PM
California (Northern) October 8-12, 2:30 PM   Nevada October 6-10, 2:33 PM
California (Los Angeles) October 6-10, 2:39 PM   Oregon October 9-13, 2:38 PM
Colorado October 8-12, 2:43 PM   South Carolina October 6-10, 2:48 PM
Connecticut October 7-11, 3:00 PM   Tennessee October 7-11, 2:47 PM
Georgia October 5-9, 2:51 PM   Texas (San Antonio) October 5-9, 2:47 PM
Louisiana October 4-8, 2:46 PM   Texas (Amarillo) October 6-10, 2:32 PM
Massachusetts October 8-12, 3:00 PM   Utah October 8-12, 2:40 PM
Michigan October 8-12, 2:47 PM   Virginia October 8-12, 2:48 PM
Minnesota (St. Paul) October 9-13, 2:45 PM   Washington October 9-13, 2:38 PM
Missouri October 6-10, 2:57 PM   West Virginia October 8-12, 2:45 PM
Montana October 10-14, 2:40 PM   Wisconsin October 9-13, 2:40 PM
North Carolina October 7-11, 2:48 PM   Wyoming October 9-13, 2:41 PM

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