Sun Outages

Once again, it is “sun outage” season, when all satellites in the northern hemisphere experience brief disruptions of their signals due to the relative position of the sun. Here is what takes place: as the sun's path changes with the Spring and Autumn seasons, there are times when it is in a direct line behind a communication satellite that is sending signals to a receiving satellite dish here on earth. When the receiving satellite dish is looking into the sun, the interference from the sun overrides the signals from the satellite.

Sun Outages will be expected to occur on March 1-10, 2021.  (Duration 4-8 minutes each day)

Sun outages occur during the months of February/March and September/October. They can last as long as 15 minutes a day and take place over a two week period. The interference can vary from minor to a complete loss of signal.

Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to prevent sun outages from occurring. Each satellite service will experience this interference nationwide.

We hope you find this information helpful. Thank you for allowing us the privilege of serving you.


What are Sun Outages? Twice a year, you may experience some degree of television interference due to "sun outages." Such outages are caused by a phenomenon called a “solar satellite interference." These brief outages occur when the sun passes directly behind satellites transmitting cable signals. When the sun is aligned with a satellite, solar radiation, an energy the sun is emitting, interferes with the satellite’s signal and thus causes a brief signal outage.

When do sun outages happen and how long they last? Sun outages occur every year, in Fall and Spring, and last approximately about a week each time.

What kind of outage/interference can I expect? During the sun outage, you may experience a pixelated picture, picture freezes, or audio distortions for a brief period of time.

How can I tell if it's caused by a sun outage or something’s wrong with my cable? The sun outage happens only during the day between 12pm and 6pm and is brief, lasting for a few minutes.

What should I do during a sun outage? Orbitel Communications apologizes for any inconvenience a sun outage may cause. However, solar satellite interference is out of our control. Please be patient and everything will get back to normal. If you have question about sun outages, please call Orbitel Support at 800-998-8084.