‘Sun outage’ may cause cable channel disruption: SingTel, StarHub

Chua Yini

Couch potatoes have cause for worry this week as some cable channels on StarHub and SingTel’s mioTV may be disrupted by a “sun outage”, a natural phenomenon that occurs twice a year.

A sun outage occurs when a satellite and a receiving earth station come directly in line with the sun, resulting in poor or no reception of channels which rely on the affected satellite. This is because the sun’s energy interferes with the satellite’s signal and affects the signals received by the earth station.

However, according to StarHub and SingTel, only channels transmitted by satellites that orbit between the sun and their receiving stations will be disrupted.

In their respective statements, StarHub and SingTel said that most of its channels receive signals via satellite before broadcasting them to homes. Therefore, statellite transmission is “subject to these environmental factors which are beyond the control of the broadcaster”.

The disruptions are expected to occur for nine days, from 16 March to 24 March, and will last for between three to 14 minutes from as early at 8:30am to 4pm.

StarHub and SingTel have published a list of channels which will be affected and information on the sun outage on their respective websites.