If you use satellite TV services, you will know that heavy rain can cause you to lose signal. This is caused by an event called rain fade and unfortunately, there is very little broadcasters can do about it.
Rain fade affects high-frequency signals, like those used by satellite television providers like DStv and refers to moisture in the atmosphere absorbing the satellite signals causing them to weaken.
Satellite signals are a radio wave and at high-frequency, radio waves get absorbed by moisture in the air. When a really heavy cloud comes over and drops its load the raindrops will absorb more signal and you eventually lose tuning on the receiver.
You might be advised that placing a plastic can on top of the satellite dish but this does not solve the problem. The only thing it solves if water droplets getting into the receiver but this is not necessary at all.
The designers of the satellite dish, coaxial cable, and receiver took into account the fact that it was going to be installed outside where there is the scorching sun, dust, wind and rain too. If you have a bigger dish, then the rain has less effect. This is one reason why commercial satellite dishes are bigger than domestic dishes.
Poorly-executed installations, small dishes, and sun-damaged equipment can also make you more prone to rain fade. It is recommended that you have your installation checked every couple of years to make sure it is in perfect condition.
It is not only local weather that may cause your signal to fail but bad weather from anywhere a broadcaster receives or sends a signal could affect your signal too. Rain fade affects customers in 2 key ways. Firstly, satellite signals become weaker as they pass through raindrops. This a law of physics, that is, regrettably, beyond our control – and which no satellite company in the world has been able to get around.
Secondly, the location of the storm is important. Even though the storm may not be in your area, storms in other locations that is basically any place where our signals originate and transmit to and from can still affect your signal.
In the event the rain comes down in the middle of your favourite show on, you can continue watching the show on the DStv Now App. Which is available for free download at the google play store or App store. With an active DStv subscription you then can link up your account to the App. Besides watching live TV, catching up on shows you have missed, the App has other features including scheduling reminders, setting parental control restrictions, Self Service, TV guide and eight days programme search capabilities.
Once the heavy shower or bad weather has passed, normal communications returns and your picture is back. To ensure your viewing experience is pleasant, MultiChoice insists all DStv installations must be done by a certified installer using the right tools and a spectrum meter in ensure the signal strength and quality are above the minimum accepted levels to ensure minimal disruptions in the event of weather changes.