‘Sun Outages’ May Affect TV Viewing

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Twice a year, during the fall and spring, TV watchers may experience some degree of interference on some channels due to a phenomenon known as “sun outages.” The following Q&A will help you understand what they are and how they could affect you.

What is a sun outage?

A sun outage is an interruption in TV signals caused by interference from solar radiation. The interference is caused when the sun is in direct line with a communication signal and the sun’s radiation overwhelms it.

How does this affect watching TV?

During this time, people with cable or satellite TV service may experience interference on some channels that can affect picture quality and sound. The picture, for instance, may pixilate slightly, or clicking sounds may be heard. In some cases, picture or sound may completely drop for a few minutes.

Sun outages do not affect Internet or phone service.

How long does the interference last?

Such interference can last up to several minutes a day.

When will this interference happen?

This fall, sun outages may affect some channels – though only intermittently and generally for only a few minutes at a time – between roughly Oct. 5 and Oct. 10. Typically, the effects, if visible, will occur between 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. CT.

What should you do?

If you experience picture or sound interference during these times, please be patient. Your service should return to normal after a short while.

ESPN’s ‘30 for 30’ Series Returns

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ESPN has announced the films selected for this year’s “30 for 30” sports documentary series, returning Oct. 7. A film will air each Tuesday evening for six consecutive weeks, beginning with “Playing for the Mob,” the story of the Boston College basketball games scandal, and the involvement of mobster Henry Hill.

See this year’s complete “30 for 30” lineup.

ESPN is available to all Suddenlink customers who have what is commonly known as Expanded Basic TV service.

Cable Nets Shine at Primetime Emmys

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Cable networks once again fared well at the Primetime Emmy Awards. Of 27 major awards presented, 14 went to cable programs and individual actors on cable shows.

The AMC original series “Breaking Bad” led the way with six awards, rivaled by HBO’s “True Detective.” The drama series starring Matthew McConaughey won five Emmys.

FX’s “American Horror Story: Coven” captured four Emmys, including lead actress and supporting actress in a TV miniseries or movie. HBO’s “Game of Thrones” also won four awards.

AMC and FX are available to virtually all Suddenlink customers who have what is commonly known as Expanded Basic TV service.

To order HBO or other premium cable channels, go to http://www.suddenlink.com/television/why/. Scroll to “Premium Entertainment,” and click “Find Offers.”

USA Today has a complete list of winners.

ESPN to Air ESPY Awards Tonight

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The annual ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) Awards return to ESPN tonight, July 16, at 8 p.m. CT. The show will bring the best sports stories of the year together in one evening, hosted by recording artist Drake.

Time still remains to vote for your favorite athletes and the best sports moment of the year. Visit the ESPN ESPY Awards webpage by 8 p.m. CT to cast your ballot.

ESPN is available to all Suddenlink customers who have what is commonly known as Expanded Basic TV service.

Cable Nets Showered With Emmy Nominations

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Cable networks once again dominated the Primetime Emmy Awards nominations. HBO remains the most nominated network, having earned 99 total nods. “Game of Thrones” led the way with 19 nominations. FX received 45 nods, including 18 for miniseries “Fargo.”

Additional cable programs receiving multiple nominations were “American Horror Story: Coven” on FX (17), “The Normal Heart” on HBO (16), “Breaking Bad” on AMC (16) and “True Detective” on HBO (12).

FX and AMC are available to virtually all Suddenlink customers who have what is commonly known as Expanded Basic TV service.

To order HBO or other premium cable channels, go to http://www.suddenlink.com/television/why/. Scroll to “Premium Entertainment,” and click Find Offers.

Check here for a complete list of nominations.

Sites Help Parents Navigate Media

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A recent study from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that the average 8-year old spends seven hours a day consuming digital entertainment in the form of TV, computers, smart phones and video games.

With summer vacation nearing, it’s a good time to discuss appropriate TV viewing and to activate or update parent control settings. Healthy Kids recommends several resources designed to help parents and caregivers navigate children’s media exposure.

For more tips, see our past posts, “Parental Controls at Your Fingertips” and “TV Boss Helps Manage Kids’ Viewing.”

Carrie Underwood to Salute the Troops

Eleven-time Academy of Country Music Award winner Carrie Underwood will honor military servicemen and women with a song written for “ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops.” The special will air tonight at 8 CT on CBS.

Underwood will perform her new song “Keep Us Safe,” which she co-penned specifically for the military tribute show. The song will also be available for digital download with proceeds benefiting ACM Lifting Lives.

The ACM concert will also feature Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Hunter Hayes, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Kellie Pickler, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line, Rascal Flatts and more. The two-hour special will be hosted by LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell.

Adults Still Like Viewing on TV, in Real Time

Relaxed couple with popcorn and remote control, drinking and watA recent BroadStream Solutions study suggests U.S. adult TV watchers prefer their favorite shows the old-fashioned way.  A full 84 percent of those polled say they still like tuning in at a program’s scheduled broadcasting time over watching time-shifted programming. Similarly, 85 percent chose their television sets as the preferred mode of viewing over tablets, phones, desktops and laptops.  Read more about the study results at TVNewsCheck.

Tonight: Last Call for HIMYM Cast

The final episode of long-running CBS comedy series “How I Met Your Mother” airs tonight, 7 p.m. CT, after a nine-year run that consistently averaged nine million-plus viewers per episode.

“The entire original main cast has remained with the show for the whole run, the only change being the addition of [The Mother, Cristin] Milioti for season nine,” noted the New York Daily News. “That doesn’t happen on television.”

“HIMYM” co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas are currently working on their next show. While the cast and characters will be completely new, the theme will be similar, as is the title, “How I Met Your Dad.”

C-SPAN Celebrates 35 Years with Great Moments Videos

To celebrate its 35th birthday this week, C-SPAN has compiled a video list of the network’s 35 greatest moments. The collection features one event from each year C-SPAN has been on the air, live and commercial-free.

C-SPAN, created by the cable television industry to provide public access to the political process without editing, commentary or analysis, is available to all Suddenlink customers who have what is commonly known as Expanded Basic TV service.