What is “rain fade” and is it a big problem with satellite TV?

Rain fade is the term for interruption in your satellite service due to bad weather, whether it’s raining, snowing, or doing something else. The weather in front of your dish is so intense that it just can’t let in the signals.

Is rain fade a real problem? Obviously if you’re experiencing it, it is. But realistically both DIRECTV and DISH have over 99% uptime in the markets they serve, and it’s’rare to see more than a minute or two of rain fade even in the worst weather. If you see consistent rain fade, especially when it’s not raining that hard, something else may be at fault – possibly the dish is out of alignment or there is some corrosion in the cable or its ends.

Getting rid of rain fade usually involves simply waiting it out. When the storm subsides, so will the rain fade. Adding an antenna to your home theater can help you get past those few incidents when it happens. Spending some time with a satellite meter adjusting your dish for the best possible signal will help.

Rain fade is usually very temporary, but in the winter months, stormy days can lead to snow on the dish. While some folks recommend a broom or leafblower, we don’t recommend anything that can hurt your dish or throw it out of alignment. We suggest the use of a dish heater which will automatically keep your dish free of snow.