EchoStar’s Dish goes ‘dark’

A satellite problem late on Tuesday night caused millions of viewers to lose their primetime HDTV signals from the Dish Network system at 129 degrees West. Dish asked viewers to reboot their set-top boxes in order to see programming restored. Outages were reported in Colorado, Texas, Ohio, Georgia, Indiana and elsewhere. Initially, viewers were told to switch to Standard Definition transmissions.

The problem occurred on an SES-owned craft, Ciel-2, which blamed the problem on “human error”. However, the problem took some16 hours to fix, with full services not resuming until midday EDT on September 14th. The problem created major headaches for Dish’s customer service operators who were overwhelmed with calls. Dish Network’s website was also under extreme pressure, with Dish ending up resorting to Twitter messages to subscribers.

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