Q: I have a Sony Bravia smart TV that receives over-the-air broadcasts, and is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi. Recently a local TV station (KSTC, aka “45TV”) shut down briefly to install new equipment, and now my TV’s program guide shows “no information available” for all of their subchannels. I’ve tried “rescanning” to make sure I receive all local channels, and resetting the TV (turning it off and unplugging it), but nothing works. What’s wrong and what can I do?

Michael Hanson, St. Anthony


A: Your smart TV, which is a computer, needs some software changes to accommodate changes in broadcasting.

Several TV stations across the country (including KSTC) are changing their signals to comply with the Federal Communications Commission’s desire to free up frequencies for wireless internet and other uses. That can cause problems for people who receive over-the-air TV signals. Consumers are frequently told that they can solve the issue by having their TVs “rescan” for available channels, but that may not be enough for some smart TVs.

Why? Smart TV program guides have three sources: the TV station, the station’s outside vendor that provides program information, and the TV software that displays the guide. If a TV station changes both its frequency and its channel number, it affects both the outside program information vendor and the TV software provider. But even if a station changes only its frequency and keeps the same channel number (as KSTC did), the TV software (in your case, the “Rovi On Screen Guide”) may still need to be updated.

Because you have already rescanned for channels, the next step is to change the source from which your TV program guide gets its information (see tinyurl.com/y5tza2bq). If that doesn’t work, try updating all the software on your Sony TV, either directly through the internet-connected TV or indirectly via a computer flash drive (see tinyurl.com/yyep5qhd).


Q: I’m planning to move to Windows 10 this winter because Windows 7 won’t get security updates after Jan. 14. My biggest concern has been that some of my older programs won’t work on Windows 10. But now I have a new problem: Comcast is requiring that, by the end of September, all outgoing e-mail be encrypted. I’m not sure that my Outlook 2003 program can do that. I’m also not sure that I want to buy a newer version of Outlook just before moving to Windows 10. What do you suggest?

Larry Snow, Eden Prairie


A: Fortunately, Outlook 2003 is capable of encrypting your outgoing e-mail (see tinyurl.com/y5w8svja), so you won’t have to buy a new version of Outlook.

Unfortunately, Microsoft stopped providing security updates for Outlook 2003 in 2014, so using it today is risky.

A better solution would be to make the shift to Windows 10 now. You can avoid the risk of using Outlook 2003 by switching to the “Mail app” that is included with Windows 10 (it can handle encryption). In addition, you won’t have to worry about your other old programs being obsolete. They can run using Windows 10’s “compatibility mode” (see tinyurl.com/y6t67saf), in which the operating system imitates earlier versions of Windows.


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