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What Is a TV Dongle?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (May 28, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. Okay, TV Answer Man, I have a Panasonic TV that can get the Internet but my smart aleck bro says I need a dongle. What the hell is a dongle? -- Tom, Brooklyn.

Tom, there are two different kinds of Smart TVs. One has Wi-Fi built-in, which means your set can automatically pick up the signal of your home network. The other kind of Smart TV is what's called a 'Wi-Fi-ready' set. That means you will need, yes, a dongle to access your home network and watch your favorite streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon.

So, what is a dongle?

A dongle is the term used to describe a type of wireless adapter that plugs into your TV (usually in your USB port). When you plug it in, the dongle acts as an antenna that can receive the signal of your home network. That allows your set to access the Net and display streaming video.

Dongles come in different sizes and models so you want to make sure you get the right one for your set. Your TV's manual should tell you what kind of dongle to buy, such
as this dongle for some LG LED and Plasma sets.

If you're lucky, the set will come with a dongle, but it sounds like your set did not. If you're not sure, though, call Panasonic and ask them.

By the way, here's a picture of a dongle. This one is used for
2012 Panasonic Wi-Fi-ready sets:

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