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How to defeat the dreaded dongle...
on March 15, 2011
I've read a great deal of the reviews on this site, both for this dongle, and the LG TVs that use them. So that you don't go through what I did, I'm posting this review.
I purchased the LG32LD550, as well as the dongle here, at the beginning of January. LG requires that you purchase this device to use their Netcast services, which include Netflix streaming video. Sounds like a great idea. If only it worked.
The TV hangs on a mount in my bedroom, with my wireless network (Airport Extreme)in a closet about 8 feet away. The dongle, which is simple to install, just slides into the USB port on the left hand side of the TV. And that's where the easy part ends.
Despite repeated attempts, I could not get the dongle to see our wireless network with any consistency. Sometimes it would find it (registering 5 bars) but most of the time it would see nothing, or another network in my building. Even when it "saw" the network, it would drop the connection before I could get it set up. So I returned the dongle. The second dongle did no better.
So I thought it must be the TV. I called LG and they gave me a repair shop in my area. They came and went through the same procedures I did -- with the same result. They gave up and decided the motherboard of the TV needed fixing. Four weeks later, they returned with a new motherboard, confident that would fix things. It didn't. The TV refused to recognize the wireless network. The repairman suggested I contact LG about a new TV. Their customer sevice was horrendous. First, they wouldn't acknowledge that I'd called them initially to get a repair. Then, they implied that I was lying about what the repair shop said. Finally, they said they don't do replacements, and that I must keep sending it back to the repair shop until it was working properly.
After reading some of the reviews, I tried a Cisco-Linksys WET610N Dual-Band Wireless-N Gaming and Video Adapter to boost the signal in the house. That didn't work either. Finally, two months after the original purchase, we tried a USB extension, bringing the dongle out and away from the TV. That fixed it. Apparently the TV itself shields the dongle from wireless signals, so the trick is to get it out and away from your TV.
Now that it works, its cool. And the TV's picture is fantastic. But it was just too hard to get from "there" to "here." LG's design was awful and their customer service was unacceptable.