Why Does My Non-Smart TV Have an Ethernet Port? (What Can I Do With It?)

The emergence of smart TVs has made it possible to stream online content, browse the web, watch videos on demand, and play games right from our television sets.

They have an operating system and work seamlessly like mini-computers, thanks to their advanced, intuitive, and smart features

These TVs are internet-enabled and have Ethernet ports and Wi-Fi adapters for wired and wireless connections.

While non-smart TVs cannot connect to the internet directly and have limited connectivity options, it might surprise many that some non-smart TVs have Ethernet ports.

If your non-smart TV has an Ethernet port, and you wonder why this is the case, this post is for you!

Why Does My Non-Smart TV Have an Ethernet Port


Most non-smart TVs don’t have Ethernet ports. However, certain non-smart TVs made by some brands (Samsung, JVC, Vizio) do have Ethernet ports.

Ethernet ports on non-smart TVs are used for:

  • Firmware Updates
  • Digital Media Uploads
  • Service Diagnostics

Your TV might have an Ethernet port just because the manufacturer decided to use the same chassis and case for smart and non-smart TVs (to reduce costs).

What’s an Ethernet Port and What’s Its Purpose on a TV?

An Ethernet port is a socket built into networking equipment and compatible devices such as routers, switches, computers, servers, gaming consoles, cable boxes, and smart TVs.

Also known as a LAN port, its primary function is establishing wired connections between compatible devices within a network.

LAN port

Since smart TVs are internet-enabled, most models have Ethernet ports for wired connections to the local network.

Ethernet ports are rare on regular, non-smart TVs since these televisions do not have smart features.

Reasons Your Non-Smart TV Has an Ethernet Port

Regular or non-smart TVs do not have built-in wireless adapters and Ethernet ports since most do not have any features that require internet connectivity.

However, some TV brands, such as Samsung, JVC, and Vizio, have several non-smart TVs with Ethernet ports.

For instance, the JVC LT55C550 LED TV, mostly sold in the UK, has an Ethernet port, yet it is a non-smart TV.

This development has got many people on various forums, asking why their non-smart TVs have a LAN port that they won’t seemingly use.

Here are the top reasons why your non-smart TV has an Ethernet port:

1. Firmware Updates

TV manufacturers usually send software and security updates via the internet to help TV users keep up with the latest features.

Software updates are essential in eliminating technical glitches and resolving minor bugs on your TV.

Even though non-smart TVs don’t have LAN ports, some models have Ethernet ports to facilitate fast and efficient firmware updates.

If your non-smart TV supports firmware updates, it might require an Ethernet connection for software installations, especially if it is having issues picking up OTA signals.

However, plugging an Ethernet cable into the LAN port at the back of your non-smart TV won’t make your TV smart.

You won’t be able to stream movies, download apps, or access web features when you plug a cable into the Ethernet port.

Then again, firmware updates are not automatic as with smart TVs, even after plugging the Ethernet cable into your non-smart TV.

Upgrading the firmware of a non-smart TV with an Ethernet port is a manual procedure, with each TV model having different instructions.

Since the instructions vary, always refer to your TV’s manual to learn how to update its firmware using the Ethernet port.

Here’s a basic guideline: 

  • Turn on your TV
  • Connect an Ethernet cable from your router to your TV’s Ethernet port
  • Press the Menu button on your TV’s remote control
  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll to Support/Setup/Product Support
  • Select Software Update
  • Press OK or Enter to start the update process

2. Digital Media Uploads

Your non-smart TV may have an Ethernet port for digital media uploads from a computer or compatible mobile device.

However, your old, non-smart TV must be DLNA-certified to share and access content from your computer and your television screen.

Digital Living Network Alliance (DNLA) is an organization that sets guidelines for sharing digital media among home networking devices such as computers, TVs, smartphones, and media streamers.


Most older Samsung and Sony LCD TVs are DNLA-certified and have an Ethernet port for digital media uploads and content sharing.

Below are the steps to connect your Sony DNLA-certified TV with your PC:

  • Connect an Ethernet cable from your router to your TV
  • Connect your PC to your home network via Wi-Fi or Ethernet
  • Press the Menu or Home button on your TV’s remote
  • Use the arrow buttons to go to Settings
  • Select Network, and then Home Network Setup
  • Select Remote Device/Renderer
  • Choose Remote Device List to find your PC
  • Press the Home button on your TV’s remote
  • Use the arrow buttons to select Photo, Music, or Video
  •  Navigate to the desired media folder
  •  Select view files
  •  Press the media file you want to upload or playback

How to Use DLNA on a SONY Bravia TV (Connect Your TV to Your Mac)

3. Service Diagnostics

The Ethernet port on your non-smart TV could be for service diagnostics whenever your TV has a problem that requires a professional repair.

The technician may connect the TV to the internet using specialized tools and cables via the Ethernet port.

They might need to update your firmware or install new software, and using the Ethernet port is one of the quickest ways to upgrade the TV system.

4. Factory Configuration

Lastly, your manufacturer might have used a similar chassis and case for smart and non-smart TVs.

As such, your TV might have an Ethernet port, but it won’t be of any meaningful use on a non-smart TV.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Why does my TV have an Ethernet port?

Answer: Some non-smart TVs have an Ethernet port for firmware updates and digital media uploads. Manufacturers usually send regular software and security updates over the internet for smart and non-smart TVs. You can use the Ethernet port at the back of your TV to connect to your local network and update your firmware to the latest version. The Ethernet ports on smart TVs are primarily for wired connections.

Question: Can you connect a non-smart TV to the internet?

Answer: You can connect a non-smart TV to the internet, albeit indirectly. You can use smart gadgets and digital media players such as streaming sticks, Android set-top boxes, Google Chromecast, gaming consoles, and DVD/Blu-Ray units to connect a non-smart TV to the internet. You can also connect your regular TV to the internet using your smartphone. The Ethernet port on a few non-smart TV models is for firmware updates, not internet connections.

Question: Do regular TVs have Ethernet ports?

Answer: Most regular TVs do not have Ethernet ports. However, some manufacturers have Ethernet ports on their non-smart TV models for firmware updates and digital media uploads. You can connect an Ethernet cable into this port to connect your TV to the internet for periodic upgrading purposes. The port acts as a service port.

Question: How do I connect my non-smart TV to the internet with an Ethernet cable?

Answer: If your non-smart TV has an Ethernet port, you can plug an Ethernet cable to connect the TV to the internet. However, doing so won’t make your TV “smart,” meaning you won’t be able to download or access streaming apps and web features. The Ethernet port on non-smart TVs is for firmware updates and digital media uploads.

Question: Is it better to connect the TV via Ethernet or Wi-Fi?

Answer: If you have a smart TV and want faster, stable, and more secure internet connectivity, consider using the Ethernet port. Wired connections ensure consistent speeds and higher bandwidths for an enhanced streaming experience. Moreover, Ethernet is less prone to interference or signal interceptions, making it more reliable than Wi-Fi.


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