Samsung, LG and Vizio are releasing a brand new TV that is completely free, if your attention or data costs nothing. Telly is a company founded by Pluto TV’s co-founder Ilya Posin. It offers a TV with a non-existent price by showing ads on a smaller screen.
This thin strip of screen is called a “Smart Display” by the company. It’s separated from the main television via a soundbar. It can also display widgets such as sports scores, weather and stock prices. As shown in the images embedded in this post, ads could appear on the right-hand side of Smart Display. They might also show up as a sponsored feed on the left. Janko Rettegers was the first to report on rumors about the device in this month.
Pozin said in a press release that when he co-founded PlutoTV, he created a new model which offered viewers amazing TV content for free. Telly allows us to offer the television itself for free.
Dallas Lawrence, Telly’s Chief Strategy Officer, told TheVerge, that ads could use both displays if you are not watching TV. Lawrence says that when the Theatre screen (top screen) was not being used, the ad could be brought to life by a clever way. Lawrence says, “There are literally hundreds things we’re thinking about in order to create the most engaging advertising experience ever.” Telly also works on “Telly Rewards,” which will reward users for taking part in on-screen polls with gift cards to Starbucks or Netflix.
TellyOS is the operating system that connects the primary display to the secondary one. It’s a 55″ 4K HDR display. TellyOS, unlike most smart TV operating system mainline platforms, does not currently support streaming apps from third parties like Netflix. Telly includes a 4K Android TV dongle for free that allows you to stream any service. It is also compatible with Roku, Amazon Fire Stick and Apple TV. There are three HDMI inputs and two USB inputs.
The TV is more than just two screens. You might be able to see a camera smack in the middle the soundbar if you look closely. This allows the “free advanced fitness programs” to be included with the TV. It also enables the Zoom integration, which Telly is launching. Lawrence told The Verge the TV has a privacy shutter that can be opened and closed as desired.
Telly, which is equipped with a microphone and camera, and is paid for by brands who show you advertisements, has privacy implications that may go beyond , the tracking used by Vizio and Roku and other TV manufacturers. Telly’s viewing and activity data policy states that it may collect information on the audio and visual content you watch, channels you view and duration of viewing sessions, as well as information about how you interact with the TV. This includes the search queries you enter, the buttons that you select, and the “physical presence” of you or any other users at a given time.
If you opt out of data-collection you will either need to return the TV, or pay for the assumed cost of the two-screen TV and soundbar set up yourself.
Telly also comes with 40 games, and it can play music from a variety of “popular music services.” There’s even an “AI voice assistant” who responds to “Hey Telly,” which allows you to set alarms or timers. All of this may sound a little vague. That’s because they are. The company is yet to announce the music services with which it will partner and has not revealed much about the games or AI assistant the device will include.
All signs point to Pozin having big plans for Telly. Pozin made a big bet in the past on free TV with the launch Pluto TV. It was one of the fastest growing free ad supported streaming TV services. He will probably apply this knowledge as well to free hardware. Pozin said in a press release that “don’t be deceived by the price.” This is the most advanced TV ever created.
Would I choose a TV that was free and supported by ads over the LG that I currently have? This setup is fascinating. I don’t think so, but it does intrigue me. You can go to the freetelly.com site and reserve one of the 500 000 free devices Telly claims will be shipped “this summer.”