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This Dual Screen TV is Free, But There’s a Big Catch

You'll sacrifice privacy and data for ads.

Telly dual screen TV with ads

Imagine getting an excellent 55-inch HD TV for free with a built-in soundbar and a second screen showing sports updates, weather, and other widgets. Sounds pretty great, right? You’ll get that from Telly, a new TV brand, but the big catch is it’ll show you ads constantly.

Telly is a new company created by Pluto TV co-founder Ilya Pozin, and it says this is the biggest thing to happen to TV since adding color. More importantly, Telly plans to give away over 500,000 televisions in 2023.

You can join the waitlist today and sign up to receive a free Telly but don’t forget to read the fine print and terms of service first. The deal here is you’ll get a quality dual-screen TV for free, but that secondary display will constantly show ads beneath everything you watch. The TV isn’t the product; you are.

It’s not all bad news, as Telly describes that second smaller screen as a “Smart Display” and says it’ll deliver a slew of useful features to you’re living room. I’m talking about widgets for sports scores and updates, Fantasy football, stocks, weather, artist info during music playback, and more, along with banner ads on the right side of the screen.

Telly second screen with ads.
Widgets and ads on Telly’s second screen. Telly

The 55-inch 4K HDTV ships with an Android TV dongle, giving you all the apps and services you’d expect. However, keep in mind that the bottom screen can’t be disabled, you can’t block the ads, and it’ll even display ads while you’re watching a movie, albeit at a lower brightness level.

In a way, that second screen makes sense. It’ll stay on even when the TV is off, turning into a “Smart Display” to see the weather, control music, and other smart home things. But again, it’ll be throwing ads in your face the entire time.

According to The Verge, you’ll never see ads on the main screen during use. However, when the TV is turned off, Telly can fire it up and use both screens for a more “engaging ad experience.” Then, the FreeTelly website mentions owners could answer polls and such to earn rewards. Clearly, anything and everything is on the table here.

Before you rush to join the waitlist and score a free TV, it comes with strings attached. The Telly must be your primary TV, and you can’t cover the second screen or use software to block ads. We’re assuming the TV’s sensors or camera inside the soundbar will track that stuff, and if you break the rules, you’ll have to send it back or get charged $500 for the set.

The built-in camera enables Zoom calls and motion-tracking fitness apps. Still, Telly says it “may collect info about the audio and video content you watch, the channels you view, and the duration of your viewing sessions.” Not to mention search queries, your physical presence while using the TV, and other data.

If you’re willing to trade your privacy and data for nonstop ads and a free TV, join the waitlist today, and maybe you’ll get lucky.

via FastCompany

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »