Is Telly Truly a Free 4K Dual-Screen TV?
- Adam Douglas
It seems everywhere one goes online from news to podcasts people are talking about the newly announced free ad-supported television by Telly. Most of what I found in the news and on Telly’s website appears to be nothing more than marketing and fails to provide what should matter to a consumer, product specifications and what one is giving up to use something that is for free.
The Free TV
The new television is being marketed as free product which is ad-supported with dual-screens. The primary display is a 55” at 4K HDR and the 9” secondary display or smart screen is used to display advertisements, news, weather, stocks, sport scores, widgets, and more. A sound bar is found between the two displays. The system is equipped with a microphone and camera to used with video calling (powered by Zoom) and voice assistant. Additionally, the TV will come with an Android TV USB dongle in order to use streaming services.
The company behind the free TV Telly Corp. has recently announced and opened a reservation system for the first 500,000 free units that will begin shipping to consumers in summer of 2023. At this time the offer is only applicable to citizens of the United States.
Unfortunately the entire television specifications have not all been official released to date, therefore what I’ve collected is what I could find reading various websites. The operating system TellyOS apparently is a fork of Google Android TV, though I’ve not been able to confirm this.
|Primary Display Size||55” (139.7 cm)|
|Secondary Display Size||9” (22.86 cm)|
|Primary Display Resolution||4K HDR|
|Secondary Display Resolution||Unknown|
|Audio||5-driver sound bar, integrates both displays|
|Camera||Yes (privacy shutter included)|
|Streaming Support||Yes (Android TV USB dongle)|
|Additional Features||video calling, game room (40+ video games, single and multiplayer support), music, voice assistant, fitness (free advanced motion-tracking fitness programs)|
We should all remember that, nothing comes for free. There is a cost to everything we do and use. The so-called “free” television, actually comes at a serious cost to the consumer. In simple terms the TV is an appliance, but in this case the appliance turns the viewer into a product with the use of your own data along with a billboard advertising whatever it deems necessary. The revenue Telly makes is from your own data and advertisements. The only compensation is the TV itself which is nothing compared to value of your own data and advertisements. This new appliance has taken things to a whole new level of invading your privacy and security within your own home. Telly and any associated third party companies will now be able to collect your data such as, the audio and video content you watch, the channels you view, duration of viewing session, voice pattern, physical movements, queries, settings, preferences, applications, purchases, the buttons clicked, cultural and social identifiers, and the physical presence of people using the TV. All this that may not even be anonymized or de-identified.
If you choose to protect your own network such as using an advertisement blocker or disconnect Internet to the TV or opt out of sharing your data you will be in violation of the terms of service. As a result the service will be terminated and must return the free TV or be charged for it.
It is nice to see how Telly appears to be up front instead of hiding what they are doing. However, this doesn’t make it right. The marketing seems to focus the reader on the fact of “free” and what is generally offers. Doesn’t go into specifics or even provide full detailed specifications. Almost like it’s trying to divert you away from the truth. This is just another appliance like product and service that violates our own freedoms. At least with streaming services, other smart TVs, cell phones, etc. I have a choice how I use it to some extent without being penalized for it. This all seems insane to me, especially considering how a decent TV doesn’t even cost a consumer that much. It just feels like this product will take advantage of those less fortunate or less informed. Heck we don’t even know the entire scope of harm this could bring for the benefit of a company. Ultimately we as consumers should have the say and control over what we own and consume. This free TV is not “free”, so just say “NO”.