Technology is always bringing us something new, but this latest announcement is turning heads. The co-founder of Pluto TV is making headlines by offering a revolutionary concept in TV viewing – giving the TV to consumers for free.
You read that right. Consumers can obtain the 4K HDR theater display smart TV with a 55-inch screen known as “Telly” without paying a dime.
How is this possible? It’s all about advertising. Think of the early days of television when the announcer would say, “This show is brought to you by our sponsors.” The concept is similar. Telly comes with a dual screen: a larger, upper portion is reserved for TV viewing. A smaller screen separated by a soundbar beneath will display ads targeted to the owner’s preferences and demographic.
The marketing information for these ads is derived when you purchase your Telly. Customers are asked to answer questions about themselves and their household’s habits, in order to customize the ads that will be shown on the lower display. The Smart TV continues growing smarter over time, to bring you ever more relevant advertising content tailored to your interests. Advertisers pay for this information and the opportunity to reach you.
Says maker Ilya Pozin, “When I co-founded Pluto TV, we created an entirely new model that offered amazing TV content to viewers for free. Now, with Telly, we are providing the actual television for free as well.”
Telly comes with all the bells and whistles like immersive sound, and news, sports and weather updates at a glance. It offers video calling, a game room, fitness studio, music, and even a voice assistant when you say “Hey Telly.” While streaming to third party sites isn’t supported, it can be achieved through a bundled 4K Android TV dongle, and is compatible with other streaming devices through 2 USB inputs.
If all this sounds too good to be true, like any glittering advertising ploy, there is a catch. The device has a built-in camera with an optional privacy shutter. Telly admits it “may collect information about the audio and video content you watch, the channels you view, and the duration of your viewing sessions.” But also monitor the “physical presence of you and any other individuals using the TV at any given time.”
If that intrusion into your privacy sounds like it’s not for you, buyers have the alternative to opt-out of data collection. But if you do, the TV is no longer free. You can still get your Telly, but for a purchase price of $500.
If you’re undeterred, you can reserve your free Telly now and shipments are slated to begin this summer. Is the idea of free TV sets going to take off? Will the tradeoffs be worth it to the viewing public? To find out more, keep reading here.