Telly Offers Free 55-inch 4K TV, So What’s the Catch? [Updated]
Update May 15, 2023: Telly is a new 55-inch 4K HDR TV available for free. Yes, you read it correctly. The first 500,000 free devices will go on sale this summer. Register at www.freetelly.com to get it.
Telly is poised to revolutionize the TV industry by allowing advertisers to fully subsidize the cost of the TV itself to the consumer and provide it for free.
Viewers can watch anything on Telly, from their cable or satellite provider to their favorite streaming app, by connecting through one of the TV’s three built-in HDMI ports or through the built-in TV tuner. Telly comes with a 4K Android TV streaming device. Users can also connect to their favorite streaming service or device (Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, and more) for ultimate control over their TV viewing experience.
Free TV is coming
Ilya Pozin is the founder of TeeVee Corporation, the company behind the new free television. He is also the founder of one of the most popular ad-supported free streaming services, Pluto TV.
“Tellie is the biggest innovation in television since color television.”
Ilya Pozin, founder of TeeVee Corporation and Pluto TV
While Telly’s offering is “too good to be true,” it looks like it’s a real product, and there are high-profile industry players behind the project, including: former G4 President and CEO Neil Tails, Vizio’s former vice president of product management John Hwang and former vice president of Vizio. Eric Loes of Software Engineering, and other ex-employees of Vizio, Paramount and Pluto TV.
Also read: Pluto TV Wants You To Have a Free TV… But There Is A Big Catch
However, as you can imagine, there must be a big catch here: it probably means more ads than you can imagine.
The TV concept is a set that includes three main elements:
- Main screen where you watch your movies and shows is the same as any TV.
- A Second screen it is a separate display that occupies the width of the TV either above or below the main TV screen (think of a soundbar-width video display). The second screen will broadcast primarily display ads related to what is displayed on the home screen, but will also display information such as the weather, news headlines, and sports scores. Think of the ticker that usually runs at the bottom of the cable news and sports screen but is displayed on a separate screen.
- A Built-in soundbar for audio.
Tip: A remote control and/or a mobile app is likely to be enabled to enable configuration and access/control of additional functions.
- Smart Screen: Telly’s Smart Screen keeps viewers up to date with the latest news, sports scores, weather, stocks and more. They can get together at the biggest screen in the house to watch Sunday football and follow fantasy scores while watching the game. Movie night? Telly’s artificial intelligence helps provide reviews and content recommendations on a single device.
- Video call: Video calls will never be the same again as consumers can connect with friends, family and work colleagues from the largest screen in the home. Viewers can even watch their favorite movies or sports teams with friends and family throughout the area.
- Video games: Telly’s Game Room brings the whole family together for a game night featuring over 40 video games, from classic arcade games to thrilling multiplayer games.
- Music: Play songs from popular music services on Telly’s stunning 5-driver built-in soundbar.
- Voice assistant: Hello Tele combines the living room experience with an innovative AI-powered voice assistant.
- Fitness: Telly transforms the family room into a fitness studio with free motion-tracked fitness programs designed for every lifestyle.
Can TeeVee’s Market Strategy Be Successful?
Since the key to this concept is to provide consumers with a free TV, TeeVeee’s main goal is to raise enough advertising dollars to pay for the cost of producing and distributing actual physical TVs.
This means that any potential advertisers should see the value of paying those costs. The value question for advertisers is whether viewers will actually watch their ads, or whether they will be so annoyed by them that they will return the TV.
Four big problems
- Although the ads will be displayed on the second screen of the TV, do the viewers want to be distracted by the ads shown during the show or movie? These ads will be shown in all programs without pauses.
- Is there any chance that ads will show up on the home screen during normal browsing? If so, we could imagine people throwing things at their Free TV in disgust.
- What prevents TV owners from sealing the second screen with masking tape?
- We don’t know Telly’s specs yet. Still, it’s not the highest quality TV, but will it be good enough that consumers won’t care?
There is no shortage of 55-inch 4K TVs on the market. The lowest priced model we could find on Amazon is the new TCL S4 4K TV for $299.01. This is actually a 2023 model, with some previous year models even lower.
After all, is $300 worth the distraction of advertising?
Need help buying TV shows?
Most consumers think that buying a TV is easy, but once you start looking for one, you’ll find it’s a little more difficult than you thought. Not only are consumers confronted with an abundance of options (smart features, 4K UHD resolution, HDR), the various technologies used in TVs these days are downright confusing when you have to sort LED/LCD, OLED and QD-OLED. For many, there are simply too many options.