We live in a crazy age where if you buy a “smart” TV, it comes with built-in ads from whatever platform the manufacturer’s gone with. So you’re really paying for the TV twice, once with cash, and in an ongoing manner with your attention.
If it wasn’t for that fact, I’d call this product dystopian. A startup called Telly is offering their 55-inch 4K televisions for free. Why? Because below the soundbar (a 6-speaker Harmon Kardon, not too shabby) is a second “Smart Screen” that runs ads.
Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.
“All smart TVs come with ads,” writes the company, “but you still pay for the TV.” Telly’s rationale to the consumer is “It’s time you got cut in on the deal” and take their TV for free.
The company says the ads are “non-intrusive.” Er, isn’t the entire point of an ad that it is intrusive? If we go seek it out, as opposed to it smacking us in the face, it’s not an ad, it’s reference material.
The product images show the ad occupying just the right side of the Smart Screen, with the remainder occupied by apparently helpful or desirable information. But there’s no detailed description I can find that attests that that’s the only real estate the ads occupy.
It’s easy to imagine people simply taping a piece of paper over the ad-bearing portions of the Smart Screen, but presumably the company has a way to counter this. The TV does, after all, come with a built-in camera, ostensibly for videoconferencing.