This free TV comes with two screens

A new type of TV is coming for Samsung, LG and Vizio, and it’s completely free – if you don’t count the price of your attention. Telly, a company founded by Pluto TV co-founder Ilya Pozin, offers a TV that makes up for its non-existent price tag by constantly displaying ads on a second, smaller screen.

The company calls this thin strip of screen a “Smart Display,” which is separated from the main TV by a soundbar. In addition to displaying ads, it can also display various widgets, including sports scores, news ticker, weather, and stock quotes. Ads can appear on the far right side of the Smart Display, as shown in the images in this article, or they can appear in the form of a sponsored news feed on the left side of the screen. Janko Roettgers first reported rumors about the device earlier this month.

“When I co-founded Pluto TV, we created an entirely new model that offered great TV content to viewers for free,” Pozin said in a statement. “Now, with Telly, we’re also offering the actual television for free.”

While ads shouldn’t interrupt what you’re viewing on the main screen, Telly’s chief strategy officer, Dallas Lawrence, tells WebMD. The edge that ads can use both screens when you’re not using the TV. “When the theater screen (top screen) isn’t in use, connecting the two can bring the ad unit to life in a fun way,” says Lawrence. “There are literally hundreds of things we think about to create the most engaging ad experience ever.” Lawrence also says that Telly is also working on “Telly Rewards” that reward users with a gift card to services like Netflix or Starbucks for participating in things like on-screen polls.

As for the main display, it’s a 55-inch 4K HDR panel linked to the secondary display via the company’s operating system: TellyOS. Unlike most mainstream smart TV operating systems, TellyOS does not currently support third-party streaming apps such as Netflix. That’s why Telly comes with a free 4K Android TV dongle that you can use to watch any streaming service you want. It’s also compatible with other streaming devices, including Roku, the Amazon Fire Stick, and Apple TV, and has three HDMI inputs, 2 USB inputs, and a tuner you can use to watch over-the-air broadcasts.

There’s more to the TV than just the two screens, though. If you look closely, you might notice a camera planted smack in the middle of the soundbar. That enables “free advanced motion-tracking fitness programs” that come with the TV, along with the Zoom integration that Telly is also launching with. Lawrence tells The edge that the TV comes with a privacy shutter (and that the TV comes with it closed), so you can open and close it as you please.

But that’s not the end of Telly’s integrations – it also comes with 40 different games and the ability to play music from “popular music services.” It even has an “AI-powered voice assistant” that replies to “Hey Telly.” If that all sounds a little vague, that’s because it is. The company has yet to reveal the music services it’s partnered with and hasn’t expanded on the games or commands the device will include.

However, this all points to Pozin’s huge goals for Telly. Pozin has taken a gamble on free TV in the past with the launch of Pluto TV, one of the most successful free ad-supported streaming TV services (FAST). He will probably apply this knowledge to free hardware.

“Don’t be fooled by the free price,” Pozin said in a statement. “This is by far the most advanced television ever developed.” Would I take a free ad-supported TV instead of the LG I have now? Not at all, but I’m genuinely intrigued by how this setup works. You can visit the website to reserve one of 500,000 free devices that Telly says will ship “this summer.”

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