What Is Telly TV? Is The Telly TV Worth It?

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The tech startup Telly has dropped quite a bombshell – they’re giving away free 4K HDTVs. While this might sound enticing, it’s worth noting that “free” often comes with a few strings attached. Let’s dive deeper into this intriguing proposition.


The Innovative Concept of Telly TV

Telly, founded by Pluto TV co-founder Ilya Pozin, is aiming to shake up the TV landscape by giving away ad-supported TV units. However, these aren’t your average TVs. Telly’s offering is a smart TV with a few extra tricks up its sleeve.

The Offering

At its core, Telly TV is a 55-inch 4K HDR display, and it comes with a 4K streaming stick. You can also connect your preferred streaming device, like Amazon Fire TV Stick or Roku. In addition to this, Telly TV features a built-in soundbar with five drivers, enhancing your audio experience.

But the standout feature is the second screen. This 9-inch integrated Smart Screen displays permanent ads on one side, with an array of tools on the other side – including video calling, news updates, video games, and even a fitness studio.

Unique Features

Telly TV is more than just a smart TV. It’s packed with features that aim to enrich your viewing experience:


  • Fitness: Telly TV features advanced motion-tracking fitness programs.
  • Music: The in-built soundbar can access popular music services like Spotify.
  • Video Calling: A built-in camera lets you make video calls on the big screen.
  • ‘Hey Telly’ Voice Assistant: Control your TV experience with the sound of your voice. Set timers, ask questions, and navigate the TV’s features.
  • Home: This dashboard on your TV screen keeps you updated with the latest news, sports scores, weather updates, and more. Telly’s AI even suggests content based on your preferences.
  • Game Room: Telly TV comes preloaded with 40 different games.

The Catch

All the features and content you watch on the primary TV screen influence the ads displayed on the second screen. Remember, these are permanent ads – they’re there 24/7, whether you’re actively watching TV or not.

Future Plans

In the future, Telly plans to leverage the second screen further, potentially facilitating real-time sports bets and even food orders, with Telly taking a cut from each transaction. The company also intends to roll out over-the-air software updates to continuously add new features.

Privacy Concerns

As with any smart device, privacy is a critical concern. In order to sign up for a Telly TV, you need to share certain demographic and lifestyle information, along with your TV-viewing preferences. This information is used to display targeted ads. The built-in sensor detects the number of viewers, and the webcam enables video calling functionality. While Telly assures that all these features comply with privacy regulations, it’s still worth reading their privacy policy in detail.

How to Get a Telly TV

Telly TV has started accepting applications for their free TVs. To be one of the initial 500,000 people to get a free Telly, you can visit the official website and provide your contact information. Then, download the free Telly mobile app and follow the instructions to create your Telly profile to complete your reservation. Telly plans to start shipping TVs to pre-order customers in the summer of 2023.

Potential Alternatives

While Telly TV seems like an exciting new proposition, it’s not the only option available. Other smart TVs on the market offer similar features without the constant ad presence. For instance, TVs from brands like Samsung, LG, and Sony come with built-in streaming apps, AI voice assistants, and some models even offer fitness programs and video calling. It’s always worth shopping around and comparing features to find the TV that best suits your needs and comfort level with data privacy. Many brands partnered with Roku or Fire TV as the TV operating system might be a better fit and offer more control over your privacy.

Final Thoughts

Telly TV is undoubtedly an intriguing concept with its blend of cutting-edge features and a unique business model. It offers viewers an opportunity to access high-quality TV technology without a hefty price tag. However, the constant presence of ads and the data collection required might be a deal-breaker for some.


  • Pros:
    • Free 4K TV with robust features including a webcam.
    • Interactive second screen for a dynamic viewing experience.
    • Promises of future upgrades and added features.
  • Cons:
    • Unavoidable, persistent ads.
    • Your viewing habits are monitored for ad targeting.
    • Privacy concerns associated with data collection and webcam functionality.
    • Lack of built-in streaming apps.

Before making a decision, consider what you value more: a free 4K TV with additional features at the cost of your viewing data and non-stop ads, or a more traditional TV-viewing experience that might come with a price tag but offers more privacy. It all comes down to personal preference and how comfortable you are with the trade-offs. After all, as the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch – or in this case, a free TV.

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