Two months after announcing plans to give away a “free” 55 inch TV to folks willing to put a persistent adware/spyware system in their homes, Telly has begun shipping its TVs to folks who’ve signed up.

A second screen below the primary display is designed to show ads and other information. And while the system runs Android-based software (which opens the possibility of rooting it or making other changes), Telly’s terms of service are pretty strict. You have to agree to use it as your primary TV, provide Telly with a bunch of demographic data, and accept targeted ads. There are even sensors to detect how many people are watching at any time.

And if you violate those terms? Then your free TV is no longer free. The company says it could charge your credit card as much as $1,000.

I guess you get what you pay for. But at least Telly is being up front about its relationship with users. Other companies like Roku, Amazon, and Google have been increasingly stuffing targeted advertising into their smart TV software and that’s probably one of the reasons their hardware is relatively cheap. But it’s not free, and you don’t have to pay extra if you find a way to disable some or all ads.

Telly Starts Shipping Free, Ad-Supported 4K TVs, Will Charge Users up to $1,000 if They Violate Terms of Service [Variety]

Telly’s “free,” ad-supported TV begins shipping this week as part of a public beta that could eventually deliver half a million 55 inch TVs to users in the US. There’s a second screen for ads and up to a $1,000 charge if you violate the terms of service.

DSReality (Nintendo DS emulation in Augmented Reality) [@zhuowei]

DSReality is a Nintendo DS emulator that displays 3D graphics in an augmented reality view that floats in the air above your controller, using 3D models extracted from games. It looks pretty weird, but also kind of awesome. You should click through to watch the video, because it’s worth more than a thousand words in terms of describing what this actually looks like. 

Kindle Paperwhite Kids No Longer the Better Deal Thanks to This Change [The eBook Reader]

I’ve long advocated for the Kindle Paperwhite Kids as a better deal than the normal Kindle PW. But a recent change means that may not be true for new customers anymore: lockscreen ads are only disabled in kids mode.

Framework Laptop 16 Deep Dive – Battery and Speakers [Framework]

More Framework Laptop 16 specs revealed: the upcoming modular, repairable, customizable laptop will have an 85W battery that should retain 80% capacity after 1,000 charge cycles, a 180W power adapter, and quad speakers including 2 x 1W tweeters and 2 x 2W woofers.

Keep up on the latest headlines by following @[email protected] on Mastodon. You can also follow Liliputing on Twitter and Facebook, and keep up with the latest open source mobile news by following LinuxSmartphones on Twitter and Facebook.

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  1. What if I don’t have cable, but plug in a console and set up a bunch of thick plants in front of the panel? Will I remain an eligible user?

    1. Whether you have cable or not is sort of irrelevant. It has HDMI ports, but it requires a constant internet connection, or ether they’ll charge you or it won’t let the main screen turn on. I’m sure they’ve accounted temporary outages.
      I read somewhere that it has proximity sensors for the lower screen. Could be ultrasound, in which case you’re not getting away with an obstruction any closer than 5 feet away, and an obstruction at that distance can be caught by the IR cameras on top.

  2. That is way too creepy for someone’s home. The only reasonable approach to something like this would be to offer these televisions to businesses like restaurants for their dining area or hotel lobbies

    1. It should be way too creepy, but what (most) phones do should also be too creepy and after years of complaining and no one listening (since there weren’t any privacy-respecting alternatives that don’t make you look like a moron to buy instead) people have either given up, or started to think everyone complaining about privacy was really a [insert uncool/bad group of bad/uncool people you don’t like here].
      And practically speaking, I’ve been assuming that all “smart TVs” are as much of a telescreen as the telly screen, except for how you have the privilege of turning it off or not giving it your wi-fi password. So it’s really not that much different from what people in their ignorance, defeatism, or eleutherophobia, invite into their homes anyway.

      That doesn’t mean I think anyone actually should get one of these. Just that many will.

  3. “free,” ad-supported TV…

    There is no such thing as “free” – you end up paying one way or another.

  4. My credit card is getting close to expiration… I wonder if Telly checks the expiration date on cards used for signing-up for their “free” TV.

    1. Don’t quote me, but if they operate like any other business, I imagine if the card was declined, they’d mail you a bill, and if you refused to pay that or send back the tv, they would send it to collections. Call it a hunch.

    2. It’s a subscription. Unless you specifically opt-out, the subscription rolls-over automatically when your card renews. The roll-over is probably perpetual. The only way out is to cancel the subscription, then there are very likely some costs or other consequences for the cancellation. Imagine a TV with a virtual chain around your neck.