Telly Uses Second 'Smart Screen' to Show Ads to Subsidize Free 4K HDR TVs

(Image credit: Telly)

A new startup founded by PlutoTV co-founder Ilya Pozin has launched its first TV set, a 55-inch 4K HDR TV with an integrated second smart screen. The new company, dubbed “Telly” is now taking reservations to give them away for free to the first 500,000 U.S. customers.  

The company—which Pozin founded after selling PlutoTV to Viacom for $340 million in 2021—is subsidizing the cost of the sets by using the second screen to constantly show ads. The new form factor combines the cinematic picture quality of a  55" 4K HDR Theater Television Display with a separate built-in Smart Screen to show additional graphics and ads. The two screens are integrated by a premium sound bar. Telly is powered by TellyOS, which is designed for dual screens.

The company announced it has opened the reservation system at for the first 500,000 free units that will begin shipping to consumers this summer. 

Telly says it will “disrupt’ the industry by offering the industry’s first smart second screen as well as enabling advertisers to fully subsidize the cost of the TV itself for the consumer, and deliver it completely for free.

"Telly is the biggest innovation in television since color," said Pozin, Founder and CEO of Telly. "Telly is a revolutionary step forward for both consumers and advertisers. For too long, consumers have not been an equal part of the advertising value exchange. Companies are making billions of dollars from ads served on televisions, yet consumers have historically had to pay for both the TV and the content they watch. All of that changes today. When I co-founded Pluto TV, we created an entirely new model that offered amazing TV content to viewers for free. Now, with Telly, we are providing the actual television for free as well." 

Features include:

  • Smart Screen: Telly's Smart Screen lets viewers stay up to date with the latest news, sports scores, weather, stocks and more.
  • Video Calling:
  • Video Games:
  • Music: Play songs from popular music services on Telly's stunning built-in five-driver sound bar.
  • “Hey Telly AI-drive voice assistant:
  • Free advanced motion-tracking fitness programs

Viewers can connect the streaming dongle of their choice via three HDMI ports and Telly will ship with a 4K Android TV streaming stick. 

"While everyone talks about Smart TVs, the reality is that TVs have not changed dramatically over the past couple of decades and the dream of truly interactive TV has never materialized," said Richard Greenfield, General Partner at LightShed Ventures, who co-led Telly's latest funding round. "Telly is a huge leap forward, leveraging the explosion of the connected TV ad market and the desire from consumers for greater control and interactivity that does not disrupt the TV viewing experience. The groundbreaking dual screen design enables advertisers to completely reimagine the living room experience while providing consumers an incredible TV at the easy-to-say-yes-to price of free." 

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (, the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.