February 26, 2024

June Wan/ZDNET

The company behind the seemingly too-good-to-be-true free TV just sweetened the deal.

Telly, which promises to send users a free 55-inch television just for agreeing to watch advertisements on a second screen, has rolled out its biggest update ever. And not only does it fix several hundred bugs (more than 200 by Telly’s official count), it also introduces some fairly impressive new features.

Also: I tested the ‘Free TV’ that got the internet buzzing and it was far better than expected

Every Telly television comes with a built-in camera, which the company advertised as being able to handle Zoom calls, plus interactive games, fitness videos, and community viewing. When the first sets were sent to users, the only feature that utilized the camera was Zoom calling. But that changes with this update.

Thanks to an update rolling out this week, users can now take advantage of interactive fitness videos that use the camera to ensure proper form and maximum results. The feature, which runs on the GoFa platform, essentially turns the set into one of those fancy smart fitness mirrors that guides your workout as you go.

Also: Telly’s free TVs are shipping, but just how ‘free’ are they?

Community viewing is also rolling out, a feature that lets users start a Zoom call, and then move the call video to the lower screen while using the larger main screen for content. “How cool would it be,” the company wrote in a press release, “to watch your favorite sports game, movie, or even play video games on the Theater Display, while you’re on a video call with one or multiple friends on the Smart Screen?”

Speaking of the smaller screen, more leagues and team logos are coming to the sports score widget, including NCAA basketball — just in time for March Madness. 

New picture settings are being rolled out, addressing one of the main complaints I had when I first reviewed Telly. Now, users can choose from picture settings like movie, game, and bright, or tinker with things to their liking, personalizing the backlight, brightness, contrast, and more to fit their viewing area.

Also: The best TVs to buy in 2024

Telly is also adding the ability to watch content on the main screen and play music on the bottom screen at the same time, adding the ability to connect a wired subwoofer, and introducing something called “next-gen” interactive ads.

More settings, like an entertainment widget that includes character bios, movie reviews, synopses, trivia and more, plus an auto-brightness option that automatically adjusts your screen are on the way soon.

You’ll know you have access to these features when your TV asks you to power off and on again to apply an update. Your Telly mobile app will also need to be updated to the latest version – 1.4.0. 

If you’re interested in joining the waitlist, signups are available at www.telly.com. Sets are sent at random, Telly says, but the company has plans to ship “millions” of devices this year.