DirecTV posted an announcement on its web site Friday that it has reached a deal with startup free-TV supplier Telly giving new subscribers to the DirecTV Stream live OTT service priority access to one of the first 4K Dual-Screen LCD smart TVs Telly will be giving away (with certain conditions) in coming weeks.

The statement on the DirecTV web site said the arrangement will give new DirecTV Stream customers priority access to one of the first “600,000” free Telly TVs going out this year. The new startup company recently started taking order applications from its web site.

DirecTV said its offer is effective now and will only be available for a limited time — presumably while supplies last.

Telly, which was founded by Pluto TV FAST service creator Ilya Pozin, announced earlier this month plans to give the $1,000-valued dual-screen (with a 44-inch main viewing screen) smart TVs away free to qualified applicants. TV takers must agree not to re-sell the TV or services, and must leave all viewer tracking and data collection systems on or risk having a credit card on file charged for the full price of the television.

However, the television’s camera and microphone can be blocked or turned off when not in use.

“DirecTV Stream is a subscription streaming service that allows consumers to enjoy local and national live sports, breaking news and must-see shows the moment they air through popular streaming devices,” the company said.

Telly will make money on the backed, through commissions, advertising and revenue sharing with app and service partners.

However, the television’s camera and microphone can be blocked or turned off when not in use.

“DirecTV has disrupted the pay TV industry since our founding nearly 30 years ago, and this collaboration with Telly allows us to continue that focus while providing additional value to first-time DirecTV Stream customers looking for new low-cost ways to enjoy their entertainment,” DirecTV Stream general manager Vikash Sharma said in the article.

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Telly has announced that 100,000 people signed up to get one of the first free TV sets within hours of the announcement first going live.

“Telly is the biggest innovation in TV since color, and through our new collaboration, DirecTV Stream customers will be among the very first homes in America to experience the ultimate television living room upgrade,” stated Pozin. “This is by far the most advanced television ever developed. DirecTV Stream customers will never look at their television the same way again after Telly transforms their TV from a monitor on the wall into the most powerful and useful device in the home.”

The Telly concept is a new spin on practices long in play on most smart TVs, except the company is subsidizing the full price of the set upfront. In most smart TVs, viewers pay for the TVs (sometimes at a subsidized low price) but have the freedom to opt out of certain data collection practices. Of course, terms and conditions usually say those who opt out of data collection agreements may loose the ability to access certain services and features if they do so.

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By Greg Tarr

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