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Samsung has made a surprise admission revealing that it can disable and block any of its popular TVs remotely. That basically means the screen remains blank with the telly becoming pretty much unusable.
It may sound like a strange and scary thing to admit but there is a good reason behind why Samsung has now activated this feature. The firm says it’s announced the update in a bid to stop people stealing its televisions from warehouses.
This has recently been a major issue in South Africa where looters stripped shelves at a distribution centre in Cato Ridge, a province in KwaZulu-Natal.
Samsung says it’s trying to discourage this from happening again and is also attempting to help retailers who have suffered from looting.
Once a telly is stolen the TV Block can be remotely activated and ensures that sets can only be used by the rightful owners with a valid proof of purchase.
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The blocking will come into effect when the user of a stolen television connects to the internet, in order to operate the TV.
Once connected, the serial number is identified on the Samsung server and the blocking system is implemented, disabling all the television functions
Samsung says that, should a customer’s TV be incorrectly blocked, the functionality can be reinstated once proof of purchase and a valid TV license
“In keeping with our values to leverage the power of technology to resolve societal challenges, we will continuously develop and expand strategic products in our consumer electronics division with defence-grade security, purpose-built, with innovative and intuitive business tools designed for a new world,” said Mike Van Lier, Director of Consumer Electronics at Samsung South Africa.
“This technology can have a positive impact at this time, and will also be of use to both the industry and customers in the future, “
It’s currently unclear if this feature has only been activated in South Africa or televisions sold in other parts of the world can also be blocked.
Although Samsung has confirmed that this technology is already pre-loaded on all of its TV products.
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