Samsung South Africa said its ‘Television Block Function’ which is pre-built into all its tv sets is being used to remotely disable all televisions obtained through unlawful means. This comes after some television sets were stolen from the tech giant’s warehouse in KwaZulu-Natal.
Samsung explained that TV Block is a remote security function that detects if a Samsung TV unit has been activated unduly and prevents anyone – apart from the lawful owners – from using the television without valid proof of purchase.
The technology is meant to help fight the sale of televisions on a secondary market that facilitates the peddling of illegal goods. This is prevalent in South Africa and beyond. The technology is pre-loaded on all Samsung TV products, according to the company.
“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, “said Mike Van Lier, Director of Consumer Electronics at Samsung SA.
Samsung said it has activated TV Block on all television sets looted from their Cato Ridge distribution centre in KZN since 11 July.
The company explained that TV Block kicks in when the user of a stolen Samsung TV connects to the internet in order to turn it on. Once the television is connected to the web, it is identified by the Samsung server by its serial number and the block is activated, disabling all the television’s functions.
If it happens that a customer’s television is blocked incorrectly, Samsung said the device’s functionality can be restored once proof of purchase and a TV license is presented to them via the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“As an organisation we acknowledge the critical role in giving our customers and client the peace of mind. Working together, we can overcome the impact of the unprecedented disruption to business, as experienced by many of us recently,” said Van Lier.