While the theft of a handheld device such as a smartphone is more trivial, there are times when organized crime or angry mobs try to carry off larger items. Last month, riots in South African cities escalated into riots, during which mobs often loot unguarded stores.
This, of course, comes at a cost to affected retailers, so Samsung is introducing a new TV lockout feature designed to prevent theft and resale of stolen TVs by effectively locking them out.
It works in a similar way to how stolen phones can be locked or even erased, but the process doesn't start with the owner of the phone. When a Samsung TV connects to the Internet, its serial number is sent to the company's server and checked to see if it has been marked as stolen. If so, the locking system kicks in and all functions are disabled, rendering it useless.
Legitimate customers whose TVs have been blocked in error can appeal the decision by sending proof of purchase and a valid TV license. Unfortunately, those who buy a TV from unauthorized resellers or on the gray market may not have this information.
TV Block technology is already pre-installed on all Samsung TVs and is not limited to South African markets. But it should be understood that this solution will not prevent thieves from disassembling the TV and using or selling the components individually.