By: Natasha Archary
Bad news for looters as Samsung disables stolen TVs remotely with the TV block technology that was recently activated for products in the country.
Many of the brand’s stores and warehouses were targeted during looting incidents, in both Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng, but most of the stolen TVs were equipped with the “television block function” which make the stolen items worthless.
According to Samsung, the technology is “already pre-loaded on all Samsung TV products” and “ensures that the television sets can only be used by the rightful owners with a valid proof of purchase.”
“The aim of the technology is to mitigate against the creation of secondary markets linked to the sale of illegal goods, both in South Africa and beyond its borders,” said Mike van Lier, director of consumer electronics at Samsung South Africa in a statement.
It’s not clear, though, from Samsung’s description whether the feature is only intended to combat large-scale theft, or if it will ever be used to help individual consumers.
In order for the TV block function to work, Samsung needs to know the serial code of the stolen unit. When the set connects to the internet, it checks its serial code against a list on Samsung’s servers and disables all TV functionality if it finds a match.
In the event that customers in South Africa have one of their TVs blocked by accident, they can have the block lifted by sending a proof of purchase to [email protected]