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Samsung can remotely disable stolen TVs. Here's how it works

Samsung recently revealed that all its TVs have a security feature that lets the company stop people who steal a TV from actually using it.

Samsung QN90A QLED TV
Samsung TVs come preloaded with a feature that lets the company remotely disable them if they're stolen.
David Katzmaier/CNET

Did someone steal your TV? If it's a Samsung, the company may be able to help by remotely locking it, preventing the thief from using it. 

In light of several TVs getting stolen from a Samsung warehouse in South Africa, the electronics giant said it would activate a feature called TV Block on all those devices. It's a remote security solution that can detect if a TV has been activated without purchase. 

TV Block is already preloaded on all Samsung TV products, according to the company. The goal is to stop bad actors from stealing TVs and trying to resell them, knowing they won't work without valid proof of purchase. 

Here's what to know about Samsung's TV Block feature, and how it works. 

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How does Samsung's TV Block work?

When a person with a stolen TV connects to the internet to set up the device, the TV's serial number will be identified on Samsung's server. This will trigger the blocking system, which will disable all the TV's functions, rendering it useless. 

If someone's TV is blocked accidentally, Samsung will restore it once the person can share proof of purchase and a valid TV license with a legitimate retailer. You can send proof of purchase to zaservicemanager@samsung.com for validation and can expect to hear back within 48 hours. 

So if my TV is stolen, can Samsung remotely lock it?

It's not clear if Samsung is planning to use TV Block only for larger-scale commercial theft, as opposed to individual users who may be victims. We've reached out to Samsung asking about this and will update once we hear back.

For more, check out our picks for the best 4K TVs of 2021, and the differences between QLED and OLED.

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