Remember that Android-based media box Samsung introduced earlier this year? It’s the Samsung HomeSync, and it’s a set-top box that will go in your living room, and will help you make the most of your content by enabling a smart TV experience for any panel with an HDMI port. The company had us in the dark in regards to a release date for quite some time, but they have finally announced availability and pricing details.
We should be seeing the HomeSync begin to populate retail channels on October 6th, and it’ll cost you just $300 to walk away with one. “HomeSync is a powerful platform that we envision to be the center of a household’s connected life,”said a Samsung vice president in a press release.
What it does
The user interface powering HomeSync is quite similar to what you’d find on, say, a Galaxy Note 3 or a Galaxy Note 10.1. With 1TB of cloud storage that can be divvied up between 8 different accounts you’ll have a ton of room to store all your favorite content. The sync operation is a two-way street, giving you and your family members the ability to share content with each other seamlessly.
You’ll also be able to access various online video and music services, and control playback of said services using a compatible Galaxy smartphone. Here’s the full list of compatible Samsung devices:
- Samsung Galaxy S4
- Samsung Galaxy Note 3
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014
- Samsung Galaxy S3
- Samsung Galaxy S2
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
- Samsung Galaxy Camera
And any other device that uses Samsung Link will also be compatible out of the box. Here’s a full look at all the different features you’ll be getting should you decide to part ways with $300 to take a HomeSync home:
- Perfect Companion for Your Galaxy Device: HomeSync is the ideal companion for the Galaxy S® 4 or Galaxy Note® 3. It is also compatible with other devices within the Samsung ecosystem, including the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Note 8.0, Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition, Galaxy Camera™, and other devices that use Samsung Link™.
- Storage Solution: HomeSync is a storage solution with an expansive 1TB drive that offers both shared and private storage options for an entire household’s core mobile content, such as photo albums, videos, and music libraries, in one secure location.
- Real-Time Sharing: Provides access for up to eight separate accounts and allows each user the option to quickly sync and share mobile content in real time, or select specific content to share. Register up to six devices per account so you can access your personal library no matter where you are, no matter what device you’re using.
- Access Anywhere: HomeSync provides secure access to your files, photos, music and home videos no matter where you are.
- Intuitive Control: Seamlessly control your content on TV with your mobile device – control what’s on screen using your Galaxy smartphone as a remote mouse and use your phone’s keyboard for easy searching, or mirror the HomeSync screen directly on your Galaxy device.
- Real Time Streaming: Stream content from a Galaxy device wirelessly to a TV – experience your created content, such as photos and videos, on the big screen then explore your favorite apps and play mobile games in a whole new way on your TV.
Developers and Content
There is support for wired or wireless keyboards and mice, and there will be a collection of apps (including YouTube) and games you can download and essentially turn any dumb TV into a smart one. Samsung’s press release mentioned developers can make their apps compatible with HomeSync in the Google Play Store with as little as one line of code. More details can be had here if you want to make sure your application can be downloaded on HomeSync.
To top all of that off, Samsung is also ponying up $50 in Samsung Media Hub credits to anyone who buys one, giving you a bit of spending money to buy music, TV shows, movies and more through Samsung’s own digital storefront. Not bad at all. We’re not sure which retail outlets to expect this to show up at, but we’ll definitely be keeping an eye out and will bring that info to you as soon as we get it.
A major blow to Google TV?
That Samsung has decided to create its own set-top box experience built on top of Android is a bit troubling for the future of Google TV. It’s already stagnant in terms of available devices, developer support and — increasingly — new software features. Our friends over at GTVSource.com would tell you that much.
A major player like Samsung could have helped things along tremendously, but the South Korean company continues to show that they want to create their own ecosystem. They are willing to piggyback the core of Android to create said ecosystem instead of adopting an entire platform based on the same foundation.
Such an act could have undoubedly helped move the Google TV ecosystem along, but alas we’ll have to wait for another knight in shining armor to save a platform that just isn’t getting nearly as much love as it deserves.