25
Feb
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So, Google TV isn't exactly great. And Windows media boxes aren't exactly "average consumer" friendly. With that in mind, it would seem, Samsung has unveiled the Home Sync box. It's a 1TB media server / smart TV box all-in-one, and it's actually pretty cool. To clarify, the Home Center does not run Google TV. The idea here is that Home Sync is the center of your Galaxy-device life - which is to say, I doubt you'd want one if you aren't already carrying around a fair bit of Galaxy hardware.

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The Home Sync can be controlled in a variety of ways - USB or Bluetooth mouse / keyboard, or via your Galaxy smartphone. The smartphone method is pretty neat in and of itself - you get a virtual touchpad (your phone's display), and navigate around using touch and gestures. It's remarkably intuitive once you get the basic hold-to-drag / pinch to zoom mechanics figured out.

So what exactly does Home Sync... do? Well, for one, you can AllShare Cast (display / audio mirroring) content from your phone (or just the phone's screen) to your TV via the box. That's kind of a 'duh' feature, but considering how sketchy the reliability of many of these AirPlay-esque features has generally been, Samsung's implementation here seems solid and reliable. Even in a sea of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth interference, the Home Sync kept its connection remarkably well.

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The Home Sync box also has access to the Play Store (it runs Android 4.2 - hit up the announcement post for more specs), so you can download video and other apps to your heart's content. The 1TB storage capacity also means you can keep quite a bit of local content on there - a major advantage over something like a Google TV box. The Home Sync itself runs incredibly smoothly - browsing, general UI navigation, and video playback were all buttery smooth - I'm impressed.

We don't know how much the Home Sync will cost, but it's coming out in April in select markets. I kind of want one. Check out our hands-on below.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.vainshtein Alex Vainshtein

    No Miracast?

    • Thomas’

      AllShare Cast is based on Miracast (and somewhat complying to the standard?), so it *might* work.

      • dman

        It is Miracast - period.

        • Thomas’

          Even though it does not mean that Samsung is not using any kind of artifical barrier.

  • http://www.aymansanliturk.com/ Ayman Sanliturk

    So it is basically a WD Live TV running on Android? I need to know cause I was planning to buy one WD Live TV or AppleTV for my TV.

    • innocuo

      I just cancelled an order for a wd live tv, as I just found out about this one. I love the idea of having android on my tv. After some research, it looks like there's a ton of cheap chinese android mini pcs you can connect to your tv, but I suspect they all are pretty slow.

      My new options are this samsung homesync and the ouya, so I'll wait.

  • Jack

    So can you run a browser in this on your TV? And sideload apps such as Flash? Is full android? Browser + Flash on TV controlled by phone? Hope so as that I would buy in a second.

    • Ben Povall

      Would be interesting to know if the browser shows up to websites as Android or TV - the real killer for Google TV is the blocking of video by network websites. If this just shows up as a generic Android device then they will have to either annoy a whole load of people or finally accept that there is no reason to block

  • http://www.facebook.com/nabillist Nabil Shaikh

    So whats the difference between this and the Allsharecast Dongle?

    • Sootie

      1TB

  • KingRando

    Can you add a TV Tuner to it?

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_BG Dave Bg

    Looks promising. Full android computer designed for TV would be nice. If i can connect it to my home network and has good remote too i might not need smart TV and hook it up to just a large display.

  • gspida

    I want it. I have quite a few different boxes roku, boxee, sony internet tv, and the one I'm in love with right now Mini iMito MX1 Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Google TV Box HD IPTV Player PC Rockchip RK3066 1G DDR3 1.6Ghz Cortex A9. It's awesome. This looks similiar and would be the best box you can get period. Sold

    • PINJ

      "Mini iMito MX1 Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Google TV Box HD IPTV Player PC ":O :O :O :O

      • gspida

        You should check it out :-) I'm using it right now with my swift key flow key board to type this. It's kind of like your TV is a huge tablet. I like using the apps like Netflix and YouTube instead of going to the websites.

  • James Selene

    For starters, I've never liked keeping my media stored on a device like this. I'd much rather it simply accessed media over the network. If the media is there, it needs a more open sharing system than their HomeSync. No DLNA or SMB network sharing? Does it do media matching and artwork assignment like Plex? Or is it going to be like many Android apps that just give you a nonsensical laundry list of media with a generic thumbnail?

    With a 1TB HDD, I'm guessing it will be over $100. I suppose if you need local storage on your media player, it may be worth looking into, but I'd be concerned with what you can share your media with. For most people, I think the streaming vs. the local storage model and a sub $100 price point is still the most attractive solution.

    • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

      If it runs Android, of course there is DLNA and SMB - what were you thinking? oO

      I, for one, would install SSHDroid first thing :)

  • Matthew Fry

    So... it's like... a full Android experience on your TV and snappy to boot? I'll take one!

  • http://twitter.com/sam1am John Samuel αΩ
  • Dan

    "I Don't Quite Know What It's For, But I Kind Of Really Want One"

    That was exactly my reaction. If you figure out how to justify yet another computer-on-the-TV-thing to the wife, let me know.

    • IvanP

      +1

  • http://www.facebook.com/rfoley Ryan Foley

    compatible with galaxy nexus??

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