Over seven months ago, Samsung quietly debuted the HomeSync, an Android-powered set top box that combines Google TV features with a home media server. The device was scheduled for an April release, but this date came and went without further information, leaving us wondering if the device would ever become widely available in the US. Well, it's here. You can now purchase the HomeSync from Amazon, Best Buy, or Samsung directly for $299.99.
We've been keeping an eye on the Samsung registration page for a while now - it's got some nice perks for owners of select tablets. Yesterday a new device was added to the short list, the Samsung HomeSync. If you'll stretch memory a bit, you'll recall that the HomeSync is a combination home server and set-top box revealed back at MWC in February. You can register a new purchase on the page to get $50 of credit for the Media Hub, Samsung's alternative to the Play Store.
The Chromecast is a nice and easy way to send videos to a local TV, and you can't argue with the price. But right now it's limited to just a few apps streaming directly from existing video and music services. Bubblesoft, makers of the BubbleUPnP media server, are showing off features of an upcoming version that would make Chromecast a lot more useful: streaming nearly any file on your smartphone or cloud drive.
Can we be honest with ourselves? Plex kinda sucks. Hard to blame it, most third-party media centers on Android do at the moment. As a lengthy blog post by the developer points out, part of that has been due to Android's inflexibility and lack of a coherent UI in its history. That's changed over the last couple years and now Plex has been rebuilt from the ground up to be a lot more beautiful and a lot more functional.
If you've never heard of the Xbox Media Center (XBMC), you can turn in one of your geek cards right now. The open-source streaming media platform is legendary among tinkerers and DIY types, with its long list of features and insane customizations being its major draws. After nearly ten years of active development, the creators are preparing a full Android version complete with video/audio streaming and all the other goodies. Not to be confused with the current remote app (or any of the third-party alternatives) the upcoming XBMC for Android will have almost the full set of functions found in its desktop and stand-alone counterparts.