Samsung's HomeSync box connects Galaxy devices to TVs

The $299 media center, which will be available Sunday, runs Android and works only with Samsung mobile devices.

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Samsung HomeSync media center, which lets people store, sync, and stream content from their mobile devices to their TVs while at home or on the go, will start selling in the US for $299 on Sunday.

The device runs Android and works only with Samsung mobile devices equipped with Samsung Link, the company's program for connecting and sharing content. That includes the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3,Galaxy S3,Galaxy Note 8, the 2014 edition of the Galaxy Note 10.1, and Galaxy Camera.

"HomeSync is a powerful platform that we envision to be the center of a household's connected life," Nanda Ramachandran, vice president of emerging business at Samsung Mobile, said in a press release. "We saw an opportunity to create a companion device at home, that seamlessly syncs all of your mobile content wherever you are."

Samsung unveiled HomeSync in February at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The device originally was slated to hit stores in April. It's unclear what caused the delay. As CNET noted in February, HomeSync is a sort of Apple TV for the Samsung faithful. It's glossy black box is about the size of three DVD cases stacked on top of one another.

Users can access content on the box while on the go, and each account can include up to six devices.

HomeSync connects to a TV with an HDMI connection, allowing almost any TV to be a smart TV, Samsung said. It features support for wired or wireless mouse and keyboard, as well as access to Web browsing, YouTube, apps, games, social networking. As part of its Galaxy Perks, Samsung said, users can register their HomeSync systems and get $50 to spend on movies and TV shows through Samsung Media Hub.

The Android user interface on HomeSync is similar to that on Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets. It allows customers to use their Galaxy devices as remote controls to browse content on their TV, and users can mirror the HomeSync screen directly on their Galaxy devices. They also can stream content from their Galaxy devices wirelessly to a TV.

HomeSync runs Android and allows users to access various content on their TVs. Samsung
HomeSync also provides 1TB of storage for up to eight separate accounts and gives each user the option to sync photo albums, video, and music and to upload and download mobile content. A photo or video taken by one family member can be seen by another family member either from their TV or through their connected mobile devices.

Samsung HomeSync will be available at Samsung shops located inside Best Buy, as well as at Best Buy Mobile stores, Newegg, Amazon.com, and Samsung.com.

The Korean electronics giant has been trying to build an ecosystem around its mobile devices, but doesn't yet have a strong hold on users like Apple and Google's Android operating system do. Making products that only work with other Samsung gadgets -- such as HomeSync and the Galaxy Gear smartwatch -- is one way for the company to spur interest in its offerings.

However, HomeSync faces steep competition in the media box and streaming content arena, including from Apple,Roku, and Google. The fact it only works with Samsung phones will limit its reach, and its high price is likely to put off some buyers. It's also unclear what apps work on the box and whether users can access services such as Netflix.

We've contacted Samsung and will update the report when we have more information.

Updated at 7:25 a.m. PT with additional information throughout.

 

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