BARCELONA, Spain--Samsung's not content with just making smart TVs -- now it's taking another lunge into your living room with HomeSync, an Android-powered media hub.
The glossy black box, announced today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, has an HDMI connection, but also hooks up to other gadgets over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The HomeSync hub streams Android movies, TV shows, and games, but Samsung promises the system will also work with Galaxy smartphones, giving smartphone owners the power to beam their home movies or photos onto the big screen.
Samsung says the HomeSync will feature a "Jelly Bean media player," so while there's no detail yet on the HomeSync interface, it should be broadly familiar to anyone who's toyed around with Android before. Access to the Google Play store is also confirmed.
You get up to eight separate accounts on one device, so each family member or flat-mate can create his own space on the HomeSync's 1TB hard drive. You can share stored files with another account, or if you're concealing footage you'd rather keep private, there's the option to lock your data down with file encryption and user IDs.
Powering the system is a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, while other hardware niceties include USB 3.0, Micro-USB, and an optical audio connection.
HomeSync goes head-to-head with Apple TV, which is currently a popular choice if you're looking for a box to sit next to your television to stream movies and TV shows. HomeSync's appeal will depend greatly on how many movie options there are available, and it'll need a comprehensive selection of flicks if it wants to compete with Apple's own device.
There's no word on pricing yet, but Samsung's touting an April release date. Stay tuned, and let me know if you'd buy this box by dropping a note in the comments.
reading•Samsung HomeSync is a Jelly Bean-powered Apple TV rival
Feb 20•Former phone stars of Mobile World Congress (pictures)
Feb 12•A guide to all the Nokia Lumia Windows phones (pictures)
Mar 1•Powermat's iPhone 5 wireless charging case (pictures)
Mar 1•Coming to an e-book or car near you: The Web