Samsung's New 'HomeSync' To Compete With Apple TV - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 02-26-2013, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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This new standalone SmartTV device from Samsung will run on one of Google Android's latest operating systems; JellyBean. There are many similarities to the Apple TV. If you have a Samsung Galaxy phone or Tablet, you'll have the ability to send media from your Phone or Tablet to the HomeSync device. From there, HomeSync will display that media on your HDTV or projector. All of this will happen wirelessly via WiFi or Bluetooth. This is similar to Apple's Airplay system. Samsung see's this new media hub and handset synergy a direct competitor to Apple's Airplay technology. On top of this handset-to-set top box media transfer the device acts as a standalone media player giving you access to media stored locally or through apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, HBO Go, and a Samsung stock media player.

The HomeSync device itself is relatively small, about the size of three DVD cases stacked on top of each other, and will come loaded with a 1TB hard drive for storage. It will also come with a 1.7GHz dual core processor to handle all the grunt work. Since this runs off an Android OS you'll have access to Google's Play store on top of Samsung exclusive apps, their media and media hubs. Through the HomeSync app installed on your smartphone or tablet, you'll be able to use it as a controller for the HomeSync device. One control option is use the touch screen to control the device. This method acts like a mouse pad. You can also use your phone or tablet's gyroscope to control the HomeSync device like a Nintendo Wii remote by making swiping actions in the air, though those more inclined to accidentally drop their phones or tablets may want to stick to the former method. biggrin.gif

There isn't any word on cost yet, but if they really want to compete with Apple we should expect a price point very close to the current generation Apple TV. Samsung is slated to start rolling these out to retail locations by April this year. Considering many of the 'cooler' features necessitate you to own a Samsung smartphone and/or tablet I don't know if this media player will take away a lot of sales from the Apple TV. While you can purchase this media player and still use it without a Samsung smartphone or Tablet it seems Samsung really wants the Samsung faithful to purchase this device. If they allowed the entire Android OS market with the countless amount of Android based devices out there access to the cool "Airplay" features they could probably take away a lot more market share from Apple. We'll see what happens, but as it stands, if you don't have a Samsung device to take advantage of the cool features, there are tons of standalone media players out there (like the Roku) that offer a similar experience for a cheaper price and this gives me no incentive to even look at this media player.

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post #2 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 08:13 AM
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Stream to your tv from your Android device....sign me up.
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post #3 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 08:23 AM
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if the price is right, this might make a nice little XBMC box. I can already 'Play to' XBMC on my htpc from my android phone.


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post #4 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 08:31 AM
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"We'll see what happens, but as it stands, if you don't have a Samsung device to take advantage of the cool features, there are tons of standalone media players out there (like the Roku) that offer a similar experience for a cheaper price and this gives me no incentive to even look at this media player."

Exactly.

This is Samsung being foolish, and kinda jerks.

Samsung gets their smartphone/tablet OS from Google, puts a clunky skin on it, and then tries to pass it off as their own ecosystem? Just lost my purchase.

The rest sounds great. But I'll be dammmed if I'm going to have to commit my future phone purchases due to my AV requirements. And I use an Android phone now, even use the Sony Media app to control/search on my BDP-S580 player.

Google needs to step in and have a little word with Sammy.
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post #5 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 08:33 AM
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We're soon to be awash in Android boxes like this one I think. The advantage of this is of course the ability to install any app to take care of evolving streaming needs. For example, my trusty WDTV Live can play about any format but is severely limited in terms of connectivity to various services. With an Android box, you just install the appropriate app. Control is also largely solved via the smartphone or tablet. If XBMC runs natively on that box, then I'd be in heaven.

Why isn't this out yet? biggrin.gif

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post #6 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GratefulBBQ View Post

"We'll see what happens, but as it stands, if you don't have a Samsung device to take advantage of the cool features, there are tons of standalone media players out there (like the Roku) that offer a similar experience for a cheaper price and this gives me no incentive to even look at this media player."

Exactly.

This is Samsung being foolish, and kinda jerks.

Samsung gets their smartphone/tablet OS from Google, puts a clunky skin on it, and then tries to pass it off as their own ecosystem? Just lost my purchase.

The rest sounds great. But I'll be dammmed if I'm going to have to commit my future phone purchases due to my AV requirements. And I use an Android phone now, even use the Sony Media app to control/search on my BDP-S580 player.

Google needs to step in and have a little word with Sammy.

Samsung has different plans. They are bringing the fight to Silicon Valley. http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/27/4034988/samsung-silicon-valley-campus-pictures

I agree it is terrible that they are trying to wall-in their ecosystem even though it is Android-based, however it was pointed out to me that these days people are buying a Samsung phone, not an Android phone. Respect it or not, the strategy worked and Samsung is succeeding. Anything Samsung does now is a threat to Apple. As for Roku, their boxes really need a hard drive. The 1TB hard drive actually differentiates this box quite a bit from Apple TV and the Roku boxes.

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post #7 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GratefulBBQ View Post

Google needs to step in and have a little word with Sammy.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323699704578324220017879796.html

Samsung is also developing their own mobile OS (Tizen). They want to be another Apple with their own ecosystem. Not much Google can do really.

http://www.businessinsider.com/samsung-exec-i-use-apple-products-at-home-2012-12
Quote:
OK, so think about Apple compared to Samsung. I use a Mac, actually, at home. I’ve always used Mac, an iPhone, and an iPad. I also have the Galaxy. So I’m a great example.
If you look at the strengths of Apple, in a way it’s not the product per se. It’s that consumers like their ecosystem such as iCloud. I like that my family 6,000 miles away in Korea is able to see my schedule and see all of my contacts and photos. It is sticky, but it is a proprietary architecture. Look at your phone [pointing to my Samsung Galaxy Nexus]. It’s a better phone, in my view. It’s a better display. It’s faster. But eventually the connected ecosystem is really critical.

Don't you think it is very telling that he did not say a word about Android?
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post #8 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 09:08 AM
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however it was pointed out to me that these days people are buying a Samsung phone, not an Android phone.

I'll bet they hope to switch Samsung phone buyers to Tizen OS eventually.

About the box itself - IMHO meh, the CPU should be much better.
We will be knee deep in Android boxes in a year or so. I would rather buy Ouya.
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post #9 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 09:56 AM
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hmmmm..... got the wifey a Sam Tab 2 for Christmas. May have to look into this.

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post #10 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 10:45 AM
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Does Apple TV have a hard drive?

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post #11 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 11:01 AM
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Does Apple TV have a hard drive?

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=does+apple+tv+have+a+hard+drive

The first generation Apple TV had a hard drive. Subsequent models replaced the HD with 8GB of flash memeory, enough to hold at least one movie and therefor enough to allow the Apple TV to buffer streaming content even on slow connections.

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post #12 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 11:21 AM
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This box is going to be much closer to two hundred dollars than one hundred dollars, if this is indicative of the coming Android box war Apple and Roku need not be worried yet.

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post #13 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 12:01 PM
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This box is going to be much closer to two hundred dollars than one hundred dollars, if this is indicative of the coming Android box war Apple and Roku need not be worried yet.

I agree, but not because of cost. Samsung really sucks at the user experience element that is so key to these platforms - just look at the extra crap they add to their phones or try out their TV GUIs (I have two of their LEDs and love 'em).

Apple, and to a large extent Roku, made their bones by making these devices accessible (easy to use, cuddle-tech) and keeping the cost down. Samsung doesn't have a user experience design bone in their collective body and while the Android nerds will all want one, the public at large will see this as a nerd-gadget. And as we all know, in most households, wife acceptance factor will prevail.

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This box is going to be much closer to two hundred dollars than one hundred dollars, if this is indicative of the coming Android box war Apple and Roku need not be worried yet.

Will the 1TB hard drive be attractive to some?

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post #15 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 12:11 PM
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I agree, but not because of cost. Samsung really sucks at the user experience element that is so key to these platforms - just look at the extra crap they add to their phones or try out their TV GUIs (I have two of their LEDs and love 'em).

Apple, and to a large extent Roku, made their bones by making these devices accessible (easy to use, cuddle-tech) and keeping the cost down. Samsung doesn't have a user experience design bone in their collective body and while the Android nerds will all want one, the public at large will see this as a nerd-gadget. And as we all know, in most households, wife acceptance factor will prevail.

None of what you said about Samsung's phones has made any difference in terms of sales, they are viewed as the brand to beat now.

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post #16 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krutsch View Post

I agree, but not because of cost. Samsung really sucks at the user experience element that is so key to these platforms - just look at the extra crap they add to their phones or try out their TV GUIs (I have two of their LEDs and love 'em).

Apple, and to a large extent Roku, made their bones by making these devices accessible (easy to use, cuddle-tech) and keeping the cost down. Samsung doesn't have a user experience design bone in their collective body and while the Android nerds will all want one, the public at large will see this as a nerd-gadget. And as we all know, in most households, wife acceptance factor will prevail.

I agree. I also love my Samsung LED TV's but the UI sucks. Trying to stream movies with their server to my TV was ridiculous. I finally got a WDTV box (also a terabyte) and streaming is wonderful, even 8 gig MKVs. I don't think Apple has to worry yet.

I also wonder about Samsung and Cinavia implementation as their BD players have it. That would severely limit it's usefulness.

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post #17 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 05:05 PM
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They should just license Apple technology instead of trying to reinvent the wheel ...

I like shiny stuff.
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post #18 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 05:29 PM
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They should just license Apple technology instead of trying to reinvent the wheel ...

Not going to happen. http://ipod.about.com/od/understandingipodmodels/f/hp_ipod.htm

That was then. Now there's no way Apple is licensing anything to anybody, least of all Samsung.

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post #19 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

None of what you said about Samsung's phones has made any difference in terms of sales, they are viewed as the brand to beat now.

Maybe:http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57564453-94/in-iphone-vs-galaxy-battle-apple-still-way-on-top/

McCourt noted that Apple actually extended the iPhone lead over the Galaxy lineup over the course of last year.

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post #20 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 07:25 PM
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Long winded rant deleted.

This looks like a very cool device with a lot of future potential. It's the start of cool things coming. I'll be buying one... for my vehicle.

To the Samsung haters... /boggle.
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post #21 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 08:33 PM
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Looks good to me.

One question-

I have over 100 blu-rays, would there be any way to rip those blu rays on my PC and save those files to this hard drive? If so, how would the quality be?

If that's possible, this thing would be pretty slick- if not, I've already got the netflix on 2 other devices, no desire for android on my TV. Still a great little device that can really connect any tv to all sorts of media.

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post #22 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 08:38 PM
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The cool thing about this has nothing to do with Samsung. It's the Android parts. Anyone reading this article right now is wondering if it will be easy to install Cyanogenmod (or whatever flavour of Android you like) and XBMC.
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post #23 of 34 Old 02-28-2013, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
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The cool thing about this has nothing to do with Samsung. It's the Android parts. Anyone reading this article right now is wondering if it will be easy to install Cyanogenmod (or whatever flavour of Android you like) and XBMC.

Most likely the answer is yes, and good point. Even without rooting I can see dropping XBMC for Android on here and running the XBMC remote on a handheld. Pretty cool smile.gif
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post #24 of 34 Old 02-28-2013, 10:11 AM
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Apple TV is $99.
IMO the 1TB HDD makes this at least $199,
unless they sell it at a loss.
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post #25 of 34 Old 02-28-2013, 11:57 AM
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Samsung, Apple, Sony, etc. all rolling out devices with services that will not work in Canada. The public at large does not know about VPNs so these devices will be a hard sell up here. Only us tech nerds will buy them. Sadly, that is the lay of the land for Canada...
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post #26 of 34 Old 03-03-2013, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMonMan View Post

Looks good to me.

One question-

I have over 100 blu-rays, would there be any way to rip those blu rays on my PC and save those files to this hard drive? If so, how would the quality be?

If that's possible, this thing would be pretty slick- if not, I've already got the netflix on 2 other devices, no desire for android on my TV. Still a great little device that can really connect any tv to all sorts of media.

It looks like it. But you can already do this with the WDTV Live Hub.

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post #27 of 34 Old 03-07-2013, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMonMan View Post

Looks good to me.

One question-

I have over 100 blu-rays, would there be any way to rip those blu rays on my PC and save those files to this hard drive? If so, how would the quality be?

If that's possible, this thing would be pretty slick- if not, I've already got the netflix on 2 other devices, no desire for android on my TV. Still a great little device that can really connect any tv to all sorts of media.

But android gives you access to a huge app market, why wouldn't you want it? It basically almost turns a set top box into a full blown computer.
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post #28 of 34 Old 03-07-2013, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathanc View Post

The cool thing about this has nothing to do with Samsung. It's the Android parts. Anyone reading this article right now is wondering if it will be easy to install Cyanogenmod (or whatever flavour of Android you like) and XBMC.

Yup, these devices are almost always better when hacked.
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post #29 of 34 Old 03-07-2013, 11:43 AM
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I for one will likely buy the first Android box on which XBMC can natively decode, whether it's Samsung or not. The goal for me would be to be able to play anything on my server (hence XBMC) *and* play using any streaming service (hence Android apps).

What would seriously rock as an interface instead of using silly pointers is simply have the content on the TV mirrored on your own Android device, and use the "local" version as a normal touch interface. Problem solved.

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post #30 of 34 Old 03-07-2013, 12:22 PM
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I have nothing against it, but I don't personally see myself wanting to use any apps on my TV. My TV is to watch tv and videos. I have three computers that I made sure had HDMI outputs when buying, and I also have a cord for my smartphone to plug into my tv-- but have yet to have any desire to hook any of them to my tv. I'm not against it, but I just don't see myself using an android interface on my tv. On one tv, I've also got a Samsung HTIB that is a "smart" device and is able to use quite a few "Samsung" apps.. everything from weather apps to netflix to games etc.. just not for me. I can see myself using the netflix but nothing else really. If this new device allows me to store blu-ray quality media on it, then I'd be excited- otherwise not so much. I'm still certainly interested in it, just needs to have a couple things for me to justify buying it.

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