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.
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.
Edited by Seegs108 - 2/27/13 at 1:47pm