While Apple is busy branching out its set-top box (Apple TV) across the globe, Samsung Electronics will not simply stand idle on the side. During the recently held Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2013, the company had just unveiled its very own set-top box which they refer to as the HomeSync.

As many know, Samsung is one of the top makers of smart TVs in the world. But, they had taken their smart television technology one step further to keep up with their rival when it comes to home entertainment by catering to Android users who are also HDTV enthusiasts in the form of HomeSync, which is an Android-powered media hub.

Sleek design

Combining portability and aesthetic, Samsung HomeSync comes in a light, minimalistic glossy black box, with the company’s name written at the left-hand corner of the box’s front face. It features several output connections at the back, including ports for digital audio, Ethernet, HDMI, two USB 3.0 ports, Micro-USB and port for power. The box’s power and setting buttons can be found on its right edge.


Syncing made easy

The new media streamer runs an Android Jelly Bean interface and is packed with a lot of excellent features. Its 1TB capacity is powerful enough to accommodate eight separate accounts, so anyone at home can enjoy their own space and upload and download media in the HomeSync from multiple devices. Stored files can be easily shared from one account to another, but for those who would like to keep their files concealed, they can do so by locking down data using file encryption and user-specific ID and password. The set-top box is also powered by 1.7GHz dual-core processor together with 1GB of RAM, ensuring uninterrupted performance.

Considering the Android interface that this media hub is running with, Samsung noted that users can access all Android apps on the set-top box’s 1080p HD big screen, including popular games, photo gallery, music and even the web browser. It is also possible to power up the media hub using Samsung handset as a remote control. The touch-enabled screen of the device can also work as a touch pad, with a mouse cursor indicating user movements.

The outlook

There is no word yet from Samsung regarding the cost of their media hub, but they did note that it will be available in the market by April this year. Although Apple TV is ahead in the race, there is no denying that Samsung HomeSync could become its toughest rival yet based, of course, on the aforesaid features and capabilities.

However, if Samsung really would like to take the market’s share in home entertainment through the HomeSync, the company should work around the limitations of Apple TV and incorporate them on their set-top box–perhaps a more comprehensive selection of movies and television shows, better onboard application availability or a more competitive price which might be impossible given the features of the media hub. Whatever it may be, onlookers and excited Android fans still have to wait until April to fully assess the HomeSync’s potentials.

What do you think of Samsung HomeSync? Will it give Apple TV a run for its money?

This article was penned by Ericka for www.movingpictures.tv. Ericka is an avid writer who has written a number of posts about a wide variety of topics. However, she is particularly interested in contributing articles related to technology.