Starting October 6, customers can pick up the Samsung HomeSync for $299, a box that turns older televisions into Smart TVs and helps store and share content from mobile devices. The HomeSync runs on Android Jelly Bean and includes 1 terabyte of storage with up to eight separate user accounts.
Photos and videos on smartphones and tablets can be shared through the HomeSync, provided those mobile devices are Samsung Galaxy products. Galaxy smartphones and tablets can also be used as a remote control for the HomeSync.
Samsung says that any content captured by Galaxy devices can be sent back to the HomeSync device over the web; this way, folks at home can view pictures you just took while away from home, for example. The connectivity works in the opposite direction as well: You can view content stored on the HomeSync on a Galaxy device over mobile broadband. The box also adds YouTube, a web browser and support for other applications to your television set.
The price sounded a bit steep to me until I saw the included storage; essentially, this box is a media server for home and away. It’s a bit more reasonable when looked upon in that light. And while I’m not a fan of new Android devices tied specifically to Samsung’s leading Galaxy brand — the company has done the same with its Galaxy Gear smartwatch — it’s really the only Android device maker that can even build such a walled garden and take Apple’s approach.