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Samsung Intros Wi-Fi Optical Drive for Streaming, Writing

TV networks, movie studios and record companies are making it hard for consumers to purchase digital media, seemingly telling paying customers how and where they can stick their purchased content. Movies are the worst of the bunch, as Hollywood insists that video files can only be downloaded to one or two devices. Ripping straight from a purchased DVD is considered piracy.

Samsung looks to change all that with the launch of its Optical SMART Hub (SE-208BW). It's an optical drive with built-in Wi-Fi, Ethernet and USB components to provide a disc-based cloud solution. Sure, there are solutions already on the market that are flash- and HDD-based, but ultimately this method means you can toss in your favorite DVD and stream the movie directly to a Smart TV, tablet or smartphone without having to crank up a desktop or laptop, or go through the annoying rip-and-convert procedure. Eat that, Hollywood.

"For TV’s with data-sharing standard DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) compatibility, the SE-208BW features DLNA Apps, such as Allshare, which enables users to view drive content through the TV menu to play multimedia files on CDs and DVDs," the company said on Monday. "Performing as a Digital Media Server, the SE-208BW will be a keystone of home entertainment, providing a connection between mobile devices and TV or PC, and also a triangular connection among TVs, PCs and mobile devices."

But Samsung's gadget isn't just for playback: it's a fully-functional CD and DVD writer that allows users to back-up their files wirelessly whether it's from a smartphone, tablet or PC. It also provides a variety of speeds across different data media types including 24X CD-ROM, 24X CD-RW, 8X DVD reading and 8X DVD±R, 5X DVD-RAM, 6X DVD+R Dual Layer, 6X DVD-R Dual Layer, 8X DVD+RW, 6X DVD-RW recording.

On the cloud storage front, the Wi-Fi ODD provides a USB port for adding additional flash-based cloud storage, and even serves as an access point so users can extend their network even further across the house or small office. The SE-208BW even supports Dynamic DNS which enables the drive to work as a private server.

An Android app for the Optical SMART Media Hub is already available, with an app for iPhone set to launch soon. Samsung also has plans for a Kindle app and Smart TV app although no specific dates have been given. The drive itself will be available sometime this quarter, and will retail for a not-too-shabby $129.99 USD when it eventually arrives.

  • 11796pcs
    $130? It's a nice idea, but that amount of cash could provide the framework for a HTPC (especially if you decide to use Linux instead of Windows to view your movies). Plus, with a price like that it really feels like it should include Blu-ray. Awesome product idea, but it's basically a router smashed together with an optical drive. And considering you can pick up both of those components for $50 it would be a no-go for many including myself.
    Reply
  • freggo
    Seriously, all that development money and we get a remove DVD Player / Burner ?
    Hard drives are at a TB size and they try to sell 4;7GB... prob. with USB 2.0
    No thanks even at half the price.
    Reply
  • _Cubase_
    11796pcs$130? It's a nice idea, but that amount of cash could provide the framework for a HTPC (especially if you decide to use Linux instead of Windows to view your movies). Plus, with a price like that it really feels like it should include Blu-ray. Awesome product idea, but it's basically a router smashed together with an optical drive. And considering you can pick up both of those components for $50 it would be a no-go for many including myself.
    You have some flawed logic there...

    1. $130 for "the framework for an HTPC"? More like: it will buy you the chassis, haha. That's just like saying "own your own gaming PC for only $100 (processor, graphics card, storage and memory sold separately)".
    2. You are more than welcome to try and "smash" together a router and an optical drive (only) for $50 and make it work the same as this. In the meantime, I will be wizzing by on my flying pig. Let me know if you want a lift...
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    I have a hard time believing that there's a market for this, but Samsung seems intent on covering every niche market, so I guess why not.
    Reply
  • g-thor
    DVD? Really? Why not Blu-ray?

    a USB port for adding additional flash-based cloud storage

    Is this USB port actually limited to flash-based devices, or could you attach a USB HDD to it? That would seriously improve its function.
    Reply
  • jgutz2006
    Interesting idea, but with only 1 disc at a time, you have to get up and put the next disc in. what would be very interesting is if they had this device with HDD storage as well, and maybe automatically rip movies to the device, at least for caching purposes. How would this device stream the same video to 3 devices simultaneously?
    Reply
  • wiyosaya
    If this were blu-ray, I might consider it. DVD / CD burning is ancient technology. :lol:
    Reply
  • How else are you going to connect a cd/dvd drive to your Andriod tablet?
    Reply
  • Rusting In Peace
    They probably didn't make it blu ray because of the headaches of requiring to update firmware just to play back media. Additionally the software to play back blu ray is somewhat restricted. If I had the money I'd give VLC developers the cash for a Blu Ray licence and drives in a heartbeat.

    I agree with jgutz2006, if this device had the option to rip the content i.e. produce an AVI or MKV it would be very useful. However I know from experience trying to automate this and get effective rips is non trivial. This device is also useful for say netbooks that often don't have an optical drive.

    I guess it would need a memory buffer to serve multiple devices content. That's not without it's own problems however.

    Also can we stop this garbage about local network storage devices being Cloud?
    Reply
  • This Devices seems nice and all, but it lost me as soon as they mentioned DVD and CD
    Reply