If you’ve ever seen, owned or used a Philips TV with Ambilight, you’ll know how cool it is to expand the image off screen using colour-matched light.
There have been other solutions to create similar effects over the years, from complex home-build systems, to dumb LED light strips that attach to the back of your TV or monitor and give off a single colour for basic bias lighting, but now you can buy a proper solution to give that Ambilight experience to any TV or monitor, irrespective of who makes it.
The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is a £229.99 box that acts as go-between for set top boxes, game consoles and other HDMI enabled devices – with support up to 4K resolution with HDR.
With four inputs and one HDMI output that connects to your TV, you can then connect a variety of Philips Hue lights (up to ten) to attach behind or around your television to customise the lighting experience.
Once set up, your lights will sync with the image on your TV and create a surround lighting effect.
It’s far more effective than a single colour light, giving a more immersive experience and helping to give the illusion of a higher contrast ratio on older TVs that may not have the same quality as more expensive sets.
The sync box comes with a dedicated mobile app to configure your selected Philips Hue colour lights, available to purchase separately.
You can get an idea of how it works in the video below, taken at a recent Philips Hue event in London. In this video and the other photos here, you’ll note that the lights were not put behind the TV so you cannot fully appreciate the effect – but it gives an idea of how it works.
You can also see more in the official Philips video on YouTube.
The product is available to buy from November 26th 2019.
More info: Philips Hue