Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box: Ambilight over hue lamps for the entire living room

Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box: Ambilight über Hue-Lampen für das gesamte Wohnzimmer

Ambilight on the TV has been around for years, but with the “Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box” all the Philips Hue lighting in the room or even the home is addressed and synchronized with the television image for lighting effects.

The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is interposed via HDMI and evaluates the image to adjust the colors and effects of the lamps to the image content. It is thus possible to use lighting effects for the image signal of a game console, a satellite receiver, a Blu-ray player, a PC or laptop or a streaming device such as Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV. Up to four players can simultaneously be connected to the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, which automatically switches the input to this image source when you turn on a device. The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box can be trained and operated on standard infrared remote controls.

Up to 10 lights dive the living room in color

In order to synchronize the Philips Hue lamps and lights with the Play HDMI Sync Box and thus the screen content and the music, it is necessary to arrange the lamps in relation to the screen in the room in the Philips Hue Sync Mobile App to configure. Not only the 2D position is crucial, but also the height of the lights in the room. Up to 10 lights can be combined in this way to an entertainment area, where no special lamps are needed – all color Philips Hue lamps and lights work with the new Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box.

Self-experiment: Not only the edge of the screen is evaluated

The brightness, intensity and the speed of the light change can be adjusted in the app. However, depending on the content being played back, the living room can quickly turn into a disco at the highest reaction speed, as ComputerBase was able to experience during a presentation of the new box. It is noteworthy, however, that despite the wireless communication and the evaluation of the image signal, the luminaires react without noticeable delay.

It is also striking that the lighting effects differ significantly from Ambilight. While Ambilight's approach to lighting the wall behind the TV is to zoom in on the image by projecting the color of the image border onto the wall, Philips Hue analyzes the entire image. Red hair from the protagonist in Aquaman, for example, provides a red light at the top of the TV, even if it is in the middle of the picture.

HDCP is decrypted and re-encrypted

Incidentally, HDCP protected content is not a problem for the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box. It breaks this encryption, parses the image and re-encrypts it for output to the TV. One way the signal unencrypted tap, there is thus not.

The LED strip can not be split

The Philips Hue Light Strip, which many have placed on the back of the TV, can not be split in the app, for example, to cover the two sides and the top with only one LED strip. For this purpose, the use of three individual LED strips is currently necessary.

Price and availability

The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box will be available in Germany, Austria and Switzerland from October 15, 2019 for € 249.99 (RRP) exclusively at MediaMarkt and Saturn and via It will not be available to other dealers until next year.

ComputerBase has received information about this article from Signify under NDA. The only requirement was the earliest possible publication date.


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