The HDMI box lets viewers create a type of Ambilight mood lighting effect with Philips Hue. However, the solution does not support HDR video.
Philips Hue + TV
The Philips TV brand is probably best known for its Ambilight system, which is exclusive to Philips TVs. With the new 'Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box' you can mimic the effect with Philips Hue bulbs and lamps.
The box has four HDMI inputs for connecting game consoles, Blu-ray players, set-top-boxes, and PCs. It then analyzes the color composition of the video stream and adjusts your Philips Hue lights - color and brightness - in real-time. The system supports up to 10 Philips Hue devices. Signify, the company that now owns Philips Hue, refers to it as "surround lighting".
However, the box has a major limitation that will make it basically useless with any HDR-compatible TV as it will not be able to produce any light effects with HDR or Dolby Vision sources. This will affect all source devices, including Apple TV 4K, UHD Blu-ray players, and game consoles.
- "The device will pass Dolby Vision/HDR content so you can still watch it, we are just unable to product any light effects from it (today)," Signify confirmed to Flatpanels.
It is perhaps worth pointing out that recent Philips TVs with built-in Ambilight also support Philips Hue, letting users expand the light show to Hue devices in the living room.
A smartphone app can be used to adjust the system to one's liking.
The Philips Hue HDMI Sync box will be available on October 15 for 230 dollars in the US and 250 Euro in Europe. It can be pre-ordered from meethue.com.