Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box

Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box

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I would not buy one of these at the moment, considering that Philips just announced the 8K (HDMI 2.1) version of this.

This thing has lots of trouble with 4K content, won’t work with the built-in apps on many smart TVs, and overall is kind of buggy and barely worth the investment. Hold out for the newer version.


ummm… Am I wrong? This $170 box does nothing but sync “smart lights” to the TV content?! :open_mouth:

No idea, but did you really want to have to get up, walk across the room, and flip the switch?

You mean there is a way that I DON’T have to get up, walk across the room and flip a switch!? I mean… it’s like I’ve been living in a cave my whole life! :cowboy_hat_face:

But it’s a cozy little cave :cowboy_hat_face:

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I suppose you could have had children and then trained them to do it… but this seems more cost effective. Whatever it does.

So if I don’t have any plans to go 8k and don’t use smart tv apps…?


Not wrong. If you dipping your toe into the Phillips Hue ecosystem, this would be the best and most immediate worthy investment to start into. Keep in mind, you would have to get the Phillips light strips or the light bars (along with the Hue Bridge) which are not included in this deal to get the set up and running. I don’t believe other brands are compatible with the sync box. (Costco has a deal going on for a 3 light bars for $130 till beginning of April - best deal for Phillips bar lights online at the moment) With the Woot and Costco deals, and the required Hue bridge, Your looking at investing about $340 before taxes. That’s a seems like a lot, but regular price for the package is about $470. If you been sitting on this, waiting for a good deal, now is the time to pull the trigger.

Keep in mind, your observation is not wrong, albeit a little simplistic. It enhances your viewing experience in the same way a surround sound system would. I’ve had it over a year. and gotten many compliments about it, after the oohs and ahhs. When I’m not watching tv, I use the lights (coordinated from the Phillips app on my phone) set scenery or mood lighting for my living room. I can even use my Spotify app on my TV to have the sync box coordinate the lights to shine along with the beat!

Due to licensing issues, Phillips can’t sell their Ambilight TVs here in the US, but this is the next best thing! Phillips has been developing this technology since 2002. There have been other competitors bringing in similar technology to achieve the same effect (thing Govee) that use an external camera you attach to the TV, that analyzes the images on your TV, and then coordinate the lights to match the captured images. The problem with that, is there was a noticeable lag in initial generation models of the Govee backlight bars. Hopefully they have fixed the issues.

If you still have doubts on how much the sync box enhances your viewing experience…take a look at this youtube video demo.


Oh, I’ve seen the system before, although it was in an electronics hobbyist magazine from ten years ago or more where you build it yourself. I guess I can see how it might enhance the experience for some, but even at that… $300-500 dollars!? But then again, I;m the guy who is happy with LaserDisc quality :cowboy_hat_face:

You are not wrong.

There are other brands that make similar items using a camera to look at the colors on your screen and then adjust background RGB back lighting to match for a more immersive effect. Govee has multiple options available for tv and monitor. Starting at saying $70. I paid $50 for my T1 version on sale @ Amazon. They now offer a better T2 version as well

It’s just not a great product. If you’re on Reddit, search for it and all the wonky workarounds people have had to do to get this thing working. If it works, it’s great. If it doesn’t, it’s going to cost you more money to figure out a workaround. The new Sync box will hopefully take care of all these issues.