The Philips Hue Play is a smart light bar that compliments your home theater system. It adds to your visual senses what a sound bar adds to your audio senses. If you already own a Hue Hub, this is a great add-on to your home.
What the Philips Hue Play does is not new. There have been past products including those from Philips themselves that add ambient lighting to the wall behind your TV or display. The lighting is synchronized to what is displayed on the screen. When done correctly, the effect is quite breathtaking. Watching movie and playing games are more immersive because of this effect.
Most synchronized ambient lighting solutions make use of LED strip lights. However, the Philips Hue Play uses light bars. You have the option of mounting to the back of a display using the included screws or adhesive pads. The easier option is to just place the lights either in vertical or horizontal position using the included stands. Either way works fine but we find using stands allows the lighting to be more intensive as it is not obscured by the display.
Setting up the Phillips Hue Play on a computer display just requires you to download an app that helps with the setup. Basically you just have to tell the app how many lights are used (up to 3 are supported) and where the lights are placed.
On a TV, it is a little more complicated as the system need to know what is displayed on the screen. Philips has an add-on Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box that helps do this. Alternatively, if you are using screen mirroring device like Chromecast, the box won’t be necessary.
The Philips Hue Play lights also work just like any Philips Hue smart light bulb. Paired with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google Assistant, and you can control them using your voice or automate them using scenes.
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