Philips has steadily expanded its Hue line of good lighting merchandise to cowl the whole residence, in and out. However whereas the flexibility to remotely management your lighting, together with adjusting shade, depth and brightness is nice, one among its more moderen merchandise focuses extra on tips on how to flip all these related lights right into a dynamic, at-home interactive leisure expertise. The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is a comparatively easy system that sits between your video sources, together with issues like recreation consoles and the Apple TV, and your tv, enabling synced gentle reveals that may make the most of a variety of Hue merchandise.
The Hue Play HDMI Sync Field is at its core an HDMI switcher, providing 4 HDMI inputs and a single HDMI output. Alerts out of your enter gadgets (e.g., Apple TV, Roku, Xbox, PS4, and many others.) go into the field and are handed via to the TV, with switching taking place routinely relying on which system was most not too long ago lively (you can too change them manually with the app and with voice controls).
The Sync Field helps a variety of recent high quality requirements for show and audio. It helps 4K 60Hz decision, HDR10+ and Dolby Imaginative and prescient requirements, in addition to Dolby Atmos encompass sound. It additionally helps HDMI 2.0b with HDCP 2.2 compliance for copyright safety.
You’ll need not solely Hue coloured lights, but additionally a Hue Bridge (the second-generation, rounded-square model) to make sure that the Hue Sync Field is greater than only a notably costly HDMI hub, nevertheless it does that job very properly, too. If you happen to do have Hue merchandise, just like the Hue Play gentle bars that may simply mount on high of your TV stand or to the again of your TV itself, or the Hue Signe multicolored ground or desk lamps, then you should use the Sync companion app to make sure your lights mirror what’s happening on display screen — for any video that performs via the field from any supply.
Design and efficiency
Why would you need this? Effectively, principally as a result of it seems to be actually, actually cool. Hue Sync has already been obtainable as a software program function so that you can use with video performed again on Macs and PCs when utilized in mixture with a monitoring device. However that has numerous limitations, together with not having the ability to work with official Netflix apps and Netflix within the browser. The Sync Field eliminates any potential roadblocks and in addition means you should use common streaming and gaming sources with out having to run a media heart PC.
The field itself is comparatively giant, however that looks like it’s principally to accommodate the a number of HDMI ports. It’s very brief, regardless of being about twice the floor space of an Apple TV, so it needs to be very simple to combine into your current residence theatre setup, no matter that entails.
Organising the Hue Play HDMI Sync Field could be very simple and requires solely putting in the app and urgent the sync button in your Hue Bridge when instructed to take action. As talked about, you’ll be able to plug in as much as 4 sources and the field will change between them routinely once you use an enter system or you can too manually change the enter (and rename them) utilizing the app. The app additionally lets you tweak the depth, brightness and responsiveness of the sunshine, making it extra refined or extra excessive, relying in your preferences and your exercise. A “Recreation” setting, for example, units it to most depth and responsiveness for a extra dynamic impact befitting fast-paced interactive content material.
I discovered that the lighting was extraordinarily good at mimicking the colours and brightness of a scene, particularly should you take the time to precisely arrange the place of your Hue lights for a devoted “leisure space” within the official essential Hue app. It’s an impact that, when utilized in its most refined settings, can principally fade away however nonetheless present real enhancement for the watching expertise, making it really feel extra immersive. At its maxed out settings, it’s far more noticeable, however nonetheless one thing that principally fades away into the background over an prolonged interval of use, in a great way.
Particularly because the firmware replace, the Hue Play Sync Field has confirmed a implausible addition to my residence theater setup, offering an additional little bit of aptitude to each TV watching expertise. It’s clearly simpler in darkish rooms, nevertheless it actually appears to particularly complement high-quality OLED screens that produce vibrant colours and true, deep blacks.
The Hue Play HDMI Sync Field is a little bit of an extravagance at $229.99, nevertheless it undoubtedly provides to the general residence TV-watching expertise, for films, streaming and for gaming. The 4 HDMI inputs imply you can too use it so as to add extra ports to your TV, if that’s one thing you want, and the latest updates imply you’re not going to sacrifice any video high quality whereas doing so.