The main appeal of the Philips Hue smart lights is ambient lighting. Every advertisement shows the lights throwing a splash of color on the walls to create dramatic effects. But what many people don’t know is that the Philips Hue lights can sync with your computer to create effects based on the video you’re watching, the music you’re listening to, or the video game you’re playing. Unfortunately, this feature has been limited solely to computer use unless you jumped through some serious, Michael Jordan-worthy hoops. Until now.
The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box provides an easy way to create these same effects from any display (well, as long as it uses HDMI) in any room in the house. Just put the Sync Box between a device and your TV, and you can create surround lighting effects that ups the immersion. Up to 10 color-compatible Philips Hue lights can sync with the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, and you can connect up to four HDMI devices. The Sync Box will swap between the connected devices automatically — all you have to do is turn them on.
The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box has its own dedicated app that works independently from the main Philips Hue app. The Philips Hue Sync Mobile app will be somewhat familiar to anyone that has toyed around with the Hue Sync app on PC or Mac. It allows you to adjust the brightness, speed, and intensity of the different lighting effects. You can further tweak the settings to create your own defaults, such as a soft, slow shift between colors for everyday viewing.
The device streamlines some of the more advanced features of the Hue ecosystem. Where users once had to mirror gameplay to a PC and activate Hue Sync from there to create ambient lighting for video games, the HDMI Sync Box makes it as easy as connecting an HDMI pass-through.
You can pre-order the Philips Hue HDMI Sync Box now at MeetHue.com and BestBuy.com. It retails for $230, and pre-orders will be shipped on October 15. If you don’t want to wait for it to arrive, you can stop into a Best Buy that same day and pick one up in-store.
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