With the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, our favourite manufacturer launched an exciting new product two years ago, which was supplemented last autumn by the Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip. The perfect combination to be able to offer something like Ambilight on any TV with external sources.
There is only one problem with the whole thing: the “Hue Ambilight” is only three-sided. A major point of criticism from many users that Philips Hue has not yet addressed. Nevertheless, there are one or two quite reasonable solutions, and I would also like to risk a small forecast in this article.
A longer gradient light strip is not an option
The obvious option would be to simply buy a longer Gradient Lightstrip, which is available in three different lengths. So why not simply not use the long light strip for 75 inch TVs on a 55 inch TV and also lay the light strip on the underside of the TV?
First of all, there is no suitable mounting material, although you could certainly get creative in some other way on the back of the TV in order to attach the Gradient Light Strip. However, the light strip is divided into seven fixed segments: Two on the left, two on the right and three on top. These segments display the matching colours to the screen content. An “incorrectly” mounted gradient light strip would no longer display the colours in the appropriate places.
These already available Hue lights are suitable
From my point of view, there are currently two common options to also illuminate the underside of the TV in combination with the HDMI Sync Box. The simplest and cheapest is certainly a Lightstrip Plus, which can simply be cut to the right length and stuck to the back of the TV. Here, of course, only one colour would be able to be displayed.
Another popular option in the community are the Philips Hue Play Lightbars, which can also be easily attached to the TV with an adhesive pad. Two Lightbars can even be connected to the power supply of the Sync Box, but the best effects are certainly achieved with three Lightbars. Unfortunately, this is also quite expensive fun.
What about the new Gradient Lightstrip Ambiance?
At first glance, a very interesting alternative is the Philips Hue Gradient Lightstrip Ambiance, which will be officially introduced in September. At least we get a light strip that can shine in several colours and that can probably also be shortened.
However, there will probably be a problem here: How can Philips Hue recognise where the light strip has been shortened in order to adjust the colour rendering to the respective TV size in interaction with the Hue Sync Box? That probably won't work – and is probably also the reason why this new product doesn't have the word “Play” in its name.
So we will have to wait a little longer for the ultimate product to illuminate the underside of the TV in combination with the Sync Box and the Gradient Light Strip. Hopefully not for too long…
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