Friday, September 20th 2019

Philips Announces the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box

Signify, a Philips partner, launches the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box. With this product, you can synchronize all your Philips Hue lamps with your television. The sync box is placed between an HDMI device and your TV.

For this purpose, the box receives the signal from up to four HDMI devices, analyzes the image content and then forwards the signal to the TV set. While the image signal is passed unchanged, the sync box passes the color values to the Philips Hue bulbs. Similar to Philips TV sets with "Ambilight", the TV picture is then synced to the smart Philips Hue lights. The lighting effects can be reproduced on up to 10 lamps/lights in an entertainment area. The more lights are involved, the more impressive the effect will be. The Sync Box supports satellite receivers and Blu-ray players as well as game consoles, notebooks or streaming devices.

Your color capable Philips Hue lights make explosions come alive, add magic to your favorite fairy tales and sync lights to music, all through the new Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box. Plug in your product and open the dedicated Philips Hue Sync mobile app to add this essential device to your Hue ecosystem for an amazing entertainment experience. Personalize settings via the app, and see how your Philips Hue lights come to life and match whatever you're watching, playing or listening to. With the ability to connect with as many as ten Philips Hue color capable lights, Philips Hue turns your living room in a cinema.

Home cinema in a flash
Light has long been used to enhance our entertainment experiences at concerts and the cinema. Until now, it's been difficult to create the same effects at home. However, you can now enjoy similarly visually immersive experiences from the comfort of your couch. Simply connect up to four HDMI devices to the Philips Hue Play HDMI Play Sync Box and watch your lighting come to life. Philips Hue lights will sync whatever content is being played on your HDMI devices, and creates an exciting and interactive experience in your whole room increasing the overall enjoyment of what is happening on the screen. The Philips Hue Play HDMI Play Sync Box is able to switch automatically between the four different HDMI channels, depending on which one is being used at that moment. No delays or lag - just plug in and the experience begins!

The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box has its own dedicated app, to make sure you can control the light experience in a quick way. With the app you are able to finetune brightness, as well as the speed and intensity of the light effects. You can automate your device even more by configuring the default settings, making it even easier to use on an everyday basis with your entertainment system. In addition to enhancing your home entertainment experience, use your Philips Hue color-capable lights to access the full functionality the Hue ecosystem offers, including away-from-home control and ambiance creation.

The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is available for €249.95 incl. VAT / $229.99 from October 15 onwards. Availability will be at selected retailer and meethue.com in the US, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. Pre-sale starts now! More countries will follow early next year.
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17 Comments on Philips Announces the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box

#1
zlobby
I wonder if it is compatible with HDCP2.3 and HDR10 @ 4K? If not - shame. That price tag too.
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#2
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I'd be more concerned about how much latency it induces.
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#3
zlobby
FordGT90Concept
I'd be more concerned about how much latency it induces.
If I can't watch my 4K HDR movies with that box then it hits fleabay. If I ever got drunk enough to buy it for this price, that is.

Lag is also a valid point. If it only sniffs video, it delays it, while audio should be passed through faster, hence lip sync issue.

I'm also curious how ARC works and is it taken into account in this box. I surely hope so.
Posted on Reply
#4
danbert2000
FordGT90Concept
I'd be more concerned about how much latency it induces.
I doubt there would be any latency added whatsoever. I have a box that splits a 4k HDR signal and downscales one of the splits into 1080p. It doesn't add any latency to either signal. This box is just going to sample the color information, which is much easier than scaling it, and I'm guessing it has no need to hold up the retransmission of the signal while doing the color sampling.
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#5
SomeOne99h
I didn't know such thing exist :eek:
Ambilight devices ..
Technology o_O
Posted on Reply
#6
zlobby
SomeOne99h
I didn't know such thing exist :eek:
Ambilight devices ..
Technology o_O
Aka epilepsy inducers. Plus, you can get cheap Chinese spin-offs online.
Posted on Reply
#7
InVasMani
Just get a sound activated DMX lighting device for cheap instead.
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#10
HisDivineOrder
FordGT90Concept
I'd be more concerned about how much latency it induces.
Since it's not altering the signal, I'd imagine it'd be the same amount of latency as a capture card's passthrough, which is very little.
Posted on Reply
#11
Vayra86
Ferrum Master
Philips just holds patents on it and no one else can monetize on it. DIY yea...

I really like it. Only thing that sucks are 21:9 content for films. The black bar kinda spoils the fun.
I believe you can solve that problem too by expanding the detection zones a bit on the top and bottom edges.

HisDivineOrder
Since it's not altering the signal, I'd imagine it'd be the same amount of latency as a capture card's passthrough, which is very little.
The LED strips themselves have a tiny bit of latency too, and not all of them are apparently the same.
Posted on Reply
#12
Ferrum Master
Vayra86
I believe you can solve that problem too by expanding the detection zones a bit on the top and bottom edges.



The LED strips themselves have a tiny bit of latency too, and not all of them are apparently the same.
It is not about LED, they work. Just the black bar on screen, and then LED light. Well, just nitpicking.
Posted on Reply
#13
Mistral
For this purpose, the box receives the signal from up to four HDMI devices, analyzes the image content and then forwards the signal to the TV set.
I really hope what they mean is that the signal to the TV will be pass-through and the analysis will be done from parallel copies...

Also, the lack of mention of the HDMI variant used in this is a bit worrisome. If not 2.1 this will be DOA for enthusiasts.
Posted on Reply
#14
Ferrum Master
Mistral
If not 2.1 this will be DOA for enthusiasts.
2.0b with HDCP 2.2 IMHO

I would like to do more aggressive experiment tho. I would mirror screen to chromecast, the added latency is no issue for hue lightening. Then the resolution is also whatever... it can be re sampled much lower... pretty much a workaround.
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#15
mferguson2231
I currently have 5 HDMI cables going to my receiver. Would the HDMI cables from my devices go to the sync box first and then the receiver? Or the receiver and then the sync box? I bought some lights about a year ago and have been waiting for this sync box to come out, now I'm concerned it won't work right.
Posted on Reply
#16
zlobby
mferguson2231
I currently have 5 HDMI cables going to my receiver. Would the HDMI cables from my devices go to the sync box first and then the receiver? Or the receiver and then the sync box? I bought some lights about a year ago and have been waiting for this sync box to come out, now I'm concerned it won't work right.
It shouldn't really matter, as long as the sync box can 'read' the colors from the HDMI signal. Then again, none of us knows for sure util we get our hands on it.
Posted on Reply
#17
medi01
Vayra86
Yeah, some led strips and an arduino is all you really need.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-your-own-TV-ambilight-using-Arduino/
Uh, please, this is misleading on so many levels.
For starters it is A PC that is merely connected to LEDs via Arduino board.
Secondly, it is only capable of processing video output of the PC.

All that is crappy in many ways.

Whereas with this pricey Phillips device, you can pipe anything that has an HDMI output through it. (A console, HDMI andorid device, and what not).


Price is at least two times higher than what I'd found somewhat reasonable. But, uh, no, you can't do that with ANY open source project on the market, for starters, you won't get hardware with HDMI input.
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