Philips has steadily expanded its Hue line of sensible lighting merchandise to cowl the complete dwelling, inside and outside. However whereas the flexibility to remotely management your lighting, together with adjusting colour, depth and brightness is nice, certainly one of its more moderen merchandise focuses extra on methods to flip all these linked lights right into a dynamic, at-home interactive leisure expertise. The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Field is a comparatively easy gadget that sits between your video sources, together with issues like sport consoles and the Apple TV, and your tv, enabling synced gentle reveals that may make the most of a variety of Hue merchandise.

The fundamentals

The Hue Play HDMI Sync Field is at its core an HDMI switcher, providing 4 HDMI inputs and a single HDMI output. Indicators out of your enter gadgets (e.g., Apple TV, Roku, Xbox, PS4, and so on.) go into the field and are handed by way of to the TV, with switching occurring routinely relying on which gadget was most just lately lively (you may as well 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 will have 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 significantly costly HDMI hub, nevertheless it does that job very properly, too. In the event you do have Hue merchandise, just like the Hue Play gentle bars that may simply mount on prime 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 replicate what’s occurring on display screen — for any video that performs by way of the field from any supply.

Picture Credit: Philips

Design and efficiency

Why would you need this? Nicely, principally as a result of it seems actually, actually cool. Hue Sync has already been accessible as a software program characteristic so that you can use with video performed again on Macs and PCs when utilized in mixture with a monitoring device. However that has lots of 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 middle PC.

The field itself is comparatively massive, however that looks like it’s principally to accommodate the a number of HDMI ports. It’s very quick, regardless of being about twice the floor space of an Apple TV, so it ought to be very straightforward to combine into your present dwelling theatre setup, no matter that entails.

Establishing the Hue Play HDMI Sync Field could be very straightforward 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 may plug in as much as 4 sources and the field will change between them routinely while you use an enter gadget or you may as well manually change the enter (and rename them) utilizing the app. The app additionally means that you can 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, as an illustration, units it to most depth and responsiveness for a extra dynamic impact befitting fast-paced interactive content material.

Picture Credit: Philips

I discovered that the lighting was extraordinarily good at mimicking the colours and brightness of a scene, particularly when you take the time to precisely arrange the place of your Hue lights for a devoted “leisure space” within the official foremost 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 unbelievable addition to my dwelling 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.

Backside line

The Hue Play HDMI Sync Field is a little bit of an extravagance at $229.99, nevertheless it positively provides to the general dwelling TV-watching expertise, for films, streaming and for gaming. The 4 HDMI inputs imply you may as well 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.


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