Signify – the company behind the color-changing Philips smart bulbs – has announced at CES 2023 that it’s bringing its Ambilight light-syncing tech to select Samsung TVs.
If you own a Samsung QLED TV model from 2022 or later, and it’s also a Q60 model number or higher – such as the Samsung Q60T QLED TV or the Samsung QN900B Neo QLED 8K TV – you’ll be able to download the Philips Hue Sync TV app. This service then lets you sync your TV up with Philips Hue smart light bulbs and LED arrays so you can enjoy a more colorful home entertainment setup.
The only downside: the app will cost you $130 – and that’s on top of the hardware you’ll need to buy so you can enjoy Philip’s reactive color experience.
A gimmick or a gimmie now?
Ambilight TVs are like nothing else on the market. Rather than just restricting its color to the screen, the TV cleverly uses an LED array placed around its sides to illuminate the wall with color that’s synced up to what’s on-screen (be it from film, show or game).
Admittedly the whole thing sounds a bit gimmicky but from our experience, this feature really does enhance the immersion of watching content on the Ambilight TVs. Just look at the GIF above, the color from Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse looks to be exploding out of the screen. What’s more you can also sync your TV with your other Philips Hue smart bulbs to have the TV’s color flood your whole room rather than having it just bleed out behind the display.
However, Philips TVs haven’t always wowed us as much as Samsung and LG in more standard metrics – such as screen, audio, and image quality. Now, thanks to this new app you can start to appreciate the best of both worlds by getting a stellar Samsung display, and the immersive light show provided by Philips’ tech.
If you’ve got an LG or Sony TV you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of interactive Hue lights either – it’ll just cost you a bit extra. Instead of an app, you can buy the physical Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box for $229.99 / £229 (around AU$335) and enjoy all the same immersive entertainment benefits. We gave the box a four-star review because while it’s not cheap, you almost certainly won’t be disappointed with what you get.
Assuming the Samsung app works as well as the Sync Box then its cheaper price makes it an add-on you’ll definitely want to consider picking up if you have the budget and desire to upgrade your current home setup.
If you’re looking for other ideas on how to improve your home theatre, check out our picks for the best TVs out there. Alternatively, if you’re happy with your TV’s image quality, the best soundbars can ensure your audio has the same oomph as your picture.