Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box Review: I'll Never Watch A Movie At Home Again Without It. Seriously, where has this been all my life?
You know I'm a huge movie buff. I mean come on, I have a show called Pop Culture Weekly. You also know I've become obsessed with having a great Smart Home compatible with Apple HomeKit. When I heard about the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, I was skeptical, but wanted to try it out. Thanks to my friends at Hue, I was able to do that and for the last two months I've come to the point where I'm asking: Where has this been all my life? Seriously, I'll never watch a movie at home again without the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box.
Let's dig in to my review so you can see exactly what makes this product a game changer.
What is the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, anyway?
So what is the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, anyway? It is a small, black box that you hook all of your HDMI gadgets into to tell the connected Hue lights what is happening on the screen. You may have figured this out by now, but THE FREAKIN THING MAKES THE LIGHTS IN YOUR ROOM SYNC WITH WHAT'S ON THE SCREEN! I can't emphasize enough how cool this is and you'll get to see an incredible demo shortly.
We've had surround sound for decades and a good surround setup has always improved the movie watching experience, right? With the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, we know have surround lighting!
Setting up the Philips Hue HDMI Sync Box Is Super Easy Using The App
Setup was as easy as plugging in my Apple TV's HDMI cable into the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box as well as my PlayStation 5's HDMI cable. Then I plugged an HDMI cable from the Sync Box to my TV. Plug the box into power and that's literally the hardware setup. Seriously, it's that easy.
On the software side, you'll need to pair the box and whichever Hue Lights you want to use with it via the Hue App. There's a few settings on how intense you want the lighting to be, and a few other personal preferences to go through, but it's all easy to follow and easy to do.
With the Philips Hue lights you already have, or ones you've purchased to make this an even cooler experience, you tell the app where your TV is in the room and where the connected Hue lights are. This lets the box know how best to distribute the synced lighting to all of the Hue lights in your room. You can adjust the intensity if you want something subtle or go full hog wild and light up your entire room. All of the choices are yours and how you want to consume content.
This part was actually fun for me as I had picked up the Philips Hue Play White & Color Smart Light 2 Pack on Amazon and knew it would add even more to the experience. In fact, you can add up to 10 Philips Hue Smart Lights to your Sync Box setup including the Philips Hue Play Gradient LightStrip which will all seamlessly work together giving you a fully surround lighting experience that you can adjust to your exact likings.
Obviously, just like with surround sound, the more Hue Lights you have, the more powerful your set up gets. I'm looking into picking up the Hue Gradient LightStrip to add to my setup because I've fallen in love with my setup now and I know that addition will make it all the more of an enjoyable experience. Plus, the reviews of it are outstanding.
What I worked with for the last two months, however, was the Hue Play White & Color 2 Pack hidden behind my TV and a few strategically placed Hue Lights around my room, almost mirroring surround sound. The results are simply jaw dropping. It has changed the way I watch movies or series and even changed how I experience playing PlayStation at my house. I seriously don't think I could go back to the "pre Surround Lighting" days now that I've been watching movies in this way.
Conclusion: I'll Never Watch Movies or Series at Home Again without the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box
By far, the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is the coolest and most dramatic technology advancement in movie watching since 4K in the home. I can't recommend this product more. If you're any sort of movie buff at all, or even just a techie, this is definitely something you need to add to your movie room immediately.