Signify — the company behind Philips color-changing smart bulbs — announced at CES 2023 that it’s bringing light-syncing Ambilight technology to select Samsung TVs.
If you own a Samsung QLED TV model from 2022 or later that is also a model number Q60 or higher — such as the Samsung Q60T QLED TV or Samsung QN900B Neo QLED 8K TV — you’ll be able to download the Philips Hue Sync TV app. This service then allows you to sync your TV with Philips Hue smart light bulbs and LED arrays so you can enjoy a 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 purchase in order to enjoy Philip’s interactive color experience.
A gimmick or a gimmick now?
Ambilight TVs are unlike anything else on the market. Rather than simply restricting its color to the screen, the TV cleverly uses an LED matrix placed around its sides to illuminate the wall with color that syncs with what’s on screen (whether that’s from a movie, show, or game).
Admittedly, the whole thing sounds a little weird but from our experience, this feature really enhances the immersion in watching content on Ambilight TVs. Just look at the GIF above, the color from Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse seems to be bursting off your screen. What’s more, you can also sync your TV with other Philips Hue smart bulbs to make your TV’s color flood your entire room instead of making it bleed behind the screen.
However, Philips TVs didn’t always impress us as well as Samsung and LG in more standard metrics – like screen, sound and picture quality. Now, thanks to this new app, you can begin to appreciate the best of both worlds with Samsung’s excellent display, and the immersive light show that Philips technology provides.
If you have an LG or Sony TV, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of interactive Hue lights either — they’ll cost you a little extra. Instead of the app, you can buy the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box for $229.99 / £229 (about AU$335) and enjoy all the same immersive entertainment benefits. We gave the box a four-star rating 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, its cheaper price tag makes it an add-on you’ll definitely want to choose if you have the budget and want to upgrade your existing home setup.
If you’re looking for other ideas on how to improve your home theater, see our picks for the best TVs around. Alternatively, if you are satisfied with the picture quality of your TV, the best soundbar can ensure that your sound has the same appeal as your picture.
Check out our CES 2023 hub for the latest news and announcements from the show. We cover everything from 8K TVs and foldable screens to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets.