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Philips' new Hue Play box syncs your lights with your TV

It works with anything on your TV, including games and movies.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
September 17, 2019
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It's been a long time coming, but there's now an easy way to sync your Hue lights with your TV no matter what's on-screen. Signify has introduced a Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box that (as its name implies) controls your smart lights based on whatever the video source might be, whether it's a game console, a Blu-ray player or a streaming media service. It's automatic and reportedly lag-free, and you can dial down the intensity so that it won't produce a dramatic light show when you're just watching a sitcom.

It's been possible to sync Hue lights with TV content before, but they've typically required canned light sequences specific to a given game or show. The HDMI Sync Box is a much more universal solution, even if it doesn't have the precise moment-to-moment control of a script.

The box goes on sale October 15th for $230. You might want to hold off if you're an HDR enthusiast, though. The Verge warned that the box only supports HDR10 out of the box. If you want HDR10+ or Dolby Vision, you'll have to leave those out of the loop. That's not necessarily an issue depending on your gear (the PS4 outputs in HDR10, as an example) -- it's just something to consider before you go all-out on a Hue setup that might require compromises.

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