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How to Sync your Philips Hue Lights with your TV, Xbox or PS4

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With the release of Hue Entertainment and Hue Sync, your lights can now be linked and work with music, as well as on screen action from your Mac, PC or TV.

Connecting Hue lights to your music, movies, or games

There are a few different methods and ways to connect an sync your smart lights with different devices, Philips with the release of Hue Sync have made this easier, however for gaming consoles there are slightly more complicated ways to do this.

How to Sync your Lights with your PC or Mac

With the release of the Philips Hue Sync app. this is super easy, and also free to do.

  1. Set up a Hue Entertainment area
  2. Downloaded and install Hue Sync on your computer
  3. Load Hue Sync, select your entertainment area and settings

All you need to do it download the Hue Sync app from Philips here, this can be installed on Mac and Windows computers and laptops. Once installed you need to ensure an entertainment area is set up which you do via your phone or tablet using the Hue app.

Once set up you just need to load Hue Sync on your computer, select your entertainment area you have set up, and then sync to activate your lights. Your lights within that area will sync and change color to the main colors that are showing on your screen.

Do note that if you are watching Netflix for example, this is protected content and unfortunately at the moment this will not sync to your lights.

How to use Philips Hue Sync with a TV

If you hook up your laptop to a TV or mirror your screen to a TV, then you can sync your lights to your larger TV screen. Connecting your laptop to your TV via HDMI or Airplay allows Hue sync to take the colors from your laptop and sync with your Hue lights around your TV. Set up a entertainment area via the Hue app, load Hue Sync, select this entertainment area and sync with your screen.

With the release of Hue Entertainment we hope to see announcements of support from Netflix, Playstation and other streaming companies allowing support for Hue, however nothing it promised. If this happens then this will allow your Hue bulbs to sync with the on screen action.

A fully compatible way is to buy a Amblight TV which allows or direct syncing using light strips on the TV that are built in, and it allows you to also sync with your Hue bulbs too.

How to Sync Philip Hue Lights with your Xbox or PS4

Gaming is immersive, and having your Hue lights change depending on the on screen action in the room you are playing will make it even more immersive.

With the release of Hue entertainment we hope there will be some official ways of syncing hue lights with gaming machines such as the Xbox and Playstation, however at the time of writing this is not the case, yet anyway.

So what options are there?

  • Onscreen Camera Apps such as Hue Camera
  • Ambilight TV

As well as this you can use remote play so that you can sync just as your would with your computer as described above.

  1. Download and install Hue Sync on your computer
  2. Load up your PS4 or Xbox
  3. On your computer, download and install Remote Play, and connect to your account.
  4. Connect your controller to your computer and you are all set up
  5. You can then mirror your screen to your TV so that everything displays in your TV with you lights then syncing to the onscreen action

This set up certainly isn’t ideal however it is a work around to allow you to sync your Hue lights with your games console until a official method is released.

Please note these steps only with with games, unfortunately it won’t work with DVDs and films.

Using Hue Camera to Sync with TV

In order to sync the Philips Hue with the television, you need to know what is going on, on screen. To do this there is an app called ‘Hue Camera‘, this app uses the camera on your phone or tablet device to watch your screen, as your screen changes colors, the app changes the lights to match. In dark night scenes the lights will dim down, however if there is a sudden explosion of red for example, then the hue lights will brighten into a red color to match.

You can see it all in action in this video.

While this works well there are some downsides, firstly you need to have your phone or tablet focused on the screen you are watching, the plus side is it stops you playing on it while the movie is on. As it is watching the TV with you, there is a slight delay in the lights changing color is it will always be one step behind, and this is more noticeable in quick changing scenes of color where the Hue lights have to quickly change between colors.

Essentially, the app is listening to the audio of the television or the movie, and then is connecting that audio with a lighting track and takes the smart light through a series of light cues that correspond with what is happening on the show. Usually, this manifests in the form of flashing lights for lightning. If there’s a lot of red onscreen, the lights might end up turning red or flashing red. Some of the horror scenes might be accompanied by some of the scarier effects that people are going to find anywhere, and this is going to make people feel even more terrified and adds to the effect in the room.

Lights to Use

Setting up a light strip behind your TV or using Hue go pointed up the wall either side are great ways to create stunning effects when watching a movie or playing a game on the Playstation.

With more partners to be released over time for Hue entertainment we hope that is becomes even easier to sync lights with other devices such as gaming consoles, tv streaming services and movies.


Founder & Editor

Mike is the founder of Hue Home Lighting, a huge Hue fan with far too many lights, covering home and garden. A smart home gadget addict and also enjoys the odd bit of DIY

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9 Comments

  1. hueDynamic

    Forget simplistic apps which just average the color on your screen. This just does not create an immersive experience! hueDynamic, for Windows 10, mobile and Xbox does it better.

    Select multiple color modes and pull the most dominant colors from your device camera for distribution across the hue lights of your choice. It even works with white ambience bulbs, selecting an appropriate color temperature automatically all with ultra low latency.

    Not only that, you have access to over 40 professionally created dynamic scenes with stereo sound effects and Plex Media Server integration. Watch your lights automatically dim when watching a movie or TV show without even using a camera!

    Also available for LIFX smart bulbs.

    Check it out, you won’t regret it.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/huedynamic/9nblggh42jgb

    Reply
  2. Robert D

    It would be sweet if you just made Hue Sync an appletv 4K app. So we can just sync appletv to hue

    Reply
  3. norman cheal

    I have a new phillips oled with ambilight +hue built in can anyone tell me will the tv will act as a bridge or will Istill need to purchase a bridge

    Reply

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