Rating:
three/10
?

  • 1 – Complete Warm Garbage
  • two – Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Style and design
  • 4 – Some Execs, Heaps Of Downsides
  • five – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Ample to Acquire On Sale
  • seven – Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • eight – Great, with Some Footnotes
  • nine – Shut Up And Get My Income
  • 10 – Absolute Style Nirvana

Value: $460+

The Philips Hue Gradient lights at work, with half the TV showing blue and the other half pink
Cameron Summerson

On paper, the Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip paired with the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box appears to be like astounding. In observe, the Sync Box is the most disheartening piece of technological innovation I’ve utilized in current memory. When the system operates, it is stunning. But which is a big “if.”

Here is What We Like

  • The lights are beautiful

And What We Really don’t

  • The Sync Box is virtually the worst
  • Overpriced
  • HDMI two. only
  • Unclear, vague, awful setup

If you are not familiar with the Hue Gradient, this is Philips Hue’s ambient Tv set light strip. On its have, it’s in essence just a straightforward mild strip. But when you pair it with the Philips Hue Engage in HDMI Sync Box, the lights respond to what is on the display. It is not not like the Govee Immersion I reviewed a few months in the past, but the hues are a ton more correct, many thanks to the Sync Box.

Sounds good, proper? A stunning, reactive, wholly immersive experience that can choose your amusement set up to the up coming stage? That is accurately what you get when it will work the way it must. But there are so numerous hoops to soar via to get to that place I can safely say that the Philips Hue Sync Box is the most irritating item I have utilized in yrs.

I abhor it.

Philips Hue Sync Box: An Exercising in Disappointment and Self Command

The Hue Sync Box plugged up with 4 HDMI cables coming out of the back
Cameron Summerson

The premise of the Sync Box is truly intelligent: You connect all of your HDMI equipment to the box, then the box into your Television. It pulls facts from the resource prior to it hits the Tv set display screen and tells the lights how to react in actual-time. It’s a outstanding strategy, but it does not arrive affordable. It prices $229. It also requires the Hue Bridge , which is an extra $60 if you really do not now have one from other Hue solutions.

I have been working with Philips Hue bulbs for many years. I have at very last a person Hue light-weight in just about every home of my household, and my total relatives enjoys them. Simply because of that, I’m rather common with the Hue app. So you can visualize my surprise when I experienced to install a second app—the Hue Sync App (Android/iOS)—just for the Sync Box. I have no plan why it has its very own application, but I can explain to you that I’m not a supporter of installing two apps for the similar products line.

And then there’s the setup approach. It is easy enough if you currently know what you are performing, but I can see how this amazing unintuitive encounter could be a nightmare for somebody who isn’t tech savvy. If I acquired this for my dad and mom, for example, there’s no doable way they would’ve been ready to get it set up. The guidance are just too vague.

The lights are simple enough to set up, as you just stick them to the again of your Tv set. Apart from the double-sided tape that arrives with the mounting brackets is very crappy, so it doesn’t actually maintain. I ended up making use of 3M photo hangers to mount the brackets to the back again of my Television, which not only worked much better but will make it easier to take away these from the Tv set.

The very good information is that it doesn’t get the job done any far better after almost everything is established up and related.

The Philips Hue Gradient Light in white
Cameron Summerson

Here’s how it is supposed to play out: You turn on the Television and your streaming box, console, or whatever source you system on using. The Sync Box detects the sign, kicks out of slumber mode, and pushes that articles to the TV’s monitor.

Now, here’s how it actually plays out: You turn on the Tv and your streaming box, console, or whatsoever resource you plan on applying. The Television set suggests it cannot detect a sign mainly because the Sync Box did not flip on. So, you open the application to see what’s going on and understand the Sync Box is nonetheless in slumber mode. You just can’t wake it from the app, so you have to get up and press the button on the entrance of the box.

At the time it’s awake, possibly it detects the signal from your supply. Or it’s possible it just sits on the last-utilized supply, waiting for a signal. You re-open the app to come across out what’s heading on and see that it, in point, detects the source, but it didn’t change to that enter. So, you do it manually.

Now you can lastly check out Tv set or play a recreation or no matter what. Choose that situation and utilize it to everyone in your home. Besides you normally have to be associated when somebody needs to look at Tv simply because you’re the only man or woman with access to the app and no just one else understands how the damn Sync Box operates in the to start with put.

No, I’m not kidding. I’m not being hyperbolic. I’m not exaggerating. This is what my loved ones has dealt with every single solitary day because I set up the Sync Box. My spouse has been begging me to publish this review so we can get rid of the box. She hates it. I detest it. We all loathe it.

But wait, it receives improved. After all the things is up and functioning, you’d anticipate the lights to just function, proper? Lol, nah. You have to open up the app and manually get started the sync just about every time the box is woken from snooze. Luckily, there’s a location buried in the Automatic Management Choices that will flip the sync on when it detects an enter supply. I have no notion why this isn’t enabled by default.

I am Jack’s full absence of shock.

All that is on major of the fact that the Sync Box uses HDMI two., so all of your HDMI 2.one gadgets will get downgraded the next you plug them into the Sync Box. The system doesn’t currently support 120Hz gaming but will get an update to enable this, though it will downgrade 120Hz articles to 1080p for the reason that of HDMI two. constraints.

Oh, and if you use your TV’s created-in OS, you can kiss that goodbye—at the very least if you want to use the lights. Because this relies on an HDMI enter, so your TV’s constructed-in Roku (or whatever OS it operates) is not compatible. You are going to need to insert an exterior supply, creating this by now high-priced set up even pricier.

Philips Hue Engage in Gradient Lightstrip: Completely Beautiful

Half the TV is Orange, half bluish-green with the Hue Gradient light reacting appropriately
Cameron Summerson

The lights? Oh gentleman, the lights. They are beautiful. Philips Hue tends to make some of the ideal, most vivid clever lights on the sector, and its lightstrips are no distinctive. The Participate in Gradient Lightstrip is somewhat distinct from the company’s other lightstrips since it is intended exclusively to go on the back of a Television set.

As these, the model is rather distinct. In its place of just a straightforward, flat strip of LEDs, it’s a unwanted fat, versatile snake of lights with a crafted-in diffuser. This will allow the colors to weave in and out of just about every other as they ebb and stream with your TV’s picture. The precision is place on, and the way they flow with the Television set is great. I like the Govee Immersion, but it cannot maintain a candle to what the Enjoy Gradient Lightstrip can do in terms of brightness, vibrancy, and accuracy.

Though the Immersion might not be as precise, it has just one function the Gradient does not: It goes all the way all over the Tv. The Gradient Lightstrip only handles the sides and top of the Television set, so you don’t get colour from the bottom. This generates a bit of a disconnect with the entire “extra immersion” thing—especially if you mount your Tv on the wall.

Philips Hue not too long ago declared a new $180 Gradient Light Tube that is intended to work with the Gradient Lightstrip to give mild for the underside of the Television, but that also tends to make an previously costly method even pricier.

Presently, the Perform Gradient Lightstrip arrives in 3 sizes: the $230 55 inch design for 55-60-inch TVs, $250 65 inch design for 65-70-inch TVs, and $280 75 inch model for 75-inch and more substantial TVs. So, for the total practical experience, you will be out of pocket an eye-watering $540 for the 65-inch lights, Sync Box, and Hue Hub. Add the approaching Light Tube and you are at extra than $700. Which is pretty excessive.

Philips Hue Gradient + Sync Box: Is It Worthy of the Cash?

The Perform Gradient Lightstrip is simply the nicest wanting lightstrip I have at any time viewed, which is doubly real for Television set lights. But eventually, the Sync Box is one of the worst parts of technological know-how I have ever made use of, and I passionately loathe it.

So if you’re questioning if it is value it, that is an straightforward remedy: hell no. The lightstrip is possibly worth the price, but without the Sync Box, they are rather useless—you could get a significantly extra reasonably priced lightstrip and slap it on the back of your Tv in its place.

If you want one thing reactive, I’d much alternatively have the $80 Govee Immersion. Certain, the colours aren’t nearly as precise or vivid, but it just works—you convert it on, and it does its factor. No stress, no headache.

As well as, you can get the Immersion for each individual home in the dwelling for the identical rate as one established of Play Gradient Lights with the Sync Box and Hue Bridge.

Score: 3/10

Value: $460+

Here’s What We Like

  • The lights are lovely

And What We Will not

  • The Sync Box is basically the worst
  • Overpriced
  • HDMI 2. only
  • Unclear, vague, awful setup