Philips launches Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip, a multicolored LED strip, to bring Ambilight to your Smart TV.
For several years now, Philips has taken great pleasure in lighting up its Smart TVs with the now famous Ambilight system. A system of multicolored diodes, which project a luminous atmosphere on the wall, with colors that automatically adapt to what is displayed on the screen. Today, Philips wants to allow any TV to be Ambilight compatible.
Ambilight for everyone, with the Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip
For this, the brand is launching a brand new model of Philips Hue. No bulb here, it’s a light strip called Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip. As its name suggests, this is an LED strip, which we are going to attach to the back of his Smart TV. Philips will offer various models, making it possible to adapt to televisions of 55, 65 and even 75 ″.
However, it will not be enough to acquire the Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip to light your TV, since the set will work in conjunction with the Hue TV Sync Box. A box already available, and displayed in France at a price of … 249 euros. Regarding the Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip light strips, the price will obviously depend on the desired size, knowing that the “basic” model, that is to say the one cut for a 55 ″ television, will be displayed at 179.99 euros.
“By combining this new LED strip with the Philips Hue light sync feature, consumers can now truly immerse themselves in their movies, TV shows, games and music: Surround Lighting!” explains Philips.
For the curious, this new Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip will be on sale from October 6. It remains to be seen whether they will really be interested in paying more than € 400 (minimum) to transform their Smart TV into an Ambilight Smart TV …
New Philips Hue light strip brings Ambilight to every TV (at a disproportionate price)
Signify launches a new model of Philips Hue, allowing Ambilight to be added to any television. But at what cost.
When you test a Philips television, one feature inevitably emerges: the projection, at the rear of the screen, of the colors displayed on the screen thanks to a system of multicolored diodes. If it seems like a gadget at first glance, those who have tested it have a hard time going back: the play of light on the back of the screen gives even more a feeling of total immersion in the room. , especially since Philips does things with taste and nuance.
A VERY EXPENSIVE LIGHT STRIP
This exclusive will soon be a thing of the past: Signify, the Philips branch now publishing the Hue range, has announced the Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip, which is added to the Hue Play range already designed for dynamic lighting. For now, there is only a light bar in the catalog to put behind a television or the possibility of playing with several Philips Hue bulbs.
The light strip differs from the strips already marketed by its ability to light up in different ways depending on the portions of the strip. To associate the color with the image on the screen, it is obviously necessary that a dark corner can be turned off, that another part gives brown tones and a last one is yellow. This new light strip will be sold in three sizes, suitable for 55, 65 and 75 inch televisions and will come with the clips to secure it to the back. For televisions suspended from a wall, this will therefore be the ideal solution since it will suffice to sheath the cables with those already present to power the television.
Still, this addition comes at a high price. First, you need to own the Sync Box, which is a controller that lets the light strip (or any Philips Hue lamp) know what’s going on on the screen. It already costs around 200 €. Then, the light strip, made up of several 13 cm parts, all independent, will not be sold for less than 200 € for the smallest. In American prices, the only ones communicated for the moment, Signify communicated $ 220 for the 65-inch version and $ 240 for the 75-inch version. For comparison, competitor Lifx offers the same technology for less than $ 100. It would then be necessary to add a box to connect the whole to a television set, but the lighting component is almost the same. Especially since for the time being, Signify has not announced any bundle that would contain the Sync Box and the new Hue Strip.
Difficult to convince to add 40% of the price of a mid-range television to 1000 € just to have rear lighting
Do Ambilight with a Raspberry and Hyperion
Have you ever seen a TV with a dynamic halo of light on the back wall based on the image displayed? it’s called Ambilight and it’s proprietary technology at Philips. The lights diffused on the wall change color in real time, thus offering better immersion, visual comfort and a pleasant atmosphere. In this tutorial we will see how to mount an Ambilight system on any TV, using a Raspberry Pi and a strip of LEDs that we will place around the TV frame.
The Raspberry analyzes the image transmitted to the TV, depending on the colors of the edges of the image it sends a signal to the corresponding LEDs so that they take the same color. For that we will use a specific led strip, each led of the strip can have a color x at an instant t. the great Hyperion software will also allow us to put static colors, or nice effects, via an Android application, nice not? this will also allow us to decrease / increase the intensity and turn on / off the Ambilight. Before moving on to the necessary equipment, you should know that it will depend on the use case: – Internal grabber: the image source is the Raspberry itself, example of a media center on Raspberry (Kodi, Openelec, Librelec) –Grabber external: the Raspberry analyzes the image coming from another source such as a digital receiver, a Playstation or another computer, in this case we will need a “usb grabber” and probably a Hdmi RCA adapter in case the image source only has hdmi output.
Necessary material :
-A Raspberry PI (model b + pi 2 or pi 3). With its 5V 2A power supply.
-A WS2801 type led strip (for my case I took 2m for a 32 inch TV).
-A good 5v 3A or 5A power supply for the leds (each meter consumes about 1A).
-A Grabber USB if you plan to use an external video source than that of the Raspberry, (example Playstation or an STB).
-a Hdmi RCA adapter: to have two Hdmi outputs, one to the grabber and the other to the TV
– led strip connectors to avoid soldering.
or – A soldering iron and tin.
It is recommended to disassemble the TV and put it on a table with sheets on it to avoid damaging it.
It is also better to cut out a cardboard frame or something, and stick it behind the TV so as not to stick the led strip directly and avoid touching the back of the TV during soldering.
-Cut the led strip carefully with a scissor at the cut point. The pieces are cut so as to surround the frame of the TV.
– Remove the adhesive tape from the pieces of the tape and glue them to the back of the TV. CAUTION follow the direction of the arrow. All song arrows must follow the same direction.
For my case I followed the direction of the needles of the clock.
-Now the most delicate part, Welding to join the pieces. On the strip there are sections with 4 solder points (where we cut out) it will be necessary to solder small wires to join the ends of the pieces. The solder points correspond to the 4 end wires of the strip there are GND (black wire), SI (blue wire), CK (green wire) and 5V (red wire). Whether you know how to weld or not, just a little patience and precision, no matter the aesthetics! look at my welds they are ugly:
-We connect the Ground and the 5V of the return of the band with those of the departure, the IC at pin23 and the DI at pin19, and finally or add a link between the Ground of the Raspberry with that of the band. As a precaution we do not feed the band while the Raspberry is off.
If the device has only one video output (most of the cases) we need a “HDMI splitter” to have another output to connect to the television.
The software can be installed on any distribution for media center (OSMC, Openelec, Librelec), but also on Raspbian. I prefer the latter because it allows you to make the most of the OS, and in some cases you may want to use only an external source (an RPI Zero will be sufficient).
The installation of Hyperion is super simple, the developers have created “HyperCon” a java application for Windows which allows to install and configure the software on Raspberry. We will only need an SSH connection.
1-Download on your Windows HyperCon pc
2-Launch HyperCon by clicking on HyperCon.jar
3-Go directly to the SSH tab. We choose the system we have on the Raspberry, there is “Openelec / librelec” and “all systems” I chose the last one because I have a Raspbian with Kodi installed manually.
Then we have the IP address of the Raspberry, the SSH port “22”, the username and the password (pi / raspberry by default for Raspbian), finally click on “Connect”.
4-Once connected, we click on “inst./Upd.Hyperion” we answer “yes”, a window opens and shows us the progress of the installation, at the end the Raspberry will restart, Hyperion is now installed , we must reconnect again to start its configuration.
5-Once reconnected in HyperCon we go to the first tab named “Hardware”