07
Apr
Huey-Thumb

Philips hue lights are already pretty cool. People can control these bulbs, which come in various colors and sizes, using a phone or tablet. That alone makes the product convenient and great for showing off. But at the end of the day, merely turning lights on and off with a mobile device and changing their colors ranks a 4, maybe 5, on the my-friend-is-a-wizard scale. To really impress people, give the Huey Android app a download, then sit guests down in front of a TV and blow their minds.

This handy piece of software links Philips hue lights up with the action taking place on-screen. The app works by linking up with the bridge that controls Philips hue lights, prompting users to select a region of the screen that supplies the colors, then monitoring this area and changing the paired lights to match. If the lights are set up behind your television screen, the wall behind your display will glow to complement the colors being shown, adding in an extra dramatic effect.

Huey4 Huey3

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This functionality effectively replicates what Philips introduced with its Ambilight+hue line of TVs, which are pricey, require replacing your current setup, and aren't yet available in all that many places. Other companies have introduced products that are similarly restrictive. Huey's ready to do it for free.

Of course, you have to invest in a set of Philips hue lights for any of this to work. Links for everything are available below.

Philips hue lights on Amazon

Thanks, Alex Rocha.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • njcki

    Nothing special. You can do it better with Raspberry Pi http://pibob.nadnerb.co.uk/

  • Alex

    Looks nice to me, but the delay in the lighting vs. the screen might get a bit annoying. Fun to play with if you already have some Hue lights though.

  • Alex

    It works really good, and it's a great solution for those who just want to sit back and kick it when watching a movie. There is a bit of a delay but that is to be expected. Honestly, if you don't want to spend the time and money building your own using the Raspberry Pi, this is a great solution that works with any TV in the house, best of all free!

    • Cory S

      meh, those light strips are a 100 bucks each. So not free exactly.. but still something I may do. Just wish they were longer than 6 feet.

      • Alex

        Yeah sucks that the strips are only 6 feet. I have the Phillips Bloom lights which IMHO are better anyways for projecting the colors onto your wall. Those go for $75 each on Amazon. If your TV is mounted to the wall then the strips might be a better option.

        • Cory S

          Ya I have a couple of iris lights that are a bit bigger and twice as bright but they won't fit behind my wall mount. Got them used from amazon warehouse deals for only 50 though

  • Mitch Bengston

    XBMC has a wonderful ambilight plugin I've been using for months now.

  • SVem26

    Nice if you already have those expensive hue bulbs lying around.. Anyone here uses Lightpack? It works better, the colors are more accurate, looks like the illumiroom concept by microsoft.. and the latency is unnoticeable.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQWhYzBu5V8

    • Cory S

      Think I've heard of this, but that it didnt work with HDCP content which made it kinda pointless for me.

      • SVem26

        There's a workaround for that.. Using a splitter and a HDMI to S-video converter,, Sounds complex but its very easy and cheap

        • supremekizzle

          Is there loss of resolution doing it this way?

          • SVem26

            Not at all.. People have doing this with Xbox one and PS4.. At zero lag and zero loss in resolution..

        • Mario Limonciello

          Some guy in germany was working on this - but are boards actually being sold for it? Some googling around leads me to believe that lightpack only work for the output from a PC and wouldn't work from anything with HDMI output (eg cable box/ps3/etc.)

          • Mario Limonciello

            Actually - scratch that. Came across this blog post:

            http://bite-in.com/?p=9

            He's got a pretty good overview on how to do it with a pi, HDMI2AV, HDMI Splitter, USB video grabber and the lighting hardware.

            I might have just found a fun project to do with my pi finally.

    • supremekizzle

      Now this I like!!! Affordable, open source, and affordable! Thanks man! I am ordering two now!

  • supremekizzle

    60 bucks a bulb! Ya fucking right!

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

      I'd think they last longer than typical bulbs though right?

  • Leonardo Baez

    Phillips already had a TV set with leds in the back, called AmbiLight.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambilight

    • xnadax

      Yes, just as the article says. :)

  • Sergio

    Nice for videoclips but too much distracting for watching films or documentaries...

  • jeffhesser

    Does anyone that actually uses one of these solutions feel like it is worth the effort? It seems kind of cool at first glance but does it provided anything substantial to a watching experience?

    • boonesimpson

      for gaming it is nice, I have an ambx set and it makes PC gaming in the dark awesome.

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