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(Pocket-lint) - Philips Hue is a great lighting system for adding ambience to a room, either in colour or shades of white, all from a handy iOS or Android app. You can even use a voice assistant, such as Siri or Alexa, to change the scene.

It can make for amazing, almost interactive surroundings when watching a film, TV show or playing a game. However, until now, unless you have a Philips Ambilight TV - or played one or two specific Xbox One games - you haven't been able to properly sync your room lighting with your entertainment enjoyment.

That's changing. Philips Lighting has announced a developers kit that third-party manufacturers can utilise in order to get their kit to send lighting commands to Hue systems. That way, your lights can match the action on screen, immersing you into your movie, show or game more than ever before.

Here then is everything you need to know about Philips Hue Entertainment.

What is Philips Hue Entertainment?

Philips Hue Entertainment is a software update for the Philips Hue v2 bridge, lights and app that adds the possibility of integration into any home entertainment experience.

It enables developers of third-party entertainment hardware and software the ability to add Philips Hue support to their smart home devices.

For example, one of the first brands to use Philips Hue Entertainment APIs in its own software is gaming accessory company Razer. Many Razer gaming mice, keyboards and other PC kit have what the company calls Razer Chroma - its own LED lighting system that can be changed into millions of different colours depending on settings in a dedicated software hub.

Thanks to Philips Hue Entertainment, the Razer software now offers the ability to sync Philips Hue lighting with the Razer Chroma system and therefore turn your entire room into an interactive gaming palace. The in-room lighting will match the colours dancing off Razer devices, even matching the action on screen.

Is Philips Hue Entertainment like Ambilight?

Ambilight is the technology that creates a lightshow behind Philips TVs. It directly matches the action on screen, so the colours represent the same colours you can see in a TV show, movie or game. Certain Philips TVs also have controls for Hue lighting, to sync bulbs and lamps to the Ambilight experience, effectively extending it around the entire room, not just the wall behind the telly.

This has been restricted to Ambilight until now (apart from one or two exceptions) so Philips Hue Entertainment offers the potential for other TV manufacturers to sync the action on their sets with your home lighting system. Or you can have it synced with a games console, for example, so you get the right colours in your room depending on the game, Blu-ray or, even, Netflix content you play.

When will my home entertainment kit be compatible with Philips Hue?

At the moment, that's hard to say. Philips Lighting is only now getting the development kit into the hands of its partners. There will be many that will be keen to add Hue synchronisation, but we don't have names as yet.

Razer is the first partner to announce support but there will undoubtedly be many others.

And, of course, select Philips TVs with Ambilight have supported Hue for a while.

We'll update when we hear of more joining the list.

You can find out more about Philips Hue Entertainment and how the technology works here.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 11 January 2018.