If you’re big on mood, ambience, lighting, and just really getting an enhanced viewing experience, then you would agree that sync boxes a great gadget to have.
When talking about sync boxes, the prominent name is the Philips-hue sync box, and you would be forgiven to think that it is the only product that does what it does. Even though the Philips-hue sync box is the leading name when it comes to immersive TV watching experience, it is by no means the only product that provides such experience.
And if you are interested in enjoying an immersive TV viewing experience without breaking the bank, then you will want to discover the best alternatives to the Philips-hue sync box.
In this article, I am going to provide you with a reliable breakdown of Philips-hue sync box alternatives that will do everything the Philips-hue sync box does, and sometimes more.
Best Philips Hue Sync Box Alternatives
1. Neo 2.0 HDMI Sync Box From Lytmi
It’s one thing to become a formidable competitor to a brand that has dominated the market for several years, but it’s another thing to come up with a product that is actually better. And that is exactly what the Neo 2.0 Sync box from Lytmi is.
In my opinion, this product shames the Philips-hue sync box because it offers everything that the Philips sync box offers and lots more, and at only a fraction of the cost.
Here are some great things I think you should know about this sync box.
First of all, it doesn’t even rely on a camera to work. It simply takes the HDMI feed, assesses the images, and then feeds them back to your TV to match what’s showing on the TV and the lighting around you. And more, it feeds colour data to the two LED strips at the back of the TV to produce a mood and lighting that is nothing short of stunning.
Installation is as simple as it gets and anyone can get it done even if you are not a DIY person.
Once you have set up these trips and brackets, and connected the HDMI, it automatically enters pairing mode. And all you need to do is download and install the app, set up your account, and start configuring and controlling the sync box in a matter of minutes.
What’s more, it automatically turns off the LED strips once the source material of the display is turned off. I am yet to see that in any other sync box including the Philips-hue. You can also integrate it with your smart home sensors so that the box is turned off say, when you open your doors or windows, and then turns back on when you close them.
You can alter the intensity of the LED effects on the display. You can also choose from various effects that are not exactly related to the display on the screen such as fireworks, fire, star, flow, rainbow, and so on. This means that you are not limited to the display on your screen or the lighting around you.
You can also select from a wide range of solid colours which are all consistently bright, sharp, and incomparably saturated.
Some users have complained about a lag in display but that is only for the version 1.4 which, of course, is for the HDMI 1.4 that operates at 10.2 Gbps.
For this Neo 2.0, you will not experience any lags as it operates at 18 Gbps. Also, in my experience, I find that the lag in the 1.4 version is mostly noticeable when you set the effects to High as opposed to Normal or Low.
Another thing I noticed in a side by side comparison with the Philips-hue sync box is that the effects on the Lytmi Neo 2.0 goes all the way around the screen whereas on the Philips-hue sync box, it only goes on the corners of the screen.
Finally, the light strip is angled at about 45 degrees to make for a better, angled, evenly-spread beam up and down the wall
- Does not need camera to work
- Display effects goes round the screen
- Powerful, sharp, and saturated colour display
- Smart integration with over smarts home components
- A lot more affordable than Philips-hue
- Can connect with any smart TV, gaming consoles, computers, and lots more, including Apple TV, XBOX, PS, Firestick, Windows and Mac PCs, Nintendo, MVDA Shield
- Supports from 24inch up to 120inch TVs
- Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support
- 4K 60Hz display
- Only supports the backlight. No other lights to integrate with it yet
- Does not support Dolby Atmos (but Lytmi promises this in 2.1 release)
I personally don’t think that any of these is an actual con, they are more like a disclaimer for what’s not supported.
If you own a 1.4 version of the sync box, you may experience some issues like slight lags, lack of HDR, and no CEC. However, these are all made up for in the latest 2.0 version.
Another thing that you need to bear in mind is that just like many other smart devices, this sync box does not support 5.0 GHz router frequency. Therefore, when setting it up, you need to make sure that 2.4 GHz is enabled on your router. I suggest that you disable 5.4 GHz temporarily during setup and then re-enable it after setting up the sync box.
2. Govee T2
The Govee T2 is the standalone option and an excellent upgrade to the previous Govee sync box version. It doesn’t have to run through a box, so your picture is what your picture was always meant to be.
Unlike the Lytmi Neo, it uses a camera which is quite sizeable if you ask me. But, no, Govee are not trying see what you’re doing. Instead, the camera is pointed at your TV to see what is displayed and it’s going to pass it back to the LED backlight which I think is a pretty smart but simple solution.
Personally, I would have loved if you could at least put the camera underneath the TV rather than on top, but it’s probably a small price to pay for the other features that you get. The cool thing is that, after the initial odd feeling you get about the camera, it soon disappears from your direct and even peripheral vision, and you no longer notice it’s there.
The dual camera also serves to reduce visual distortion as well as increase the screen area by over 50% when compared to a single camera option.
The patented colour matching text accurately lays text on your screen. It is also superfast with only milliseconds of delay. Precisely, it can capture 345,000-pixel dots on the whole screen in half a second, which I think is super impressive.
You also have the option to choose just how much color saturation you get on your display, even though it does not match the saturation sharpness consistency of the Neo 2.4 across all color spectrums.
The box is also simple to set up, no more than 10 minutes. Even less if you have been using similar products. There’s a control box which everything plugs into, and you can just stick that to the back of the TV. The plastic connectors hide the corner wires so it’s all very neat and very simple to do.
With the app, you can then complete the setup by following clear and simple steps.
You can put the strip in Movie mode to have it sync and mirror the display on the screen. But you could also choose from a set of solid colours, so you have a fixed background no matter what’s on your TV display. There is also music mode which I think is just really cool.
As with the Neo 2.0, I advise against setting the saturation to maximum because it will cause more delay or lag.
You can also control the box with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa devices.
- A lot more affordable than the Philips-Hue
- Works with any TV content
- Outstanding colour match range
- Dual camera for more accurate reflection
- Requires a sizeable camera to work
- You need to establish the camera area by placing boxes on the TV screen. Can be a hassle, especially if you need to adjust the areas
- Getting the right caliberation can sometimes be hard
- Limited TV size support. Only supports 55 to 100 inch TVs
There are a couple other sync boxes that have claimed to be formidable alternatives to the Philips-hue. Some of them have closed shop while others have simply failed to live up to expectations.
If getting a box is not currently an option for you, you can still stick with Philips and go with the Philips Hue Sync App instead. With the hue sync app, all you need to do is play a movie (for example) on a laptop with the app open while using your TV for display.
If you encounter issues watching protected content such as Netflix and HBO, simply disable hardware acceleration in your PC browser settings and enjoy your immersive experience!