Sync (Entertainment) on your phone or Android TV

What is Sync?

Sync is an Entertainment feature which syncs your screen / camera to your smart lights. You can use this on your phone, tablet, Android TV, or Amazon Fire TV.

What lights can I use?

You can use Philips Hue colour lights (richer colours are preferred). An example is to use Philips Hue Play Bars on your TV. You can also use other Philips Hue lights like the E27 or E26 bulbs and LED Strips.

Can I use non-Philips Hue lights?

Not yet, but we are working on it.

How many lights can I use?

You can use up to ten lights in an entertainment area.

What bridge do I need?

You need a Philips Hue bridge (generation 2 which is the square model). Other bridges like Phoscon Gateway (RaspBee, ConBee) or Trådfri Gateway will be added later on.

What device should I use?

You can use your Android phone and tablet, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV. Later on we will add the iOS devices like iPhone and iPad for camera function.

How do I install Sync?

You need to install Hue Essentials, 1.14.0-beta or later for Android.

Where do I find Sync in Hue Essentials?

Go to Entertainment tab. This is the game controller icon at the bottom. There you will find Sync.

How do I set up my lights with Sync?

You need to set up an entertainment area. Go to the entertainment tab at the bottom in Hue Essentials. Tap on Sync. Tap on the + button to add an entertainment area.

Now you need to select the lights you wish to use. Set the ticks in the boxes for the lights you wish to select. After this you need to drag the lights to the right position in your room. For instance, lights in your room which are on the left of your TV need to be placed on the left of your TV, etc. Lights above or below the TV need to be placed accordingly. You do this by tapping on that light, and you will see that there are three different heights: ground height, TV height, and ceiling height.

Why do my lights switch off when opening a film on Netflix, Disney, Prime Video, etc?

Some content in apps may be secure content, meaning the stream is not available to Hue Essentials. Sync cannot read the stream to determine how to sync the lights.

If an app developer like Netflix decides to secure its content, there is nothing we can do about this. The Philips Hue Sync app for your computer has the same issue. We are looking into ways to unlock this for you. An option we see and need to investigate further is to root the Android TV or phone/tablet and then use another app to disable the secure content. Another option is to alter the content app, like Netflix, and then remove the flag to secure the content. The last option looks the most difficult. The first option is something that has to be done outside of the Google Play Store as rooting a device may void its warranty. We may look into this in the near future as we have experience in this area from previous apps we offered. If you wish to assist in investigating this further, please contact us.

Can you change the intensity of the lights?

Yes, you can change the intensity of the lights within Sync. See the intensity slider in Sync.

What can I do if my Android TV seems to stutter (lag) with the video or game?

Not all Android TV models are of the same hardware quality. Reducing 4K video to less helps on slower sets. We have tested several models. The NVIDIA SHIELD TV (Pro) seems the best to us. This is a little external device that connects on HDMI. You can plug this into your existing TV set just like a Blu-ray player and plays flawlessly.

Got the app to run on my fire tv, only issue is it’s not the premium version, why is this? And how do I go about letting it know I have a premium account so I can fully test it’s capabilities?

@Icecold, we are finishing up on an Amazon release (on the official store) for which we expect approval within a day or so. Amazon Fire TV stick uses Amazon billing instead of Google Play. It is just like two different systems (just like Apple versus Google). Both Amazon and Google do not allow multiple payment methods, so it is a different APK with also some other code differences. Please be patient until release is there. Latest news on our Insta @HueEssentials. You will need premium on the Amazon as well. Contact us through with your order IDs for Amazon and Google. We will offer you a satisfactory solution. No worries.

App is now live on Amazon Appstore.

First of all: fantastic work with going live with the Synchronization option in HueEssentials!

It works perfectly on my Samsung Q75 TV, together with my Nvidia Shield TV, Hue Go’s and Playbars :blush:

But…I still want to keep my Hue Syncbox.
I know, it is not your goal to replace this box (I assume), but the Syncbox does sync with Netflix, Prime etc.

So, my question is: if it does work on hardware…why is their content secured for HueEssentials app and even their own app, but not their hardware? Is that exactly the case…because it is hardware?
Just wondering…

Any idea of having this available for Netflix and Prime etc. ?

Keep up the great work guys, I think it’s awesome what you’re doing as a team!!!

Super excited for what this will become, but right now as far as the fire tv experience, it legit works on nothing apart from menu’s… I take it the fire tv player is also drm protected?

I let me know if I’m incorrect. Is Hue Sync On for android devices?