Samsung TV owners are getting a cool free Philips Hue smart lighting upgrade

Hue Sync makes even the best TVs better – and it's coming to Samsung TVs with an imminent SmartThings update

Philips Hue home entertainment setup
(Image credit: Signify)

I've written many times about my love of Hue lights: they aren't the cheapest smart bulbs but I reckon the Hue system is the best smart lighting system in terms of usability, expandability and general awesomeness.

My most recent addition is a Hue Play sync box so that my lights can synchronise with my Samsung TV – and it looks like other Samsung TVs are getting something very similar later this year, no sync box required.

According to SamMobile (opens in new tab), Samsung is planning to release an important SmartThings update to coincide with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 foldable phones this summer. The update will add multi-window support and window resizing on the app, and it'll support Hue Sync too.

(Update, 11 July: Samsung have been in touch to clarify this story: the Hue Sync is for music, not video or gaming.)

Why Hue Sync is a brilliant upgrade

My Hue sync setup is hardware-based: all the HDMIs from the likes of my Xbox Series X and PS5 go into a Hue Play box, which then sends the appropriate data to my Hue lights. So when part of the screen goes orange, the lights near it do the same; when a different part is blue, the lights over there are blue. It can be done in a really subtle way to add ambience, or it can be massively over the top for arcade gaming. Either way it's a hoot.

If the Samsung SmartThings update is going to add Hue Sync via software, which seems to be the case, then I suspect it'll work rather like the Hue Spotify Sync does: it connects to the Spotify app and matches the lights to the music. Initial reports suggested that syncing would be for any on-screen content but Samsung has clarified that it's for music only.

If you haven't already experienced Hue Spotify synchronisation this new update could make the best Samsung TVs even more fun in Hue-equipped homes. The update is expected to arrive in August 2022.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).