How to connect Hue Sync with Apple TV

January 28, 2020

With the introduction of the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, users with an Apple TV can now easily sync Philips Hue lights with the content on their TV screens — all in just three steps.  

To start syncing Hue lights with Apple TV, you’ll need:  

  • Philips Hue Bridge 
  • Color-capable Philips Hue smart lights 
  • Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box 
  • TV with HDMI port 

You also need an Entertainment area set up in the regular Hue app before you get started. If you don’t have one yet, open your Hue app and go to Settings > Entertainment areas > Create entertainment area.

Couple using Hue Sync with Apple TV on couch

Step 1: Install the Hue Sync mobile app and the sync box

You’ll need to download the Hue Sync mobile app before you can set up your sync box. Once it’s installed on your mobile device, plug in the sync box to an outlet using the included power cable. Use the HDMI cable to connect the sync box to your TV.

The LED on the front of the sync box should turn red once it is connected. Open the Hue Sync mobile app and follow the on-screen instructions. If you’re having trouble or would like to see how the installation process works, watch the video on setting up the sync box.

Step 2: Connect Apple TV to the sync box

Use another HDMI cable to connect your Apple TV to one of the sync box’s four HDMI inputs. Your Apple TV will no longer be directly connected to your TV — but it should still be connected to power!

Open the Hue Sync mobile app again to see if the Apple TV has been detected by the sync box. Under “HDMI inputs,” you can rename your Apple TV and give it an icon to easily identify it.

Step 3: Start Apple TV

All that’s left to do is turn your Apple TV on! Once it’s powered on and playing video, tap the green “Start” button at the bottom of the Hue Sync mobile app screen. 

You can adjust many other settings in the Hue Sync mobile app, including the speed and brightness of the lights as they sync as well as how the sync box reacts to new HDMI inputs. One setting enables automatic HDMI switching — as soon as you power on your Apple TV, your Philips Hue lights immediately begin to sync, creating the captivating media experience created by the sync box.

*When a bulb displays "Up to" a certain number of lumens in its specifications, it displays the maximum lumen output of the bulb. It shows how bright the bulb can get at 2700 K (White bulbs) or 4000 K (White ambiance or White and color ambiance bulbs). Learn more about brightness