Govee Immersion review: Backlight bonanza

(Pocket-lint) – One of many massive issues that stands Philips aside from different tv producers is Ambilight, the built-in system of lighting on the rear of the TV which may undertaking color throughout the partitions.

The goal is to extend the sense of immersion, whereas bringing a way of event to TV watching, and giving atmosphere decisions inside the room.

The Govee Immersion  sensible lighting equipment goals to carry a few of that impact to your TV – no matter its model – in a self-install system. However is it nearly as good as the actual factor?

What’s within the field?

The system is comprised of quite a few components. The essential a part of this technique is the RGBIC LED mild strip (RBGIC that means it might present a number of colors concurrently, quite than only one color at a time).

This strip works in partnership with a digital camera which appears to be like at your TV display screen to coordinate the colors.

Each parts join by way of a controller field and there is a powerpack to drive the entire thing. Past that, there’s some adhesive clips to help set up, directions, and a few calibration blobs – which we’ll clarify in a minute.

Setup and calibration

  • Designed for 55-65in TVs
  • The whole lot you want within the field
  • Govee Residence app

There is a truthful quantity of setup wanted to get working, nevertheless it’s not a troublesome course of. All of the provided components have adhesive stickers on the again, as a lot of the equipment must be caught to your TV in some kind.

For us, this meant removing the TV from the wall, because we needed access to stick everything on. The kit is designed for 55-to-65-inch televisions and the length of the light strip corresponds to this size, with each side getting its own length, connected by a short ribbon cable section to make it easy to turn the corner.

Finding a location for the controller box is key, as this needs to be stuck to the back of the TV without getting in the way of mounts, and far enough in so that the connected cables are out of sight.

Fitting the light strip is actually very easy as you simply have to peel off the backing strip and stick it on, but take care to ensure that it’s not going to be too visible from the front. If the strip is slightly too long for your TV, you can double it back or run it into the centre of the rear a little to use up some of that slack.

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There are additional adhesive clips supplied which are useful to reinforce the corners or secure the light strip – we used it to keep some of the ribbon cable tidy.

You’ll then have to secure the camera. There’s the option to mount the camera at the top or the bottom of the TV and this wide-angle lens looks at the screen, detects the colours, and passes this information through to the light strips so the colour is coordinated. It also uses adhesive backing to stick it in place.

Where you site the camera will be personal preference, but this is the most intrusive part of the kit, because it’s visible all the time – especially if you put it at the top. If your TV is on a stand, perhaps with a soundbar, you might be able to hide the camera behind the soundbar, but it projects forward about 100mm and you’ll have to think about what’s going to look best in your setup.

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Once the camera is in place, it connects to the controller box via USB and you’re ready to connect and calibrate, for which you’ll need the app.

Once plugged in, you’ll use the app to connect the light strip to your Wi-Fi network and you can then get the calibration started. The app walks through each step, so it’s easy to complete.

Calibration involves sticking orange foam blocks to the front of your TV, which you’ll then identify using the image from the camera that appears in the app. You can adjust things slightly by dragging the points in the app around, but basically you’re telling the camera where the corners of the TV are, so it can coordinate the lighting.

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Don’t worry – we found that the orange blocks didn’t leave any sticky residue behind once calibration is done. Then you’re ready to watch TV with coloured backlighting!

Can you use Govee Immersion on smaller TVs?

The kit is designed for 55-to-65-inch televisions and there’s no smaller kit – it’s designed to fit the most popular sizes.

We actually installed it on a 50-inch model without issue. In this instance we had to take more care in working on the corners – as there’s more light strip than you need. By drawing diagonally towards the centre of the TV at the corners, and securing it with the clips, we found it was easy enough to get a good finish.

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It’s a little messy to look at from the rear, but this is a kit that’s designed to be hidden, back against the wall.

The camera is also fine with a smaller screen and we had no problem calibrating to a 50-inch display.

Govee Home and smart connectivity

  • Works with Alexa
  • Works with Google Assistant

You can operate the Govee lights using the app you need for setup. It allows for firmware updates, while also offering various modes. Those modes will let you control the response it offers – changing to match the video on the screen, static colours, or working with music.

It can also be set to react to sound instead of vision, if you want, which some might prefer when listening to music as a sort-of party effect.

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You can set the brightness and saturation, as well as set timers, so you can control when the system is on or off. There’s also an “effects lab” where you can find a whole range of options to customise the effect the lights are giving out.

The Govee lights don’t exist in isolation, however, and you can easily add them to Alexa or Google Assistant, so you’ll be able to management them or group them with different units. Whilst you’ll need the TV lights to work with the TV, you’ll be able to equally use them as a part of a room group, with Alexa, for instance, permitting brightness and color controls too.

Which means these with current programs will be capable to coordinate units and as soon as setup is full, so there’s little or no want to make use of the Govee Residence app, as you’ll be able to simply use Alexa voice management, for instance. You possibly can’t, nonetheless, pair with Philips Hue lights that you simply would possibly have already got.


The Govee system truly works very effectively, with digital camera fast to detect adjustments on the display screen and mirror that on the sunshine across the TV. One benefit over enter programs is that it’s going to react to something on the display screen from any enter. 

The system works rather well when you will have constant colouration, so sports activities look actually good as a result of typically you will have the fidelity of the grass to set the principle color to inexperienced, often altering to pickup colors from highlighted sections.

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The system could be a little much less pleasant when you will have a scene that is chopping from one shot to a different although. That is typical of scenes when individuals are speaking – the place they’ve totally different color backgrounds, so you will discover the lights switching with every digital camera view, which some would possibly discover a bit of a lot. In motion pictures we have discovered it to be actually efficient, selecting up on these explosions to carry these purple and orange hues throughout the room, actually including to the immersion of a movie.

There are alternatives to regulate a few of this behaviour. You possibly can select to have the principle color from the show as the encircling hue (referred to as “all”), or totally different zonal sections of the display screen may be mirrored with totally different colors (referred to as “half”). The latter means extra color and extra color adjustments, however can higher unfold the actions throughout your partitions. The previous is barely extra sedate, with fewer colors, which makes for a pleasant background atmosphere.

You possibly can see the distinction between these settings within the two pictures under.

In each instances you will have the choice of “film” or “sport”, the previous with slower transitions, the latter with quicker adjustments. Between these choices, it is easy to search out one thing that fits your choice. Adjusting the brightness helps too, some would possibly desire extra depth, some would possibly need one thing extra refined – and this can be modified on the fly within the app or by way of voice when you’re linked to Alexa or Google. 

There’s loads of brightness out there, so you’ll be able to see these lights in daylight, however the impact goes to rely in your setup, wall color and ambient mild. Clearly, it is much more efficient in decrease mild situations.

There’s the choice to have “sound results” mirrored within the lights too, which sticks with the video colors however can then pulse with soundtrack. That may swimsuit some settings, however may additionally be a bit of distracting.

The music choices are attention-grabbing, selecting up issues just like the bassline and pulsing in time with the music. There are alternatives right here, as you may as well set these lights to take their cue out of your telephone, utilizing your telephone’s microphone, or the mic that is constructed into the digital camera.

Once more, you’ll be able to have varied sorts of music response, together with a rolling color choice, when you actually need to get the occasion going.

From a efficiency perspective, we’re proud of the outcomes, however the necessity to have the digital camera completely positioned taking a look at your TV display screen might be a flip off for some. It’s, nonetheless, less expensive than programs from Hue or shopping for a brand new Philips TV, which could make it a compromise some are completely satisfied to simply accept.


The Govee Immersion system provides a viable and various resolution to Ambilight on a Philips TV or the Hue HDMI field. It is significantly cheaper than shopping for a brand new TV and even shopping for Hue lighting to do the identical – and its effectiveness makes it an choice value contemplating.

The compromise, after all, is that you simply want the digital camera affixed to have a look at your TV display screen to pickup the color adjustments and drive the system. For some folks, the addition of visible litter on the sting of the TV won’t be acceptable; for others, it’s going to be a compromise value making.

Integration with different programs make this Govee system simple to dwell with, slotting proper into an current Alexa system, taking part in its half each in ambient lighting and boosting TV viewing experiences.

Additionally take into account

Pocket-lintalternatives photo 1

Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Field

Hue dominates colored lighting, with the HDMI sync field lifting the color info earlier than it hits your display screen, so there isn’t any want for a digital camera to observe the show. It does not work with all sources, nonetheless, and it is an costly system to put in – nevertheless it does combine with different Hue merchandise.


Writing by Chris Corridor. Enhancing by Mike Lowe. Initially printed on . | Govee Immersion assessment: Backlight bonanza


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