Govee Immersion Kit Wi-Fi TV Backlight + Light Bars Review
Building on the success of the company’s previous TV backlight, this excellent-value kit adds in light bars for extra width. It’s a little fiddly to set up properly, and balancing the camera and calibrating it can be hard. Persevere and the results are excellent, with excellent colour matching pushing your entertainment outside the frame of your TV.
- Excellent value
- Light bars add width
- Excellent colour matching
- Lots of cables
- Fiddly to configure
- UKRRP: £138.99
- USARRP: $138.99
- TV compatibilityThis kit is designed for 55-to-65-inch TVs.
- Light typeSegmented light strips and LED light bars can shine multiple colours at once, more closely replicating what’s happening on your TV.
Lights that change colour and blend in with your TV help make for more atmospheric viewing, whether you’re watching TV or playing a game. With the Govee Immersion Kit Wi-Fi TV Backlight + Light Bars you get a package that includes a light strip that fits to the back of your TV, plus two immersive light bars.
There’s no doubting the quality of the lights, working out much cheaper than the alternative Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box and Gradient light strip. Installation is quite fiddly, and you end up with a lot of cables.
As the kit uses a camera to watch your TV screen, the main benefit of this kit is that it will work with all content at any frame rate.
Design and installation
- Lots of cables
- Fiddly calibration
- Only for 55-inch to 65-inch TVs
I’ve reviewed the similar Govee Immersion Wi-Fi TV Backlight before, but this kit has more lights, adding two light bars to the LED TV Backlight strip. Given the kit on offer, this package is excellent value.
Installation is quite fiddly. Core to everything is the control box/power unit. Govee suggests sticking this in the middle of your TV, although that’s no good on my wall-mounted TV, so I needed to shift it over.
This small box provides all of the connections you need, with power in, two power outputs for the TV Backlight and LED light bars, plus a USB connection for the camera. It also has a power button and basic controls, so you can manage your lights without reaching for the app.
Once this box is in place, it’s a matter of connecting up the other units. The TV Backlight is designed for 55-inch to 65-inch TVs and nothing else. It needs to be stuck to the back of your TV, covering all four sides. Depending on the size of your screen and the layout, this can be tricky to get right, particularly if you don’t want the corner connector wires on display.
On my 55-inch LG OLED, the way the back sticks out around the ports made it a little fiddly to get the lights in the right places. Lining up the lights first, before removing the cover for the sticky fixings made life easier.
Still, the TV Backlight is slimmer and easier to deal with than the chunky Philips Hue Gradient light.
Next, come the LED light bars. These are connected by a power cable that plugs into the main control box. You can either wall mount them to the sides of your TV or stick them in the provided stands.
As the lights are very light, moving the power cables can cause the bars to rotate or slide out of position. And, getting a neat cable run is hard because of the way that they’re joined. My advice is to make sure that you untangle the cable before installation and use cable ties if necessary to keep everything neat.
Finally, comes the camera. This must be installed in the middle of your TV, either stuck to the top or bottom. How your TV is designed will affect what’s possible: with my TV, the middle of the bottom holds the LED power indicator it a stick-out block, so I couldn’t fit it there. As it’s an OLED TV, the top of the screen is so thin, that I found it fiddly to get the camera to sit pointing down.
Be prepared to spend a good amount of time setting everything up, and you’ll get good results; however, no matter how much time you spend, it’s hard to get away from the fact that you’ll have a lot of cables behind your TV.
With the hardware installed, you need to use the app to connect the lights to your Wi-Fi network and to run through the calibration process. First, Govee needs to understand which way round you attached the lights and light bar.
The lights turn on to a colour pattern, then you tap the matching option in the app to give Govee the orientation it needs.
For the lights to match the colour of the on-screen action, the camera needs to be calibrated so that it’s only looking at the screen.
To do this, you have to draw a bounding box around the image, selecting where the edges are. Given the super fisheye lens, spotting the edge of your TV can be hard; to help, Govee provides some stick-on orange squares that you put on the corners of your screen. Even so, getting everything right can be hard; it’s worth testing and recalibrating if you’re not happy with the results.
I can’t stress enough how important getting the calibration right is, so spend the time getting this right or you may not be happy with the results.
- Works as standard lighting
- Music mode
- Simple TV control
Much was with Govee’s other products, such as the Lyra Floor Lamp, the Govee Immersion Kit Wi-Fi TV Backlight + Light Bars can be controlled and used much like any other lamp. You can adjust the bars and light strip individually, and set different parts of the light strip to different colours.
There’s a huge range of scenes to choose from, including motion scenes, where the lights shift through different colours. It’s useful having these tools, as the Govee Immersion Kit Wi-Fi TV Backlight + Light Bars can act like a regular smart light when you’re not watching TV.
For entertainment, you just turn on the Video mode, which uses the camera to pick out the on-screen colours, matching the light bars and backlight to match. It’s worth playing with the Saturation control to get the colours as close as possible to those on your TV.
There’s no way to automatically start the video sync; the Hue system can do this, detecting when there’s a video signal.
If you don’t want to use the app, the control box at the button has three buttons: on/off, music mode (the lights react to audio), and colour. Plus, you can long-press the buttons to adjust brightness.
There are also Amazon Alexa and Google Home skills so that you can turn the lights on and off with your voice. You can adjust brightness and pick a colour, although I couldn’t get scenes to work.
- Reacts well to all on-screen content
- Bright lights can confuse the camera
Using a camera rather than picking up the HDMI signal, the Govee Immersion Kit Wi-Fi TV Backlight + Light Bars don’t get in the way of the standard signal. That means that things like HDMI-CEC and HDMI ARC aren’t affected by this system.
Bandwidth isn’t a problem, either. While the Hue Play HDMI Sync box had to be updated to support Dolby Vision, the Govee Immersion Kit Wi-Fi TV Backlight + Light Bars doesn’t care what format is being used; it just looks at the light.
Likewise, the Hue box only supports 120Hz at Full HD, not 4K; the Govee system will work with anything that displays a picture.
When it works at its best, the Govee Immersion Kit Wi-Fi TV Backlight + Light Bars is phenomenal. Thanks to its RGBIC lighting, the colour matching is excellent, bringing content alive and pushing it outside of the screen.
Those light bars help, too, giving extra width to the show; you do really need a wide enough TV stand to get the right level of separation, though.
However, I stress the need to both adjust the saturation and calibration to get the best results. Even when set up properly, there can be a tiny bit of lag in the lights, particularly when changing from one scene to another; it’s not a big enough problem to become a major issue.
You do need to be a little careful with the camera. Bright ambient light can confuse it, throwing off colour accuracy. This is a system that’s better used in a dimmed room.
The Philips Hue Play Sync HDMI box arguably does a slightly better job out of the box, as it analyses the actual picture, and can set lights to the same colour all without caring about the ambient light levels.
Should you buy it?
If you want clever colour changing lights to match your on-screen action, this kit is excellent value and capable of delivering some impressive results
You need quite a lot of room for this set, and there are a lot of cables to deal with. If you want the hassle and clutter of this, the more expensive Hue option may suit you better.
In some ways, the Philips Hue Play Sync HDMI system is a slightly more elegant option. Analysing the actual HDMI signal, it’s easier to set up, can work automatically and has slightly better colour matching from the start.
Yet, for its qualities, there are issues: its frame rate and resolution are more limited, and sticking yet another HDMI box in the chain can cause some issues for video devices. The system is also a lot more expensive.
With the Govee Immersion Kit Wi-Fi TV Backlight + Light Bars, you get a cheaper solution and one that uses a light strip that covers all four sides of your TV. It is a little fiddly to set up, particularly getting the camera configured. When you get everything right, the colour matching is excellent, while the light bars add yet another dimension.
How much space you have is likely to be a bigger issue, with the light bars really needing to go wide of the TV. If you have less space, then the standard Govee Immersion Wi-Fi TV Backlight might be a better option. For those that do have the space and the patience to set this up, the Govee Immersion Kit Wi-Fi TV Backlight + Light Bars is excellent value and impressive in full flow.
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As it uses a camera to detect what’s on screen, this kit will work with all content.
Due to the light strip length, this kit is compatible with all 55-inch to 65-inch TVs.