Philips one-ups the best small TVs with this cheap Ambilight delight

Philips Ambilight TV showing off how the LEDs match what is on screen
(Image credit: Philips)

If you’re in the UK and looking to upgrade your home cinema on a budget, Argos has a cracking Philips Full HD smart TV available for just £280. If that doesn’t get you excited, this screen includes Philips Ambilight, an LED lighting feature that’s sure to create a unique viewing experience, unlike anything you’ll find on even the best small TVs we've reviewed.

This is one of the cheapest Philips TVs we’ve seen with Ambilight. It's a 32-inch TV with Full HD (1080p) resolution – as well as three Ambilight strips built into the back. These lights run along the top and sides of the display, and will intelligently glow different colors depending on what is playing out on screen.

Of course, at this price, you’re going to get a few downsides compared to the top TVs on the market. Most obviously there’s no 4K and 32-inches is on the smaller side. You’ll also only be watching with HDR10, rather than the dynamic HDR10+ standard. However, if you are looking for a cheap TV, this is almost certainly one you'll want to check out.

What is Ambilight and does it really make your TV better? 

Ambilight sounds like a gimmick, but Philips’s proprietary technology can add a lot to your home cinema experience. Sure, it isn't crucial for enjoying a film or your favorite show, but by blasting out appropriate colors onto the wall behind it, you’ll feel more immersed as what you’re watching seems to ooze out of your TV.

If you already use Philips Hue bulbs, expect your experience to be maxed out. Rather than just appearing from behind your gogglebox, your whole room will glow in sync with the colors on display.

You also don’t need to buy a whole new television to experience a Philips LED light show; you can upgrade your favorite TV with Philips Hue Play gradient light strips instead. These can be bought separately for 55-, 65- and 75-inch TVs (and can be used on non-Philips screens too). Whatever way you choose to enjoy Ambilight, we’d definitely recommend giving it a try.

Hamish Hector
Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.