Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on December 2, 2020
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 *TIPS*
-For those of you that are having trouble with colors after calibrating, and are willing/still have the ability to physically move the camera, try this:
After calibration slightly move the camera around the calibrated vicinity until the colors mimic what's on the TV screen. That is the spot, and angle, you need to have your camera. In my application, mine is placed below my TV on the center channel. My colors weren't correct and it was due to my camera having moved when I bumped the stand. Once I realized this, I moved the camera and used the changing of the colors on the LEDs matching up to the colors on the screen to figure out where to replace the camera. Took 15 seconds.
-Don't be afraid to move the camera and recalibrate again/more then once if you are not attaining the proper results.
-Not quite getting the colors you want? Try adjusting the saturation bar in the app all the way down if need be. This kept my whites from becoming too blue and my yellows from becoming too green.
-For those not wanting to stick the orange calibration cubes on their screen, try performing a web search for Govee Calibration Test Screen. That video may or may not serve as an alternative. I misplaced my cubes and ended up using it with no issues and similar results.
-Check out their product website for constant sales. Wish I would have checked there first.

*12/2/21 1 YEAR UPDATE ADDED AT BOTTOM*
*12/30/20 UPDATE ADDED AT BOTTOM*

*ORIGINAL REVIEW*
This is not my first set of Govee brand light strips as I also currently own 2 sets of their H6163 model in use under my couch and media center. Having had such a great experience with those, I decided to try out one of their TV light strips. I had been actively searching for a lighting setup that reacted to what was on the screen for quite a few years. Those in a similar boat have heard names such as Ambilight, Dream Screen, amongst others. The problem was that they always seemed to have too many bugs, limitations, or required more work outside a simple plug and play effort. Seeing how far tech has come along, I'm glad I waited as these seem to be superior in quite a few ways.

Installation:
This was installed on a wall mounted 85" Sony. Govee lists this strip as fitting up to an 75" screen. This is a bit of a play on words as yes it is true it can fit, but it is obviously designed to fit something closer to a 55 or 65" screen. The idea is to have the strip stuck to the back of the TV as close to the edge of the border as possible. I am nowhere near the border on the 85" but I knew the limitations surrounding the screen size before ordering and thus my expectations were already in check. I laid the lights out to test they all worked as well as measured the length. Govee lists them as being roughly 12.5 feet. I measured about 14 feet including the wires that curve around the corners of the TV. I wanted the power line to fall on the right side when facing the back of the TV so I ran the strip clockwise starting from the bottom right. I ended up installing them roughly 7-8 inches from the edge of the sides and about 4 to 5" away on the top and bottom as I felt this was the best use of the length provided in relation to the screen size I have. Your experience may vary depending on your layout.
I plugged everything into the control box and rather than stick it to the TV using the installed double sided tape, I was able to simply wedge it in between my mount and TV. I'm glad I did that as initially I had installed the camera on the top of the TV but wasn't a fan of the "UFO antenna" look. Plus once I calibrated it using the app it seemed the screen didn't fit within the camera. During calibration the app asks if you chose to install the camera on top of the TV or the bottom. I ended up moving the control box lower on the back of the TV and taping the camera to my center channel which is just a few inches below the TV. Recalibrating in this new location provided me enough distance from the TV for the camera to catch the entire screen while also having the added bonus of placing the camera in a more discreet location. Having calibrated the camera to the screen a few times differently to see if the way I calibrated made a difference, I realized camera location and calibration is key to making this work correctly.

Experience:
This light strip does all the cool party tricks the H6163 model does but now with an additional "video" mode! This is the reason you buy this kit. It is in this mode that the lights react to what is on the screen via what is captured in the camera. I personally have not had the issues some have mentioned they had with previous model(s). The colors of the lights have done a great job reacting to what is on the screen and can get quite bright. There is some latency in changing colors especially in the movie configuration of video mode although transitions are smoother. Latency seems reduced in the game configuration of video mode with a more rapid color transition. You can also decide if you want the lighting to be distributed sectionally based on what is captured on the screen, or if you prefer to have the whole border react to showing just one color at a time...similar to the old Philips TVs from some years back.
I went back and forth while watching some HDR and Dolby Vision movies and both modes work great depending on how you feel that day. I can see where the game mode would be preferred by gamers due to the lower latency of the lighting transitions. There is also a "saturation" scroll bar which allows you to fine tune how deep the colors show. I adjusted the distance of the TV from the wall to see how the lights responded to being farther from the wall. I currently settled at being about 9" from the wall but I am still playing with the distance. My fear was the lights would be set so far away from the edge of the TV that brightness would suffer but that isn't the case. I have nothing negative to say about how bright these get as they get bright enough for my application.

The Immersion lights have an updated version of an existing ability on my H6163 light strips which is the ability to access all app features without having to turn on bluetooth since it works over your wifi network. I wish the H6163 model worked this way as it is somewhat of a bummer when you are flowing with everything and then have to stop to turn the bluetooth on to access DIY mode. The Immersion lights "Scenes" mode also has 4 additional themes with the ability to adjust the brightness. The H6163 model does not allow you to change the brightness of the Scenes mode. Hopefully a future update will allow this ability on my H6163 to match the Immersion lights.

Integration:
My H6163 already syncs with my Google Home so adding the Immersion lights was as easy as opening the app, finding the Immersion light model, and adding it. I have set up some custom scene profiles to be able to control all of the lights grouped in various ways. You'll need to go into your google home app and add the lights to a room to take full advantage of controlling the lights via "OK/Hey Google...". The Govee app also allows the ability to set the lights to turn on/off by setting a timer but I prefer walking into the room and commanding google to handle that responsibility. It is quite impressive to walk into the room with company and telling google to "turn on the media room lights" as they watch the lights turn on in their last configured setup they were last turned off in. Your hard work is rewarded with high praise followed by questions on how to attain a similar setup in their home. This is furthered when they watch a movie or play a game as their viewing experience is heightened from the lights behind the TV reacting to what is on the screen.

Customer Service:
I reached out to Govee before purchasing to see if offering a true 85" version of the immersion style lights was on their road map. I had a response in my email the next day stating they currently have no plans to do such. I haven't had to have any warranty work performed but the fact that I am getting any response at all, let alone the next day, is promising especially when customer service and follow-up seems to be lacking in so many of today's companies.

Final Thoughts:
Govee seems to constantly keep their app updated with new ways on how it reacts with their light strips. They also seem in tune with their fan base/critics and what is being requested in future applications and updates. My biggest gripe is that I feel Govee needs to expand their lineup for this strip to truly match the size of the TV especially as larger TVs become more popular amongst buyers. This has been echoed many times in many reviews of their other products. Given the price point of this in comparison to the Philips Hue, which I was also considering, this is an amazing product! I would happily pay more to have a true 85" kit if they ever came out with it and would gladly be a tester if they offered it. In the meantime, I am very satisfied with the current offering.

*12/30/20 UPDATE*
It looks like they have changed the size parameters in their description to fitting 55-65". Though this set of lights is a truer fit for those size TVs, I've had these on my 85" for a few weeks and I'm not disappointed. Here's why:

-Adhesive and build quality-
I've removed the lights from the TV a few times to reposition them better for my application. I did no additional wiping down of the surface and was even a little aggressive with the removal. I would have figured by now that the adhesive would have started to fail me but this is not the case. The lights still adhere exactly where I placed them and all lights still work with no issues. I definitely recommend measuring the area where you plan to install these in hopes of a more "one and done" setup, but it's good to know you can reapply if it's not to your liking the first time around.

-Brightness-
Even though the light strip does not reach the edges of the TV as it would in the sizes it is recommended for, sliding the brightness bar up to 100% yielded lights bright enough that I don't necessarily feel like I'm missing out on the experience. I typically have the brightness closer to 50% which creates a more cohesive feel in my setup. I've still got the TV pulled about 8 to 9 inches from the wall and I get plenty of color expanding quite far out from the outer edges of the TV. I'm still playing with the wall-to-TV distance but playing with both has helped heighten the experience.

I would still like to see an 85" specific version of these lights produced as I would purchase them, moving my current set to the 65" TV I have in another room. I'm still advocating having a true to size fit would allow for a tighter halo look around the borders rather than a "glow" from behind the screen. It would also increase the amount of color in the corners where currently, due to the length and placement of the light strips in my application, it is somewhat absent. Fortunately the lighting blooms enough from the surrounding strips that it's not totally void of light.

As I continue to play with these lights I'll try to leave tips which have helped me attain a better overall experience.

*12/2/21 1 YEAR UPDATE*
Having owned this kit a full year I've enjoyed it so much that I moved it to a 65" TV and recently procured their larger size kit for 75-85". I have nothing new to report other than everything is still just as I referenced in my review. I even had no issues with the adhesive during the transplanting of the kit from the 85" TV to the 65". It is a fantastic kit once you get everything dialed in. For those looking for a comparison between this kit and the larger sized, I recently completed it over on the associated kit's page. Link here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R3JGRLJZT5D3VO/ref=cm_cr_othr_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B09J4PPFK2
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