How to improve your TV viewing experience without spending big bucks

April 17, 2024
2 mins read


Nanoleaf 4D Screen Mirror & Lightstrip Kit

Want to exponentially improve your TV viewing experience without adding huge cost to the setup? PAT PILCHER has found a nifty solution.


Quite some time ago, Philips showcased their Ambilight TVs. These tellies had RGB LED light strips built into their rear that extended on-screen colours onto walls behind and around the TV. While some may argue that the effect was gimmicky, most people thought it was pretty cool and added to the overall immersive cinematic experience you get from a decent home theatre system.

Since then, there have been Hue add-on light strips for both PC monitors and TVs. Not to be outdone, smart light vendor Nanoleaf has stepped into the fray with their take on the genre, the Nanoleaf 4D, which is pretty nifty.

Where Philips uses an HDMI adaptor box, Nanoleaf’s solution uses a camera to track what’s on your TV’s screen so the light strip on the rear of your TV can generate the correct colours, adding an extra layer of immersion to your viewing experience.

The light-strip Nanoleaf supply in the box comes in either a 65-inch or 85-inch length, which can be trimmed for smaller TVs. There’s also a control box, a camera and its mounting bracket, mounting hardware for the light strip and the obligatory power adapter and adaptor box.

Getting set up proved less tricky than I’d initially imagined. After taking the TV off the cabinet to get better access to its back, I stuck the light strip in place. The manual suggests that it be placed about 50mm from the TV’s outer edge. Routing light-strip around corners was easier than expected thanks to the bundled elbows placed on the top left and right corners of the panel’s rear. I then put the mounting arm on the top of the TV, attached the camera and connected its cables and light strip to the bundled control box, following the instructions in the Nanoleaf app to connect the 4D kit to Alexa/my phone. About the only really fiddly bit involved using the app to identify all four corners of the TV screen so the camera could monitor on-screen action accurately. All told, my total setup time was around 45 minutes.

Once you’re good to go, the app gives you the choice of a bunch of different effects. You can have the light strip illuminate the wall around your TV with a white glow, illuminate using the most common colour on your TV screen, or match multiple colours, which update in real time with the on-screen action.

Either way, the effect is neat, adding to the cinematic feel of watching TV or gaming with a console. Curiously, the effect made my TV screen seem larger, and it’s a great combination with 5.1 (or even better, 7.1/Atmos) surround audio.

The 4D setup can work with other Nanoleaf lights that are Sync+ compatible. In practice, this means that their colours synchronise with what your TV is doing. That said, I’d avoid placing lights too close to the TV, as they’d probably become a distraction during TV viewing sessions.

While Nanoleaf retails the 4D kit for $189.99, JB Hi-fi has discounted it to $179. Given its reasonable sticker price, the 4D kit is an affordable way of tricking out your home theatre experience to take TV/movie viewing to the next level.


Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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