E3 2017: DreamScreen lights up your gaming, movies, and music

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Dreamscreen LED light casting on a demo wall at E3 2017. (Credit: Bryan Edge-Salois)

DreamScreen LED lights can paint your game room with explosive, reactive colors or turn your music collection into your own private light show—or just bathe your home theater in sexy ambient back lighting.

The idea of adding enhanced lighting to gaming isn’t new;gaming peripheral maker Mad Catz tried it in 2011 with their Mad Catz Gaming Lights, powered by amBX software and technology.

I was a fan of the Mad Catz gaming lights, but they ultimately fizzled as a product. And as you’re probably aware, Mad Catz filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations on March 30, 2017.

Enter DreamScreen FLEX LEDs and Hub

DreamScreen lights are another product initially brought to life through the magic of Kickstarter. Like the Mad Catz gaming lights, the DreamScreen lights provide ambient lighting for your home theater or gaming screen, but they are implemented in a very different way.

At the heart of the DreamScreen lights is the DreamScreen hub (shown below), which contains 3 HDMI ports, a single audio jack, and a micro USB connector. The FLEX LED lights come in a thin strip that is applied to the back-side of the display along the edges and then connects to the DreamScreen hub. (The other HDMI ports are in case you want to connect additional HDMI sources to the lights).

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The DreamScreen hub can be attached to the back of your display, and support up to two additional HDMI inputs. (Credit: DreamScreen)

A Micro USB connector is also included, which enables the lights to sync with the power on the monitor to which they’re attached. An audio jack is included so you can sync the lights with a music source for your own personal rhythmic light show.

The DreamScreen hub in turn connects to your WiFi network and your Smartphone, which you’ll use to configure and customize your lighting through the Dreamscreen app. The DreamScreen app lets you toggle between 1 of 3 different modes (video, music, or static ambient lighting), in addition to 1 of 4 preset music visualizers.

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E3 2017: DreamScreen “Sidekick” lights on tripod mounts casting light onto side walls of a demo room (Credit: Bryan Edge-Salois)

Once everything is configured, the DreamScreen LEDs (in Video mode) will respond to the dominant pixel color on your screen and then cast that color onto the wall behind your monitor, making the picture seem to expand beyond the borders of your display.

Or, you can opt to set the DreamScreen lights to a static color of your choosing, or turn your display into musical light show with one of the 4 included ‘visualizers’.

Gaming lights in action (sort of)

Just as a live, personal example of how gaming lights (albeit not DreamScreen’s) can be fun, check out the video below, in which I demonstrate some Mad Catz gaming lights for both music and gaming. [Although very different from DreamScreen’s solution, they still give you an idea of what the lights can do. (Notice there’s a mad cat in the video.) ]

Some gaming lights in action

Now, here’s a video created by DreamScreen demonstrating their lighting solution in action. It is a much better video than mine, although sans-cat.

I won’t mince words: I’ve always enjoyed gaming lights—but I understand why they’re a bit of a tough sell to gamers. They’re a little expensive and don’t directly improve your gaming with better framerates or capabilities.

Regardless, gaming lights are still really damn cool. I’ve also often maintained that they make great gifts for gamers, because most gamers will appreciate them even if they wouldn’t buy them for themselves.

DreamScreen’s basic lighting solutions start at about $150, which is more than enough to deck out a sizable PC monitor. For a larger home theater system or 4K system you may need to spend a bit more. There are even some DIY options if you want to use DreamScreen tech to connect to your own LEDs.

That said, I’ll leave you to check out DreamScreen’s lighting solutions for yourself (or maybe as a gift for that gamer on your list later this year?)

 

 

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