Details of the Ambilight system?


As yet we have had no real confirmation as to how the Ambilight system works. I know that James routed 1 or more GPIO lines to the micro USB to support the system but there have been no other details. In Gordon’s list of software improvements that he posted in the KS comments he did list a kernel level driver for WS2812B LEDs and from pictures of the Slice PCB those do look to be the LEDs round the edge of the board.

Does the Ambilight system also use WS2812Bs? A single GPIO line system possibly connected to the normally unused pin 4 of the micro USB port? Or is it something else? Which GPIO line(s) does it use? It looks like a really interesting system.

Reactive Lighting

We have laid the groundwork to continue the data stream for the WS2812B lighting ring to be extended outside of the case. You’re absolutely right to think it’s using the ID pin of the microB USB connector! :slight_smile:

The idea is that with a small repeater board (to boost the data signal) we can then extend the existing 25 pixel ring into 25 + [whatever number of extra LEDs] and just “soft” split them in software.


I pledged for the ambilight HD From kickstarter, will there be any tutorial on how to make it work? Did somebody else pledged there also?


@fryheit TIf you are talking baout the FiveNinjas Pledge their are not planning on releasing the ambilight anytime soon, looks like you missed the news, here is the link : Update 15 if you are talking about the complete different Kickstarter project from a different group, I doubt being done by someone else, but that’s to the FiveNinjas to answer you :slight_smile:


@Cecemf Yes i am talking about the other project:

They always said it should work together, and i think many of us pledged there also. I just want to know if somebody feels so confident to make a tutorial then. It should work with hyperion or something like that. Thanks


Yes, that project uses strips of WS2812B LEDs which are the same LEDs as the ones on the slice board. The Ninjas have talked about a little buffer dongle that can be connected to the micro USB port to buffer the output and also provide a way to connect external power. If the connectors were the same then it would be easy to use the strips and PSU from the AmbiLED project with the slice. Alternatively it should be possible to hook the AmbiLED USB controller box into the slice ambilight system using some fairly simple drivers. Perhaps the Ninjas should talk to the AmbiLED guys to see if they can make their systems work together in an easy way.


Exactly, I think they should do that @Jon i think it should be fairly easy and it wouldn’t affect your sales just push it…


Now that there are a number of slices going out - hopefully mine included - I was wondering if anyone had made some progress on this (ambilight).

There was the other kickstarter project that may or may not have worked out of the box.

As to the ninjas version. I thought that it was something that they would look into again in the future (when things have calmed down). It was in fact a stretch goal that we reached (but the again, so was white slice but that was unilaterally removed by ninjas).

I would love to have the setup shown in the stretch goal.



So Guys, I finally received my unit yesterday! even i pledged for a retail unit i got a preview one. After such a long time… But i am happy, for me the most important thing was the passtrough and it works like a charm with my sonos system :slight_smile: So now the second thing for me was the AMBILED HD thing that i pledged for on Kickstarter. I just dont get it to work, I mean hyperion even has ambiled in its settings as you can see in the screenshot! But how do I set it up? I just cant get the Leds to work (only the start sequence. can someone please help or make a tutorial? I mean i plug the device in one of the normal usb ports so which output i have to choose and so on. and how do i get to see the files on the slice like the /storage folder in windows. Thanks for your help!


Think you should ask the AMBILED HD people about that, in the end the instructions should be exactly the same for the Raspberry Pi…



Cant one of you not just tell me the nerd stuff I dont know :wink: ? because SLICE is not just a raspberry PI and you said you rerouted some stuff from the leds for a Ambilight System and so on… I mean I just need to know the USB output, this would help me a lot… are the USBs total normal USBS? THX


Unfortunately we don’t know it either… Basically the thing you have bought is not the same thing as the thing we were thinking of developing. So the rerouting of the LED signals doesn’t help you at all here…

The thing you have bought uses completely standard USB to talk to the LEDs and you need to load up some special software to achieve this. This is what the AMBILED HD guys should have given you access to which should work on the Slice hardware exactly the same as if it was a Raspberry Pi



Ok Thanks :slight_smile: I will try with them then. I already found out the USB0 is the right one. One more pleasant thing about the Slice is very strange, my Sony remote for the TV works with slice when the Slice is turned on and not with the TV anymore, Even with all the special buttons like .play .pause .fast forward .options .back and so on, and my sonos system catches the Volume commands anyway. So i removed the dongle from the slice remote but then my Sony remote still worked!? (is there an infrared receiver behind the leds inside the slice?) so its perfect i still can use only one remote for everything and i have one more free USB Port. Really like the slice more and more :slight_smile:


That’s CEC working, your TV remote is communicating with the TV and the TV passes the button presses to the Slice through some special signals in the HDMI wire.

The Raspberry Pi hardware is one of the only pieces of hardware that properly supports CEC, and an awesome thing it is too!



someone got ambiled to run on slice?


Still waiting for that also… It’s the only reason I backed ambiled, to make it work with slice…


This page:

seems to imply that Hyperion is unlikely to work with OpenELEC…


That’s interesting, but hopefully not the case. The ambient lighting system was one of the reasons I backed Slice, and is one of the few things that can make Slice stand out in the sea of other media players.

If I remember correctly, before ambient lighting was pulled as a Kickstarter option, the Ninjas already had a working prototype of sorts. Can the Ninjas share with us any progress they made on ambient lighting? Did it work? Did it use Hyperion, Boblight, or some proprietary software? Was the buffering hardware ever developed?

And most importantly, is it ever likely to see the light of day, or should we be looking elsewhere for a solution?

Over to you, Ninjas!


As 7 days have now elapsed, with no comment from the Ninjas, I think the default answer to my ambient lighting question has to be “look elsewhere”. Shame really!


I am also interested in this.

My personal story: three things made me commit to Slice (I already have a mini-itx silent with Kodi). Raspberry PI multiple operating systems, Spdif/Optical output and ambi-light integration.

When I committed to the project it was because the ambilight target had just been achieved. Today, the system is ok but I cannot use the optical output because it does not work yet, the multiple OS support is pending and ambilight probably canceled forever. I hope the new compute module will bring a new life to some of this features. If not, then you are better off buying OSMC or a FireTV memory stick. Today I read that the FireTV does everything that my Slide does for 1/3 of the cost (only exception the HD that I do not use) and it also supports Netflix and Amazon Video. OSMC has better support and active forums. It may be that the future support for SliceOS is to run instead of SlideOS once CM2 is out.

As Gordon said before the software development is costly and the number of sold Slides probably does not help with this. Not a rant, just how I see it right now, I hope I am wrong. I lilke the Slide right now I have the feeling that its future is fading slowly.