Ambilight is the feature that Philips has added to some of its flat screen displays. It essentially frames the image with a faint glowing light, and is designed to enhance the viewing experience. It also may help reduce eye strain and fatigue by decreasing the contrast between the image and the immediate surroundings in your field of view. The intensity and color of the surround can change dynamically in response to the content of the images displayed on the screen.
So what does this look like? Philips has partnered with MSN Movies to present movie trailers with simulated Ambilight displays on your computer screen. Check out this link to see for yourself.
I like the concept of Ambilight, as I think that staring into a black void to view a brighlty-color image does get tiring. The dynamic effects are pretty, and I generally find that they are not distracting but I’m not sure how much they add to the overall experience. Being notoriously cheap, however, I have placed a small nightlight behind my big screen TV, which provides a static glow with a similar effect. Try it and see if you don’t think it improves your viewing experience.