QMS VRR Support Coming to Apple TV 4K to Prevent Blackouts When Changing Content Frame Rate [Updated]

Initial reviews of the new Apple TV 4K highlighted that Apple will add support for Quick Media Switching Variable Refresh Rate (QMS VRR) via a software update to tvOS.

Apple TV 2022 Feature Blue
QMS VRR prevents momentary blackouts that occur when switching between content playing in different frame rates. As TechCrunch highlights, users who already have the "Match Content" setting for frame rates turned on may already be familiar with this, "since it happens almost any time you start streaming an actual show or movie from most apps." From The Verge's Apple TV 4K review:

The third-gen Apple TV 4K has another bit of future proofing up its sleeve: later this year, a software update will add support for what's known as QMS VRR. This enables compatible TVs to switch between different frame rates without any black screens or noticeable picture interruptions. How many TVs work with QMS VRR, you ask? Well, zero at the moment. But you'll start seeing them hit the market next year; stay tuned for more news about this feature at CES. I've never been that bothered by the short flicker when changing frame rates, but I won't miss it, either.

It is worth noting that QMS VRR does not prevent blackouts when switching between color spaces or HDR content. The new video quality feature is set to be added via a software update to tvOS.

According to YouTuber Andru Edwards, the feature will not come to the second-generation ‌Apple TV‌ 4K, even though that device introduced support for high-framerate HDR content up to 60 fps and HDMI 2.1 last year.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

chrisherbert Avatar
17 months ago
Supporting 120hz would also clear up the vast majority of the switches, since 30, 60 and 24fps content can be shown without issue at 120.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
johnmarki Avatar
17 months ago
Since I've upgraded my TV and Home Theatre, this is much needed, and I'm glad Apple is addressing this.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Xenomorph Avatar
17 months ago

I am amused with the idea that a couple seconds' worth of blackness when switching videos is a problem that we as a society decided it's worth it to solve. Ever onward!
Clearly you've never had to deal with it.

Black screens, pauses, video modes change. Each one takes an obnoxiously long period of time. If you have multiple ads, you could end up with your TV "going out of sync" half a dozen times before the video you want to watch even plays. Picture cuts out, audio cuts out, etc. The only thing worse than an annoying ad is an annoying ad that appears to be broken.

It's jarring and distracting, and makes it seem like something is wrong with your TV. Simply disabling content matching makes the issue go away, so it's easy to tell what the problem is.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BeatCrazy Avatar
17 months ago
I don't care if you guys make fun, but this is a feature I may actually use as an excuse to upgrade. I have a strong preference for Match Content/frame rates, and my TV throws up it's default screen saver just when I move between the Home Screen and apps. So I might lose image about 10 times in 2 minutes just bouncing around.

And I do have a TV and 8K HDMI switching that supports QMS. Just needed a source.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
patsfan83 Avatar
17 months ago
This is a huge issue watching stuff on the YouTube app- all the commercial breaks there is a ton of black flashing when going through my AV receiver.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
apparatchik Avatar
17 months ago

this is a feature of hdmi 2.1, not apple tv. tv must support it too. …..which means that apple has not fully implemented hdmi 2.1 and after some time will release a fix
It’s both, no? as every hdmi 2.1 device can support any subset of features if any and still be hdmi 2.1 according to the consortium.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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