In April, Apple introduced an iPhone-based color balance feature for Apple TV that can improve the overall picture quality of your television set when you're using Apple's set-top box.

apple tv color balance 1
Using the iPhone's light sensor, the feature compares the color balance to industry-standard specifications, and automatically adjusts your ‌Apple TV‌'s video output to deliver more accurate colors and improved contrast.

Follow the steps below to try it out. For best results, Apple suggests avoiding the use of bright or highly saturated picture modes on your TV like "vivid" or "sports."

What You'll Need

  • ‌Apple TV‌ HD (2015) or later
  • ‌iPhone‌ with Face ID (‌iPhone‌ X or later)
  • tvOS 14.5 or later
  • iOS 14.5 or later

How to Color Balance Apple TV With iPhone

  1. With your ‌iPhone‌ unlocked and nearby, launch the Settings app on your ‌Apple TV‌.
  2. Select the Video and Audio menu.
    Apple TV

  3. Under "Calibration," select Color Balance. If the option says "Not Required," your smart TV doesn't need adjusting. It also is unavailable with Dolby Vision.
  4. When the notification appears on your ‌iPhone‌, follow the onscreen instructions: Turn your ‌iPhone‌ around so the front-facing camera is pointing at your TV, hold it centered inside the displayed frame within one inch of the screen, and keep it there until the progress icon fills up (it should only take a few seconds).
    apple tv color balance2

  5. Select View Results to see how your TV has been adjusted.

apple tv color balance
The results show you a side-by-side comparison of the original colors that your TV was displaying and the balance-adjusted colors. The calibrated version should look more natural and perhaps warmer.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

Press22 Avatar
26 weeks ago
Tired of seeing the professional calibrators upset about this feature. It's not for you, its for the masses who use out of the box settings.
This is cool, thanks.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
danny842003 Avatar
26 weeks ago

Anyone that’s serious about calibration won’t touch this.
Maybe not but most people don’t do any form of calibration, so potentially even if it’s not perfect it could be an improvement for the majority.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
boast Avatar
26 weeks ago
I personally thought this was the coolest part of the presentation. Can't wait to give it a try.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mnsportsgeek Avatar
26 weeks ago
I’ll have to see this for myself but that color balanced image does not look all that realistic to me. Ya it looks pretty but colors don’t look that perfect in real life. Most people would look at a picture where the colors are way too warm and tell you that looks the best. I hope Apple is going for accuracy here and not personal preference of the masses.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
26 weeks ago
The color balanced picture in the article looks overly saturated and unnatural.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dex4788 Avatar
26 weeks ago

I tried the calibration during the normal lighting conditions of when I normally watch TV (don't know if that affects the accuracy) and while I'm certainly by no means a pro at color calibration, the "balanced" outcome looked significantly "warmer" than the original. So much so to the point that it is still jarring after 3 days. I know I can change back, but I've looked around online and of the dozen or so people that have commented on the coloration, probably like 10/12 of them have said there outcome was also "warmer" as a result.

Are "warmer" colors "more accurate" in general?
Yes, absolutely. The whole industry works off the 6500K white point, which is warmer than it is cooler.

It's how practically all media content is mastered, so if your desire is to view things how the creators have intended, you should leave it.

Give it a few days and your eyes will adjust and forget about it in due time.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

siri remote 2 clickpad settings feature

Apple TV: How to Customize the Clickpad on the New Siri Remote (2nd Gen)

Monday May 24, 2021 7:18 am PDT by
Apple's second-generation redesigned Siri Remote features a touch-sensitive clickpad that can be used to navigate menus as well as fast-forward and rewind video. When you first start using the Siri Remote, touch surface tracking is on by default, but if you can't get on with the sensitivity or you're just not comfortable using touch controls on a remote, you can always customize it or turn...
iphone11smarthdr

How to Save Storage Space When Shooting in HDR on Older iPhones

Thursday April 8, 2021 4:36 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhones include a camera feature called HDR, which uses High Dynamic Range to capture better photos when the image includes bright sunlight alongside extreme shade. HDR achieves this by taking three exposures of the same scene which it then combines into one picture, resulting in a more balanced, realistic shot. On iPhone X and earlier models, when the camera takes an automatic HDR...
m1 mac family

How to Record Your Mac's Screen

Tuesday May 18, 2021 3:41 pm PDT by
If you've ever wanted to record a video of your Mac's screen but don't know quite how to do so, then you've come to the right place. Keep reading to learn how you can record any Mac desktop activity in just a few simple steps. Recording the activity on your Mac's screen can be useful for a number of reasons. For example, if you want to teach someone how to perform a particular function on...
tvos music now playing lyrics synced

How to Enable Time-Synced Lyrics in Apple Music on Your Apple TV

Tuesday May 11, 2021 5:16 pm PDT by
If you're an Apple Music subscriber and own an Apple TV, you have everything you need to host a karaoke party. Thanks to Apple's time-synced lyrics feature, you can sing along as you listen to your favorite songs. This article explains how. In September of 2020, Apple released the tvOS 14 update, which can be installed on the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD. If you own either model, you can...
Apple Podcasts iOS 14 5

iOS 14.5: How to Automatically Download New Podcast Episodes and Follow Shows

Tuesday April 27, 2021 5:21 pm PDT by
In iOS 14.5, Apple has made some notable changes to its native Podcasts app. Some of these changes reflect the fact that Apple announced an optional paid podcast subscription service (beginning May 2021), while others are interface improvements to make it easier to find, follow, and listen to new episodes. One example of these changes is the new Smart play button, which is designed to help...
apple tv app 1

How to Turn On Subtitles and Change Languages in the Apple TV App

Wednesday March 24, 2021 10:25 am PDT by
Apple's TV app allows you to choose customized audio languages, subtitles, and other accessibility features on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, and Apple TV. This article explains how to change subtitles and languages for videos viewed in the app on the above devices as well as smart TVs and streaming devices that feature Apple's TV app. How to Change Subtitles or Languages on Apple TV On...
generic tracking prompt green

How to Stop Apps From Tracking You in iOS 14.5

Monday April 26, 2021 10:48 am PDT by
With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps are no longer allowed to access the IDFA or tracking advertiser on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV without your express permission, keeping your app data more private. Apps use your IDFA to track you across different apps and websites, keeping tabs on your preferences and app usage habits. When an app wants to use your IDFA, you'll see a popup that says...
ios camera app icon

How to Save Storage Space When Recording Video on iPhone and iPad

Thursday April 8, 2021 4:42 pm PDT by
The video recording capabilities of iPhones and iPads get better with each new model that Apple releases, which is great if you want to capture the best-looking video possible. However, the higher quality the video format is, the more storage space the video files naturally take up, which may not be good news if you're device is short on capacity. Typically, iPhones default to shooting video...
youtube apple tv

How to Watch YouTube on a Third-Generation Apple TV

Wednesday March 3, 2021 12:57 pm PST by
Beginning March 2021, YouTube officially ended support for its YouTube app on third-generation Apple TV models. If you own the older set-top box, which launched in January 2013, you'll be unable to access the video platform directly via the official YouTube Apple TV app. (You're also basically in the same situation if you own the second-generation Apple TV, which doesn't have an App Store at...
homepod mini stereo pair mac

macOS 11.3: How to Use Two HomePods With a Mac for Stereo Audio Output

Tuesday April 27, 2021 2:17 am PDT by
With the arrival of macOS Big Sur 11.3, it is now possible to use a HomePod stereo pair as your Mac's system audio output. This article explains how to set up two HomePod speakers as a stereo pair and then connect them to your Mac. Dedicated stereo speakers are always going to provide a better listening experience than relying on your Mac's built-in speakers for audio, so it makes sense that ...