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 (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

Press22 Avatar
14 months 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
14 months 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
14 months 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
14 months 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
14 months ago
The color balanced picture in the article looks overly saturated and unnatural.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dex4788 Avatar
14 months 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)

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