MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,126
15,932


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.jpg

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-color-balance-1-1.jpg

    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.
  3. 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.jpg

    Select View Results to see how your TV has been adjusted.
apple-tv-color-balance.jpg

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.

Article Link: How to Use Apple TV's iPhone-Based Color Balance Feature
 
Last edited:

zorinlynx

macrumors 604
May 31, 2007
6,787
11,829
Florida, USA
I did this and the change was very subtle! I guess I should be proud that my TV was pretty well calibrated to start with?

My only question is, does the Apple TV keep separate calibrations for when HDR is on and off? Many TVs use distinct settings for HDR being on and off, so it would make sense to store separate calibration profiles for each.
 
Comment

rotax

macrumors regular
May 17, 2010
160
129
When I do this, the results only show the screensaver video of flying over a beach shoreline where one side is the ocean and the other is the sand. So it's not really easy to see the difference on each side of the screen. It would be great if we could scroll by swiping, between screen savers to evaluate the changes. It would also be good if there were some data available to view about the specific adjustments that were applied.
 
Comment

mnsportsgeek

macrumors 68040
Feb 24, 2009
3,132
3,784
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.
 
Comment

augustrushrox

macrumors member
Feb 7, 2015
82
249
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 their outcome was also "warmer" as a result.

Are "warmer" colors "more accurate" in general?
 
Last edited:
Comment

Dex4788

macrumors member
Nov 29, 2008
81
11
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.
 
Comment

upandown

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2017
918
814
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 they are.

It’s also due to the fact that displays in general have been calibrated as ‘cool’ from the factory for so long. So as a whole most people are used to the cooler bluer temperatures and generally prefer them because people don’t like change ha. Cooler temps are also brighter so that’s another reason why people tend to like it. And that’s why lately we see so many complaints of yellowish/warm screens. People are just now seeing a more accurate color temperature and having an issue with it.

This is all especially true with TVs. They are very cool out of the box and most people don’t even know they can adjust the picture to a more accurate one in the settings. So it’s the first time seeing the light while using this new feature.
 
Comment

jimbobb24

macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2005
1,819
2,771
Yes they are.

It’s also due to the fact that displays in general have been calibrated as ‘cool’ from the factory for so long. So as a whole most people are used to the cooler bluer temperatures and generally prefer them because people don’t like change ha. Cooler temps are also brighter so that’s another reason why people tend to like it. And that’s why lately we see so many complaints of yellowish/warm screens. People are just now seeing a more accurate color temperature and having an issue with it.

This is all especially true with TVs. They are very cool out of the box and most people don’t even know they can adjust the picture to a more accurate one in the settings. So it’s the first time seeing the light while using this new feature.
I often find TVs at the store turn movies into looking like commercials or cheap TV shows. I wish I knew what was actually off but I take new TVs home and play with them for awhile until a movie looks like a movie. That’s not very scientific... but I don’t buy new TVs often enough to develop a system.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.