How to use Apple TV’s iPhone-based color balance feature

Apple recently released an update to the Apple TV 4K, complete with a new Siri remote and new features. Among these new features is a color balance setting that claims to make your TV’s colors as good as possible. So if you bought a new Apple TV 4K or upgraded an old Apple TV to tvOS 14.5, follow these steps to enable and use Apple TV’s new iPhone-based color balance feature.

Use Apple TV’s color balance feature to improve picture quality

How does the feature work?

Before we see how you can use the new color balance feature, let’s see what the new feature is and how it works.

Basically, with the new Apple TV 4K (and the tvOS 14.5 update), you can now use your iPhone to calibrate the colors on your TV screen. With this feature, your Apple TV will use the TrueDepth camera system (including the selfie camera, Face ID and other sensors) on your iPhone to check your TV’s color settings. tvOS will use this information to adjust colors and improve the appearance of content on your Apple TV.

This is great, and while it doesn’t work as well as professional calibration tools, it’s definitely something that will come in handy for people who want better color on their TV without going through the hassle of a full, professional calibration.

List of iPhones that support Apple TV’s Color Balance feature

To use this new feature, you’ll need an iPhone that supports iOS 14.5 or higher. Here are iPhone models you can use to color balance your Apple TV.

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone11
  • iPhone 11Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone12
  • iPhone 12Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max

Also, it is important to know that you must be using Apple TV (2015) or later and tvOS 14.5 or later to use the color balance feature. Apple also advises users to disable highly saturated picture modes such as vivid or sporty on the TV before testing.

How to use Apple TV’s iPhone-based color balance feature?

1. On Apple TV, go to Settings -> Video & Audio -> Color Balance in the Calibration section.

2. You will see a notification on your iPhone. If you see a ‘Not required’ message on your screen, your Apple TV does not need color calibration.

3. Now, turn your iPhone so that the front camera is facing your TV screen. Make sure your phone is centered within the frame shown on the TV screen and keep it there.

4. In a few seconds, your Apple TV will adjust your TV’s color settings. You can use the ‘View Results’ option to see results before and after color settings. That way, you can see how much difference the color calibration process has made on your TV screen. So it is a feature that allows you to enjoy the best Netflix movies or any other content on video sharing sites with enhanced color.

color balance feature on Apple TV in action
Image courtesy: YouTube/Apple

Easily calibrate color on your Apple TV

Several people are complaining that this new feature is nowhere near what professional-grade calibration tools offer. This may be true, but they are missing the point. The reason this feature exists is because an average consumer doesn’t have the will or knowledge to use professional-grade tools to calibrate their television’s colors. But using this method, you only need a few seconds and an Apple TV and iPhone to see better colors on your TVs, which is a win-win for everyone. What are your thoughts on the color calibration feature on Apple TV? Let us know in the comments.

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