How to Adjust Your TV's Color Balance Using an iPhone and Apple TV

It takes less than a minute. And it'll make the movies and shows you watch look even better.

apple tv
Henry Phillips

Apple recently rolled a software update — tvOS 14.5 — to its streaming boxes, both Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K, giving them the ability to optimize the color balance of your TV. In a nutshell, you can now quickly adjust the picture quality of your specific TV so that the content you watching on your Apple TV looks best.

Here's what you need

• An iPhone that has Face ID, which is a 2017-released iPhone X or newer. That iPhone needs to be running iOS 14.5 or later, too. It's necessary because this feature uses the iPhone's TrueDepth front-facing camera.

• An Apple TV that's running tvOS 14.5 or later. You don't need the 2021-released Apple TV 4K to adjust the color balance of your TV. You can do the same thing with an Apple TV HD or 2017-released Apple TV 4K. It just needs to be able to run tvOS 14.5 or later.

• A TV, can be HD or 4K, that doesn't support Dolby Vision. The truth is that the tvOS 14.5's Color Balance does effectively the same job as Dolby Vision, which automatically adjusts the colors and brightness of your TV. So if you have a TV that supports Dolby Vision — and Dolby Vision is enabled on your Apple TV — there isn't any need to adjust the color balance.

How to adjust the Color Balance of your TV

  1. Turn on your Apple TV.
  2. Open the Settings menu.
  3. Scroll down and select the Video and Audio tab.
  4. Scroll down to Calibration and select Color Balance.
  5. A message will appear on your TV instructing you to bring your iPhone near it. Do so.
  6. Once your iPhone is near the TV screen, you'll see a pop-up notification asking if you want to measure your television's color. Select Continue.
  7. Follow the instructions. You'll be asked to hold your iPhone inside a silhouette that appears on your TV. It will flash a bunch of colors and afterward your TV will be calibrated.

    Once calibrated, your Apple TV will give you the option to view the original and calibrated images so that you can see the difference and choose which one you prefer. Obviously, it's recommended that you choose the calibrated picture for the best quality picture.

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