You'll Soon Be Able to Calibrate the Apple TV with an iPhone to Optimize TV Color and Contrast

During this week’s Apple Event, along with the new iPad Pro, colorful iMacs, AirTags and even a purple iPhone, a new Apple TV box revealed, complete with an updated remote. But it’s a new Apple TV color balance feature that will allow for easy image optimization that’s really exciting.

Whenever you get a new TV, it can be frustrating trying to get all the display settings just right. The color balance, brightness, and contrast in particular can be maddening to tweak. But if you happen to be watching most of your movies and television programming through an Apple TV, that process will soon be a lot simpler with the help of an iPhone.

CNET has called our attention to the new Apple TV color balance feature that will allow users to easily optimize the set top box for the best possible visuals for programming through the set top box. And all they’ll need is their trusty iPhone and updated iOS software to make it happen.

In order to optimize the display settings for the Apple TV on your own HD TV, all you’ll have to do is activate the feature in the settings app, then hold the front-facing camera of your iPhone up to your television’s screen. As you can see above, the feature even gives you a small box on your TV screen to show you where the iPhone needs to be in order to optimize your settings.

Once the iPhone is in place in front of your screen, the TV will flash several different colors while your iPhone measures and records those colors, giving your Apple TV the information it needs to tune the colors to look as good as possible. However, it sounds like this might not work with all televisions, because CNET couldn’t color balance a TV that supports Dolby Vision. Further specifics on the specs for which TVs will allow the color balance feature to work have not yet been provided.

Keep in mind that this Apple TV color balance feature will only optimize the settings when you’re using your Apple TV. Any other devices you have hooked up to your TV, as well as the TV itself, won’t be optimized in the same way.

In order to use the Apple TV color balance feature, you’ll need at least an iPhone X or newer with Face ID running iOS 14.5 or later. You’ll also need either an Apple TV 4K or an Apple TV HD that’s also running on TVOS 14.5. Since the new iOS update won’t be available until next week, you’ll have to wait a little bit to try this out, but it should be well worth it in the end.

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