Apple TV Logo with Remote
Peter Kotoff / Shutterstock

Things might not look amazing even with an Apple TV 4K and a great television. Instead of counting pixels to make sure you’re receiving the best quality stream, you can find streaming statistics behind the developer menu.

It isn’t immediately obvious how to access the developer menu, but we’ve got you covered. You’ll need an Apple TV and Mac, and they need to be on the same Wi-Fi network.

How to Unlock the Developer Menu

Navigate to “Settings” on your Apple TV.

Open Settings

Select “Remotes and Devices” and leave the Apple TV on this screen.

Select remotes and devices

You need Xcode installed on your Mac to enable the developer menu. Download Xcode from the Mac App Store and then open it.

Click “Window,” followed by “Devices and Simulators.”

Click Window. Click Devices and Simulators

Click “Pair with Apple TV” when your Apple TV appears on the list.

Click pair with Apple TV

Enter the verification code that is displayed on your TV and click the “Connect” button. The pairing process will complete.

Enter the code and click connect

How to See Detailed Streaming Statistics on the Apple TV

Navigate to “Settings” on your Apple TV and select the “Developer” option.

Select the developer option

Toggle “Playback HUD” on. Turn the option off to disable it when you have the information you need.

Google H.U.D to the on position

When you play a movie or TV show, you’ll see information about the stream overlayed on the video. Most of that information is meaningless for our purposes, but the lines of note are:

  • Display Resolution—This is the resolution at which your TV is connected to your Apple TV.
  • Video Display-size—This is the maximum resolution at which the currently playing video is available from the source.
  • Natural-size—This is the resolution at which the video is currently being displayed.

Screenshot showing active H.U.D displaying video statistics

In a perfect world, Natural-size will be the same as Video Display-size. If it isn’t, your network bandwidth might not be high enough to sustain the rates needed for high-quality video. Check that your internet speed is sufficient and make sure your router is set up correctly.

Oliver Haslam Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam is a professional freelance writer with nearly ten years of experience. His work has been published on Macworld, PCMag, 1Password's blog, and other websites. He writes about all things Apple.
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