If you want the most accurate color reproduction for your Apple TV, you should try the built-in Color Balance feature. As long as you have a compatible iPhone, you can use this feature to improve your viewing experience without messing with your TV’s settings.
Apple TV’s color balance feature requires you to point your iPhone’s front camera at the TV so it can identify ways to improve the set-top box’s video output. Once the color calibration is complete, your Apple TV will also tell you what it changed and show you the difference between the original calibration and the balanced version.
It’s important to note that your Apple TV isn’t changing any of your television’s picture settings. Instead, your streaming box is changing the video it outputs to your TV to correct for any color issues your display might have. As such, these color corrections will not be present if you switch inputs or play video from a source other than the Apple TV.
Which Apple TV Models Support Color Balance?
Although the Color Balance feature was introduced in the 2021 Apple TV 4K, it’s also available on older Apple TV models. This is the list of supported models:
- Apple TV 4K (Second Generation)
- Apple TV 4K (First Generation)
- Apple TV HD
You need to be running tvOS 14.5 or later to use Color Balance.
RELATED: Which Apple TV Model Should You Buy?
Which iPhone Do I Need to Use Color Balance?
You need an iPhone with Face ID to enable Color Balance. Unfortunately, this means that some iPhones such as the iPhone SE don’t have this feature. If you have an iPhone X or newer with Face ID, you’re all set.
This feature was first introduced with iOS 14.5, so you’ll need that or newer versions of iOS for it to work.
Color Balance Your Apple TV Using an iPhone
To use Color Balance, open “Settings” on your Apple TV.
Go to “Video and Audio.”
Under Calibration, select “Color Balance.”
Now unlock your iPhone. You will find a prompt asking if you want to use Color Balance. Tap “Continue.”
On your TV, you will see an iPhone-shaped box. Hold your iPhone within three inches of this on-screen box and make sure that the front camera is facing the TV.
Your Apple TV will begin the Color Balance process.
Keep your iPhone as close to the TV as possible. We received a calibration failed error on our first attempt, but moving your iPhone closer to the screen fixed this problem.
Once the calibration is done, your Apple TV will show a confirmation message. Select “View Results.”
The Apple TV will now show you one of its screensavers with two options at the bottom: Original and Balanced. You can swipe left using the Apple TV remote to preview what the original color calibration looked like.
Swipe right to see what the color calibrated screen looks like. Once you are done comparing, select “Use Balanced” to finish this process.
If you don’t like the changes, you can choose “Use Original” to revert to the calibration you had before.
The Apple TV will show a warning message asking you to confirm which calibration you want to use. If you want to go back to the original settings, select the red “Use Original” button.
In case you’ve changed your mind, you can always select “Use Balanced” to go with the color-calibrated version.
You should also check out our list of excellent tips and tricks for using the Apple TV remote.