Apple TV Color Calibration: How to Use Apple's New Color Balance Feature

What is the best color setting for a TV? Whether you've asked this question before, or it's never crossed your mind, color balance is a key part of one's enjoyment of a television. Not only can it ensure your personal comfort by making sure things aren't too far on one spectrum or another, but the correct color balance can also ensure you're watching exactly what the show or movie creators had in mind. Starting with iOS14.5, tvOS offers a color balance option. All you need is your iPhone. TV color balance has never been easier!

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How to Use tvOS's Color Balance Feature

This nifty new trick uses your iPhone's sensors to see if your Apple TV's color is correctly balanced. It automatically adjusts the color balance so it's right according to what the iPhone sees; but if you don't like it, you can choose not to use that setting.

What You'll Need for TV Color Balance

In order for this to work, you need to make sure your gear meets all the requirements:

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  • An iPhone with Face ID (iPhone X or newer)
  • An Apple TV or Apple TV 4K. This doesn't work on other types of Smart TVs
  • iOS 14.5 or later
  • TvOS 15.5 or later

How to Adjust Your Apple TV's Color Balance with Your iPhone

  1. On your Apple TV, open the Settings app.

  2. Select Video & Audio.

  3. Scroll down and select Color Balance under Calibration.

  4. Tap the notification that appears on your iPhone screen.

  5. Tap Continue.

  6. Turn your iPhone to face your TV.

  7. Hold your iPhone up about one inch from your Apple TV so your iPhone screen is facing your TV screen. You will see a guide on the screen for how to align your iPhone.

  8. A progress bar will load as the screen adjusts. Be careful not to move your iPhone during this process as it may cause it to restart.

  9. Once it's complete, select View Results to see the color balanced version versus the original.

  10. Choose which you prefer.

  11. If you choose Use Balanced, it will now say Balanced next to Color Balance in Video and Audio settings.

This feature is unavailable with Dolby vision, and if you see the notification "Not Required" when you select Color Balance in your settings, it means you do not need to color balance your TV.

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Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden Both's picture

Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden Both

Amy Spitzfaden-Both is the Managing Editor for iPhone Life magazine and an award-winning novelist, with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. She specializes in Apple news and rumors, health and fitness tech, and parenting in the digital age. She graduated from MIU with a BA in Literature and Writing.
Amy lives in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing or glued to her iPhone, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and creating her own tea blends.