One of the more sub-radar announcements from Apple’s spring event was the new Apple TV screen calibration feature on the new Apple TV 4K. The starting point is that you can customize the color profile of your connected TV by simply pointing to your iPhone’s true depth sensors, and if inaccuracies are detected, the connected Apple TV will receive the correct color profiling and adjust the picture on the TV. Now, 9to5Mac reports that the screen calibration feature is also compatible with older Apple TVs dating back to 2015’s Apple TV HD.
You need the latest tvOS 14.5 (coming out next week) and a compatible iPhone with Face ID running iOS 14.5 to make the calibration work.
Through an innovative color balance process, Apple TV works with the iPhone and its advanced sensors to enhance a television’s picture quality. Apple TV uses the light sensor in the iPhone to compare the color balance with the industry standard specifications used by film photographers around the world. Using this data, Apple TV automatically tailors its video output to deliver much more accurate colors and enhanced contrast – without customers ever having to adjust their TV settings. – Apple TV calibration description
Calibrating your connected TV starts by unlocking your iPhone and then going into the settings menu on your Apple TV. Then go to the Video & Audio menu and select Color Balance. Then your Apple TV will give you a set of instructions on how to position your iPhone, and the TV will flash several colors, which will be analyzed by True Depth sensors on the phone.
Once the process is complete, the connected Apple TV selects the optimal color profile based on the readings and applies it to all content coming from Apple TV and not to other content from the TV.
According to the folks over at 9to5Mac, the colors seemed warmer and more natural after calibration, even though the process did not work on TVs with Dolby Vision.
Color Calibration Results (Image: 9to5Mac)