At Apple’s online event last week, the company announced that certain Apple TV boxes can automatically set the color balance of your 4K monitor. It does this with the help of an iPhone with Face ID running iOS 14.5 or greater. This capability is available for Apple TV 4K models (1st generation and later) and Apple TV HD running tvOS 14.5 or greater. After you have your compatible Apple TV and your compatible iPhone updated, you can hold your iPhone against the corresponding rectangle on your monitor and it will “magically” manipulate the output of the Apple TV box to make the screen match the reference test patterns it sends. Ahead I’ll share a very short video from Apple which demonstrates the process, together with other comments.
FlatpanelsHD has done initial tests and determined that the “Color Balance” is already in the tvOS 14.5 beta. They determined that:
“It works in SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) and HDR10. It does not work in Dolby Vision where it simply states “not required”. Dolby retains tight control over the Dolby Vision video chain so it is likely to be a requirement from Apple’s partner.”
The price of even the largest capacity Apple TV 4K box (US$199 with 64GB) may cost less than a single visit of a professional calibrator. However the results of doing this in the Apple TV box may not be the best gain staging technique (as opposed to doing the calibration in the monitor itself, as I have previously documented with both certain HP DreamColor and Átmos monitors). Also, perhaps more important is that even if the results were identical doing it within the Apple TV box, that would obviously mean that the calibration would only be valid exclusively for signals going through the AppleTV box. This may be the case with some cord-cutters who don’t use any optical players (DVD, Blu-ray, etc.) and truly use their Apple TV box as the only source to their monitor.
Presently, I don’t own any Apple TV box. Do you?
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