Apple's Colour Balance TV calibration feature is coming to older Apple TV models

Apple TV 4K 2021
(Image credit: Apple)

One of the most intriguing features of the just-announced new Apple TV 4K is one that allows the video output to be tailored to you TV's specific colour balance. Essentially, the Apple TV outputs a test image to your TV that you then measure using an iPhone. The Apple TV then compares the measured colour balance to 'industry-standard specifications' and adjusts its output to correct any inaccuracies and improve contrast.

If that sounds like a feature well worth trying out, you might be excited to learn that it's not exclusive to the new version of the Apple TV 4K: the press release sent out after the live stream includes a small note that says the feature will also be coming to all previous versions of the Apple TV 4K and the Apple TV HD. The feature will be coming with tvOS 14.5 and your iPhone will also need to be running iOS 14.5, and both updates are apparently coming next week.

On top of that, Apple has also stated that the new Siri Remote can be bought separately for £55 / AU$79, making another upgrade available to existing Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD owners.

So why would you buy the new Apple TV 4K? That's a good question. It's got a much faster chip – the A12 Bionic – but so far the only new feature this unlocks that's been mentioned is high frame rate HDR content, which is currently in very short supply.

Of course, there may well be more to it than that. We're looking forward to getting hands-on with the new Apple TV 4K to find out.


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Tom Parsons

Tom Parsons has been writing about TV, AV and hi-fi products (not to mention plenty of other 'gadgets' and even cars) for over 15 years. He began his career as What Hi-Fi?'s Staff Writer and is now the TV and AV Editor. In between, he worked as Reviews Editor and then Deputy Editor at Stuff, and over the years has had his work featured in publications such as T3, The Telegraph and Louder. He's also appeared on BBC News, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 and Sky Swipe. In his spare time Tom is a runner and gamer.