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Apple TV Color Balance Not Working (Causes and How to Fix)

As an Apple TV user, I’ve been frustrated by the color balance not working on my device. After doing some research and testing, I’m here to share my experience and how I solved the issue, as well as other solutions I’ve discovered. In this blog post, I’ll discuss the causes of the issue and how to fix it.

There could be a couple of reasons behind this issue; some are technical, like tinkering with settings and updates, while some are very straightforward, like restarting a device.

It’s worth mentioning that color balance and calibration only work on Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD. So if yours isn’t one of either, then the feature wouldn’t be available.

Incompatible DeviceColor balance and calibration only work on Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.Ensure your device is compatible with the color balance feature.
Optimum Mode or ResolutionYour TV and Apple TV settings may not be optimal for color balance.1. Set your TV to “Standard” or “Cinema Mode.”
2. Set your Apple TV to SDR or use an HDR-supported HDMI cable.
Phone AlignmentYour phone isn’t aligned with the Apple TV receiver during the color balance process.Ensure proper phone alignment with the outline on the TV and hold your phone close to the TV during calibration.
Outdated iPhoneYour iPhone needs to be running iOS 14.5 or later with Face ID enabled for the color balance feature to work.Update your iPhone to the latest version if necessary.
Outdated Apple TVYour Apple TV may require a software update.Check for updates in the Apple TV settings and install if necessary.
Different iCloud Accounts on iPhone and Apple TVThe Apple ID on your Apple TV should be the same as the one on your iPhone for the color balance feature to work.Ensure both devices are logged into the same iCloud account.
Ineffective Color Balance FeatureThe color balance feature may not be as effective as a manual TV setup.If the color balance feature isn’t providing satisfactory results, consider manually adjusting your TV’s color settings or contacting Apple Support for further assistance.

5 Reasons Why Apple TV Color Balance Isn’t Working

  1. You’re not using the most optimum mode or resolution.
  2. Your phone isn’t aligned with the Apple TV receiver.
  3. Your iPhone is not up-to-date.
  4. Your Apple TV is not up-to-date.
  5. Apple TV and iPhone aren’t on the same iCloud.

How to Fix Apple TV Color Balance Problems

Now that we’ve covered the basic possibilities, let’s delve into the details of how to fix each problem.

Method 1: Fine-tune Your TV and Apple TV Settings

For the best performance when it comes to color balance, you should set your TV to “Standard” or, better yet, to “Cinema Mode” instead of “Vivid.” The color balance feature works best when the mode you’re using has more neutral colors.

Add to that, setting your Apple TV (ATV) to SDR would also enhance the calibration and give you the best results.

This is mainly because when you have HDR enabled, it’ll be forced onto non-HDR content, which washes out the colors and might cause some stuttering. 

You won’t face this issue if your HDMI cable has HDR support, in which case the “Match Dynamic Range” feature will automatically turn the HDR setting on for HDR content and turn it off otherwise. 

Read more: Apple TV keeps disconnecting from AirPlay

Method 2: Make Sure Your Phone Alignment Is Proper

To get the color balance and calibration working, your Apple TV has to detect the phone while you have to align the iPhone perfectly with the outline on the TV.

This is why it’s a little harder to do it on smaller TVs like 32’ ones, which might take a little longer than 65’ TVs. Since the outline is bigger on a larger TV, you don’t have to be so accurate in your alignment.

Not to mention, you have to hold your phone quite close to your TV for the calibration process to begin and finish. Apple recommends holding it one inch from the screen, but occasionally, you should hold it a little closer than that.

Read more: Connect Apple TV to wifi without remote

For color balance to even work, your iPhone has to be functioning on iOS 14.5 or later, with Face ID enabled.

So, make sure your iPhone is up-to-date by visiting “Settings,” then going to “General,” then “Software Updates.” If your phone detects any update, install it right away and start enjoying picture-perfect color calibration.

From time to time, simply locking and unlocking your phone again can reinitialize the process and enable the color balance prompt to pop up on your phone.

Method 3: Update Your Apple TV

You can also check for updates for your Apple TV, and you can do so the same way you would on an iPhone (Settings > System > Software Updates).

Method 4: Sync your iCloud Accounts

Sometimes, the failure of color balance or calibration can happen because the Apple ID you have set up on your Apple TV isn’t the same as the one set up on the iPhone you’re using.

If that’s the case, make sure to sign out from one device and log into the same Apple ID you’re using for the other.

In other words, you can’t just use the color balance on any Apple TV from any iPhone; they have to be using the same iCloud services login ID.

How Effective Is The Apple TV Color Balance Feature?

The color balance feature is Apple’s way of taking the guesswork out of your TV viewing process. Your iPhone measures white and color patches and then uses this data to set the colors of your Apple TV’s output.

While this is an excellent way to get the color adjustments over with quickly, a manual setup of your own TV would have better results.

Final Words

Color balance is one of the most convenient features Apple TV has to offer, so make sure you make the best of it. If you find your Apple TV color balance not working, go through the check-ups we’ve listed above. Hopefully, one of them will do the trick.

If all else fails, contact Apple Support, and they’re going to help you tackle any bugs with the color balance option.