With tvOS 11.2, your Apple TV 4K can be set to automatically switch video display modes to match both the dynamic range and the native frame rate of the video content being watched.

Before tvOS 11.2, Apple TV used to force the video mode with the highest refresh rate available: if your TV supports HDR10 at a 60Hz refresh rate and Dolby Vision at 30Hz, it picked HDR10 over Dolby Vision even though the latter looks better.

In other words, the living room device would upscale and process everything in 4K HDR, which didn’t look good when watching non-4K content, rather than automatically switch video modes on your TV depending on content being watched.

In tvOS 11.2 and later, your Apple TV 4K can be set to automatically switch video display modes to match the native frame rate and dynamic range of content you’re viewing instead of using the highest capability of your television.

For example, your Apple TV 4K will use HDR10 at 60Hz when viewing HDR content, but will switch to Dolby Vision at 30Hz when viewing content that supports Dolby Vision.

Here’s how to use these new options.

How to enable automatic frame rate and dynamic range switching on Apple TV 4K

By default, tvOS 11.2 uses your selected display format to play content without alteration.

To set your Apple TV 4K to switch video formats automatically in order to match the content’s dynamic range and frame rate, do the following:

1) Open the Settings app on your Apple TV 4K.

2) Select the section Video and Audio.

3) Select the sub-section Match Content.

4) Enable the following options:

  • Match Dynamic Range—When this is on, your Apple TV 4K will match its output to the original dynamic range of content that you’re watching.
  • Match Frame Rate—When this is on, your Apple TV 4K will match its refresh rate to the original frame rate of content. This applies to content that’s mastered at different frame rates, for example 24FPS film-based content or other international content.

With the Match Frame Rate option enabled, your Apple TV 4K will match the frame rate of video content encoded at 60, 50, 30, 25, and 24 FPS.

Frame rates will match the refresh rate appropriate for your region, for example, 29.97 FPS for NTSC. 25 FPS and 30 FPS content uses frame rate doubling to display at 50Hz and 60Hz when available, matching its original appearance while preserving a fluid user interface.

With the Match Dynamic Range option turned on, tvOS will also automatically switch its display output to SDR when you launch an app that hasn’t been optimized for HDR. Apple TV apps that use the AVKit framework already do this automatically. Apps that don’t use AVKit for video playback may need to be updated for these new features in tvOS 11.2.

Both these options are disabled by default.

When you turn on either of these settings, your TV will switch dynamic range and frame rate on the fly, depending on content being watched. You may experience a blank screen or flickering as your TV switches between formats.

Additionally, your Apple TV 4K will attempt to automatically determine which dynamic ranges and frame rates your TV supports. If it cannot determine which display formats are available, you’ll need to test them by selecting one underneath the Unverified Formats heading.

This will run a short display test and verify that the selected mode displays correctly on your TV. Once verified, your Apple TV 4K will be able to use these video modes automatically.

Having trouble with the selected video mode?

If so, set your Apple TV 4K to use video settings that are compatible with your TV set by choosing the Reset Video Settings option in Settings → Video and Audio.

Need help? Ask iDB!

If you like this how-to, pass it along to your support folks and leave a comment below.

Got stuck? Not sure how to do certain things on your Apple device? Let us know via help@iDownloadBlog.com and a future tutorial might provide a solution.

Submit your how-to suggestions via tips@iDownloadBlog.com.