tvOS 11.3 brings improved content matching, automatic mode switching for AirPlay & more

Happy beta day, everyone!

Aside from releasing first developer betas of iOS 11.3 and macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, Apple today seeded the very first tvOS 11.3 beta (build number 15L5164e) to its registered developers and members of the paid Apple Developer program.

To install the beta, your fourth-generation Apple TV or Apple TV 4K must be running a configuration profile that lets it “see” tvOS betas through the Software Update mechanism.

According to release notes accompanying the beta software, it includes bug fixes, security improvements in the OS and SDK and a trio of new features:

  • Enhancements to Match Content support
  • Automatic frame rate switching on the fourth-generation Apple TV
  • Automatic mode switching for AirPlay video sessions

Plus, these new mobile device management (MDM) settings:

  • Restrict explicit music and bookstore erotica by rating
  • Restrict apps, movies and TV shows by rating
  • Skip the Privacy screen during setup
  • Skip the “Where is this Apple TV” screen during setup
  • Restrict Remote app connections to specified iOS devices
  • Update an app while in Single App Mode

Apple TVs now show up in the Home app with tvOS 11.3 and iOS 11.3, presumably to act as a HomeKit hub for automation and remote access.

The most interesting new feature seems to be the expansion of content matching capability to the previous Apple TV model. As you know, content matching first appeared in tvOS 11.2.

tvOS 11.2 permits your Apple TV 4K to automatically switch to your video’s native frame rate and dynamic range. It also lets the device switch display output to SDR (standard dynamic range) for any apps running in HDR (high dynamic range) mode.

While HDR content matching features are unavailable on the previous Apple TV because it lacks hardware support for HDR video, tvOS 11.3 will now bring the useful frame rate matching feature to the fourth-generation Apple TV.

TIP: Using automatic frame rate and dynamic range switching on Apple TV 4K

The device can now match its refresh rate to the video’s original frame rate, which is very useful for 24FPS film-based content and other videos mastered at different frame rates.

We’ll let you know about any other noteworthy changes or outward-facing user features as soon as we encounter them. If you happen to discover new features yourself, please give us a heads-up on Twitter @iDownloadBlog or shoot us an email at