HDR10+ support arrives to Apple’s TV app on tvOS 16 beta 4

Support for Samsung-backed Dolby Vision competitor dubbed HDR10+ is coming to the Apple TV and other devices via tvOS 16 and other updates this fall.

An angled top-down view of a second-generation Apple TV 4K along with an updated Siri Remote, set against a dark background
Could existing Apple TV gain HDR10+ support? | Image: Omar Rodriguez / Unsplash
  • What’s happening? Apple recently released the fourth beta of tvOS 16, its upcoming Apple TV software update, for developer testing. Among other things, it switches on promised HDR10+ support in the company’s TV app.
  • Why care? There’s currently no Apple TV capable of outputting HDR10+ video so maybe a refreshed Apple TV model is arriving this fall after all?
  • What to do? Wait patiently until tvOS 16 is ready for public consumption sometime this fall. In the meantime, you can test tvOS 16 on your Apple TV by signing up with your Apple ID at beta.apple.com.

HDR10+ support goes live in tvOS 16 beta 4

The release notes simply state: “HDR10+ support: the latest generation of high dynamic range technology is now supported in the Apple TV app.” The development takes on a greater significance if you consider that HDR10+ is Samsung’s answer to Dolby Vision, which Apple has supported for years. The news is also significant because the current Apple TV models don’t output HDR10+ video.

Does this mean a new Apple TV is coming soon?

If support for this high dynamic range technology is coming with tvOS 16, then it’s safe to conclude that a new Apple TV model might be looming on the horizon. Your TV must also support HDR10+ to take advantage of this technology.

On the other hand, HDR10+ requires HDMI 2.1 which the second-generation Apple TV 4K does support, meaning the existing Apple TV might gain HDR10+ support with a tvOS 16 update this fall. Read: How to sync the Apple TV home screen

Therefore, maybe no new Apple TV hardware will be required to enjoy HDR10+ video. At any rate, watching HDR10+ video is going to require an HDR-capable display, such as OLED screens on iPhones.

HDR10+ vs. Dolby Vision

Apple hasn’t clarified whether HDR10+ will be supported on smart TVs that offer the TV app. Similar to Dolby Vision, HDR10+ adapts each video frame to the capabilities of your TV or display device. Part of the HDMI 2.1 standard, HDR10+ uses dynamic metadata embedded in the video file. There’s also an improved version, dubbed HDR10+ Adaptive, which optimizes HDR10+ content to your ambient light.

What’s the deal with HDR10+ support on tvOS 16?

Apple at first advertised HDR10+ support as coming to its TV app with the release of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, tvOS 16 and macOS Ventura. However, the company soon after removed all mentions of HDR10+ video support from its website.

Naturally, people assumed that either this feature was ditched for good. We thought this implied Apple might’ve decided to bring HDR10+ support with iOS 17.

As it turns out, that’s not true—HDR10+ support will be coming after all to the TV app on tvOS 16. Apple’s webpages for iOS 16 and other updates still don’t mention this feature so perhaps Apple isn’t 100 percent sure whether HDR10+ support will be ready in time for launch or not. Read: Tips to set up your Apple TV the right way