News Apple TV 4K movies

Published on December 27th, 2017 | by Kirk Hiner


tvOS update addresses Apple TV 4K HDR enforcement

The main selling point of the recently released Apple TV 4K is, of course, HDR support in HDR10 and Dolby Vision formats. Apple was apparently so gung-ho for HDR support that they actually forced you to watch all content in HDR even if that content was not mastered in that format. The only way around this was to completely deactivate HDR support in your 4K TV.

Why does this matter? According to Stephan Jukic at

… forcing HDR settings onto all types of content might actually degrade the visual experience in some rather odd ways such as over-bright highlights, roiling motes in certain onscreen visuals and too much color saturation in certain scenes with content that wasn’t meant for high dynamic range visuals. The forced HDR also delivers the cute effect of causing your TV to burn more electricity due to constant maximal screen brightness at all times for anything being fed to it from the Apple TV 4K regardless of desirability.

It’s a bizarre decision by Apple. The company is currently facing a lawsuit for governing iPhone speed to prevent shut-downs on devices with degrading batteries, and this is yet another example of Apple bullying customers—more or less—into using their devices Apple’s way and Apple’s way only.

Of course, this isn’t nearly as extreme as the iPhone battery issue, and at least this time Apple was quick to address the issue via an OS update. Still, it makes one wonder what other “features” Apple is forcing upon us with our knowing. has posted full instructions on how to update your Apple TV’s settings to bypass the HDR enforcement. A couple steps are involved, but it’s a pretty simple process. And while you’re in there, you’ll want to change your Match Frame Rate settings, too.

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About the Author

has been writing for the Apple web since 1997, having served as editor of Applelinks and the Technology Tell Apple Channel. In addition to his work with BEST Apple TV, Kirk currently contributes to Mac Gamer HQ and Pure Nintendo. He lives with his wife and three children in small-town Ohio where the land is cheap and the air is (relatively) clean.

3 Responses to tvOS update addresses Apple TV 4K HDR enforcement

  1. Matthieu Cormier says:

    Apple doesn’t “bully” its customers, that’s a poor choice of words. They make design decisions and try to create interfaces that are simple and easy to use. They make mistakes and correct them based on feedback like any other company.

    • Kirk Hiner says:

      That’s a fair point, Matthieu. As a guy who understands the technology, I’d prefer that Apple give users a choice. That choice would just confuse some, though, and ultimately lead to them still blaming Apple if they’re not happy with the results.

  2. canali says:

    i just bought this unit…awaiting its delivery in 4-5wks…reading more and more on how the pic quality of this, esp if you have a dolby vision hdr capable tv (lg oled) that it gets very close to what even an oppo 203 blu ray player can deliver…reading on many forums and by tv calibrators (vincent theo) how it comes remarkably close….90%…and you can often only tell the diffs when up close to your screen vs normal 7-10′ viewing diffs.

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