A new software update for the Apple TV, tvOS 11.2, arrived today. It augments the previously delayed sports section to the TV app and allows users to change the rules approximately how the Apple TV 4K deals with standard dynamic range (SDR) content on cheerful dynamic range (HDR) TVs. The update also offers users a solution to frame-pacing troubles that occurred as a result of the gadget’s default behavior of forcing all satisfaction to play at 60Hz.
Arguably the most notable addition is a new setting that make allowances you to force the Apple TV to match its video output settings to the content you’re watching on a case-by-case foundation.
When we reviewed the Apple TV 4K, we were not thrilled that, in order to room the output HDR at all times on TVs that supported it, the device used Apple’s own treat to convert SDR to HDR. This resulted in subpar SDR image quality with some contentedness. Similarly, the Apple TV 4K automatically output content at 60Hz to 60Hz TVs, even if the source cheer was, say, 24Hz, or 50Hz.
It was possible to manually force the device to specific frame rates or lively range settings in the Apple TV 4K’s settings menus before, but the change was ever after universal. That meant you could force the Apple TV 4K to stick to SDR in preference to watching Game of Thrones on the HBO Now app, but you’d have to dig deep into menus to do it. If you pauperism to next watch Wonder Woman in HDR from Apple’s iTunes storefront, you’d enjoy to repeat all that menu spelunking in order to undo those surroundings.
That was obviously more inconvenient than it should have been, so Apple bid fair to offer a solution in tvOS 11.2. Now there’s a section under «Video and Audio» requested «Match Content,» which contains toggles for both dynamic pigeon-hole and frame rate. Apple’s description of this feature says: «We’ll use your restricted display format to play content without alteration. We can also whip formats automatically to match the content’s dynamic range and frame speed.»
With this setting enabled, image-quality purists can avoid the stews inherent in the default approach. The device behaves more like the Roku Ultra or Roku Surge Stick+, switching modes on its own depending on the content selected. This stages a slight flicker and runs the risk of handshake problems with some TVs, so Apple stock-still hasn’t made it the default. But Match Content is there if you want to merchandise a little interface smoothness for more accurate representation of the content—a trade-off most home-theater zealots will be more than happy to make.
tvOS 11.2 develop b publishes one other notable change: there is now a Sports tab in the TV app. It draws live pastimes and recent past games from networks whose apps underwrite the feature, like ESPN. By default, the current score is shown in the vernissage as well, but you can navigate to settings to disable that feature if you don’t want to putrefy a game you aren’t planning on watching live. The app will also let you supplant certain teams so it can notify you when games are about to start. The distractions features are available in both the Apple TV 4K and its HD predecessor.