Some Apple TV users are facing multiple issues while watching content.

They allege that the display quality is terrible as the picture appears too dark, flat or washed out while playing HDR content on their devices. Some are even facing issues with the audio sync as well.


Such issues end up spoiling the viewing experience and enjoyment for some Apple TV owners. The issue seems to have popped up after a recent update.

HDR content too dark, flat, or washed on Apple TV

According to reports (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10), some Apple TV users are experiencing difficulties viewing content due a glitch in its HDR mode.

Users complain that initially the content displays normally, but after some time all the shadows appear with a blueish tint.

They also say that the video quality is so much affected that it becomes difficult to recognize faces in the show or movie being played.

Some report that the problem persists even when the ‘Color shift’ mode is turned off or when one changes the display’s brightness settings.


During dark scenes my Apple TV picture will fade/wash out to faded grey color and then back as the scene brightens. The apps on the TV (a 65”Samsung QN900a) play the same content fine as well as other streaming devices this seems to be limited to my AppleTV 4k.

I have the original Apple TV 4K, which runs at 4K HDR at 60 hz. I’ve get really bad MPEG pixelation on on Netflix, Amazon Video and YouTube, especially noticeable in scenes with lots of sky. It’s like looking at an old 8-bit video game. The picture is clearly made up of large blocks of colour.

It is interesting to note that for some the issue pops up only when playing HDR content on HBO Max and Disney+ apps. Also, they don’t face any such issues while viewing SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) content on both apps.

Users have tried unplugging and replugging or swapping the HDMI cables, but that didn’t work for them.

Potential workaround (HDR content)

Fortunately, we did come across a potential workaround that may help solve the problem for some. Switching from 4K HDR 60 Hz mode to 4K HDR 30hz mode appears to solve the problem for some.


Apple TV Match frame issues

Some users (1,2,3,4,5,6) are also facing issues with the ‘Match frame’ feature on their Apple TV devices.

An Apple TV owner says that they have been experiencing lip-syncing issues since day one.

Even though playback starts as usual at first, it slowly starts degrading and ultimately goes out of sync. The problem also occurs when returning to a show after pausing it for a while or while switching apps.

They mainly faced such problems with apps like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Plex, and YouTube TV.


No matter what my settings, I still get the 2-3sec blackout whenever I hit play on a video in any app.

It’s a very small delay, but really starting to get annoying, Im pretty sure it’s because the Apple TV doesn’t seem to Match the Frame-rate/HDR content with the TV on iplayer for some reason.

Potential workaround (Match frame)

Those who are having trouble with the ‘Match frame’ feature should try disabling the ‘Match Dynamic Range’ option.


No official response

Unfortunately, Apple has not officially responded to either matter, but we do hope that they acknowledge and fix the annoying issue soon.

That said, we’ll keep an eye on the problems affecting Apple TV users while streaming HDR content and update this article as and when something noteworthy comes up.

Note: You can check out more stories related to Apple on our website.

Featured image source: Apple TV

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Kanav Sood
740 Posts

I love technology and like to talk about the latest news in the Tech industry.

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