Fix: Apple TV HDR Looks Washed Out or Dark

Apple TV is an excellent device that allows you to enjoy your favorite TV shows, movies, and anime in high-quality 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range). Unfortunately, not all smart TVs support HDR, making Apple TV a popular streaming device for those looking to enhance their visual experiences. However, some users have reported issues with HDR playback on their Apple TV, resulting in washed-out or overly dark images.

This guide aims to help you understand the reasons behind these issues and provide some potential solutions to fix the problem. Whether you’re a new or experienced user of Apple TV, this article will provide valuable information to help you get the best out of your HDR content. By following the steps carefully at the end of this guide, you can easily fix your Apple TV HDR washed or dark issue.

Apple TV

Why Does My Apple TV Look Washed Out?

There are several reasons why your Apple TV looks washed out or dark, including an incompatible HDR, defective HDMI cables, outdated software, incorrect HDMI output or improper color calibration. It is also possible that the issue is due to the hardware’s defective color balance.

Some TV’s color balance may not be calibrated correctly, causing a washed-out look which causes the issue. In addition, A low-quality HDMI cable may cause a washed-out look.

Steps to Fix Apple TV HDR Looks Washed Out or Dark

The Apple TV looks washed or dark due to several reasons such as hardware or software issues. Therefore, this was a common issue faced by many Apple users following some methods. If you have your own Apple TV and you are facing the same problem, you can fix the issue easily by following some methods which are mentioned below.

Fix 1: Restart Your Apple TV

Restating the Apple TV will surely fix the washing HDR or dark screen issue on the Apple TV. Most users fix their Apple TV issue by simply restarting the TV. Here are two simple methods which you can try to restart your Apple TV.

The first method is to restart your Apple TV with the TV remote (Siri Remote). Press the power button on the TV remote to turn off the TV. As you know, the TV remote can be easily accessed, and with the help of the TV remote, the TV will easily be turned off/on. Wait a few seconds, turn on your Apple TV using the TV remote, and check if the issue is resolved.

The second method is to restart your Apple TV by performing the power cycle. To power cycle, your TV, unplug your Apple TV from the power outlet and wait for a few minutes. Now plug the TV back into the power outlet, turn on the switch, and check if the issue is resolved.

Fix 2: Check Cable and Connections

The other cause is the loose cables and connections. Sometimes, the HDMI cables are too loose, which might be the reason the colors look flat or over-saturated. Moreover, you have to check for any loose connections between the Apple TV and the power source. Ensure the cables are properly connected to the TV and the power outlet.

Fix 3: Replace Defective HDMI Cables

The other main reason which causes the issue is defective HDMI cables. The defective HDMI cables block the connections, which causes the Apple TV HDR to get washed or dark. Therefore, you want to check for any defective HDMI cables on your TV. If any faulty cables will be shown, replace them immediately with new HDMI cables.

Fix 4: Update the Software

Updating the software on your Apple TV may help you to resolve issues with the device’s HDR display appearing washed out or dark. An outdated version is the main cause for the issue appearing on the TV, and updating the software to the latest version can fix the issue.

To update your Apple TV software, go to “Settings“, choose “System,” and then select “Software Updates.” If an update is available, follow the on-screen instructions to install the latest software version. This process will usually take several minutes and may require your Apple TV to restart.

After updating the TV to the latest software version, check the HDR display again to see if the washed-out or dark appearance has been corrected. If the issue persists, you may need to adjust the TV settings or contact Apple support for further assistance.

Fix 5: Factory Reset Your TV


A factory reset is the simplest method to consider if your Apple TV HDR looks washed out or dark. This process will delete all your personal settings, customizations, and installed applications and revert the TV to its original default settings.

To perform a factory reset on your Apple TV, go to the “Settings” menu, choose “System“, and follow “Reset.” Choose “Erase All Content and Settings” and confirm the action. After the reset, set up your Apple TV again, calibrate the display, and adjust the brightness and contrast settings to your preference. If the HDR still looks washed out or dark, contact Apple support for further assistance.

Fix 6: Contact Apple Support

If you are still addressing issues with the HDR display on your Apple TV appearing washed out or dark, you can reach out to Apple Support for assistance. You can contact them through the Apple website or by phone. When calling, have your Apple TV serial number ready, as it will be required for troubleshooting purposes.

The support team will guide you through a series of steps to diagnose and fix the issue, which may include updates to software, changes to display settings or hardware troubleshooting. If the issue cannot be resolved over the phone, you may be asked to bring your Apple TV to an Apple Store or authorized service provider for further inspection.

Final Words

This guide mentioned some possible methods to fix the Apple TV HDR that looks Washed or dark issue. This problem is caused by various reasons, and users can easily fix the issue by identifying what actually happened. If you have tried all the above-mentioned methods and still having an issue with the Apple TV, contact the Apple support team or visit a nearby Apple Store for further details.

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