Reports of Apple TV+ shows no longer playing in Dolby Vision on Apple TV 4K

Dolby Vision on Apple TV 4K

Many people are reporting that Apple TV+ shows are no longer playing in Dolby Vision on Apple TV 4K, instead reverting to less-sophisticated HDR10 standard.

The reports say that this is affecting a number of shows which used to play in Dolby Vision but no longer do so…

It appears that the shows are still tagged as being streamed in Dolby Vision, but the Apple TV 4K uses HDR10 once playback begins. This is affecting For All Mankind, SEE, and The Morning Show.

The reports can be found in an Apple Support Communities thread.

Up until a few weeks ago whenever I begin to play See, my TV used to automatically switch to Dolby Vision; however, it doesn’t do this anymore and just plays the content in HDR. It seems to be an Apple TV+ plus issue, because when I when play Dolby Vision content through Netflix, my setup would automatically switch to Dolby Vision.

Having the same issue, I was able to watch Apple TV+ shows in Dolby Vision when it first came out, The morning show, SEE, For all mankind. They were all in Dolby Vision, now they just are on HDR. Nothing has been changed with my TV, Receiver.. it just seems they are not streaming in Dolby Vision anymore?

Same issue. Dolby Vision worked last week. This week it works in other apps just fine (Disney+) but Apple TV+ content no longer comes in as Dolby Vision. The same is true of past episodes as well.

I just noticed that although the show pages still have the Dolby Vision logo, the individual episodes now just say HDR. (While an episode is playing, hit Menu.)

Some are speculating that there was a problem with Dolby Vision encoding, resulting in glitches on some TV sets and that Apple has temporarily disabled the protocol until the issue is resolved. However, this wouldn’t explain why some shows, like Dickinson, still use Dolby Vision unless the encoding issue is only present in some shows.

Normal HDR expands the range of colors and black levels for all content using a standard known as HDR10. Dolby Vision is a more sophisticated form of HDR that can dynamically adjust both contrast and colors on a scene-by-scene basis. Here’s how Tom’s Guide explains the difference.

HDR was introduced as a way for TVs to display a greater number of colors (by increasing the color gamut) and more-intense colors (by boosting specific brightness levels). Before HDR, sets were limited by an old video specification for HDTV known as Rec. 709, which was based on technical limitations going back to the ’90s.

Today’s LCD and OLED sets have the capacity to display many more colors than older sets, but they didn’t have a way to reach their full potential until HDR came along.

HDR10 can be thought of as the open standard for high dynamic range content and TVs. All HDR-labeled sets (or Ultra HD Premium sets) should be able to handle HDR10. This standard lays out the basics of the format so that an HDR TV can read and properly play HDR material. Specific instructions or metadata included in HDR programs tell the display or disc player how to map colors and set brightness levels. Those instructions are essentially fixed for the entire program […]

Dolby Vision provides for instructions or metadata that can change from scene to scene, telling the TV when push contrast or boost a particular color. Furthermore, Dolby’s maximum spec for consumer TVs goes up to 12-bit color depth for a possible 68 billion colors (versus the old Rec. 709 8-bit color depth that renders just 16.7 million possible colors). On the brightness side, Dolby Vision allows for levels reaching 4,000 nits or more.

Some of the benefits of Dolby Vision are theoretical, as no current TV set can display anything like the full range of either color or brightness.

However, there is a noticeable difference between HDR10 and Dolby Vision output, especially in shows where different scenes have very different brightness levels or color ranges.

Are you experiencing the same issue with Dolby Vision on Apple TV 4K? Please let us know in the comments.

We’ve reached out to Apple and will update with any response.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Photo: Shutterstock

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:


Apple TV

Apple TV is Apple's streaming device that accesses the Apple TV+ service ($4.99 per month), Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Prime, and countless other entertainment apps.

Apple TV 4K

About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

Ben Lovejoy's favorite gear


Apple Watch Series 3