October 24, 2021

Apple TV will receive support for both 23,976 and 24,000fps

In time, Apple TV will receive support for displaying content with exactly 24 frames per second. The support for 23,976fps was already there. This addition is not unimportant, because the display of content with exactly 24fps is not smooth.

Apple TV 4K

All kinds of users are reporting that beta 2 version of tvOS 14.5 has been released. This developer test version adds support for 24,000fps, among other things. Until now there was only support for fractional rates . For movie content, that means the still widely used 24000/1001, or 23.976fps format.

However, more content is slowly coming in exactly 24fps, especially now that films and series are recorded much more digitally. Examples of 24,000fps content include the Netflix movie The Irishman and the TV series The Witcher.

This addition allows for a smoother viewing experience. Playing 23.976fps content with exactly 23.976 frames causes sync problems, but that’s different when playing 24.000fps at 23.976fps. In that case, one frame is skipped every 41 seconds.

Not all users notice this, but some see it and sometimes describe it as a momentary stutter. The opposite, playing 23.976fps at 24,000fps, results in a double frame every 41 seconds.

For smooth playback of content without this kind of stutter, the Apple TV media player has had the automatic Match Content option for several years, introduced with tvOS 11.2. The device adjusts the video mode to match the native frame rate of the content to be played.

With this mode, the device looks at the frame rate of a video and automatically adjusts the HDMI output accordingly. The Nvidia Shield TV has a similar function, but it is still in beta and does not work for all content and apps.