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Updated: tvOS 16.3 ready for Apple TV – Bluetooth remote / controller issues fixed?

23 Jan 2023 | Rasmus Larsen |

Apple will this week roll out tvOS 16.3 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K. In our testing, tvOS 16.3 has apparently resolved our Bluetooth connection issues.
Update: The update is now rolling out to everyone. The article has been updated with additional information on HDMI eARC and Dolby Atmos in tvOS 16.3. Update: The release of this software update appears to have been delayed to January 25, according to metadata on Apple's developer portal.
tvOS 16.3 is a small update coming 1 month after tvOS 16.2 which added Siri's 'Recognize my Voice' in some regions, Apple Music Sing, and Apple's new Home Architecture (which was later pulled), and about 3 months after tvOS 16.1 with a redesigned Siri interface, "Hey Siri" AirPods support, and iCloud Shared Photo Library. Apple has not yet published release notes for tvOS 16.3. We will update this article once that happens. Update: Apple's HDMI ARC / eARC function that can pull all audio from the TV and all of its connected devices, including game consoles, and wirelessly transmit audio in up to Dolby Atmos to the HomePods is out of beta in tvOS 16.3. In addition, Sigmund Judge from Screen Times says that the "Dolby Atmos render engine was rebuilt in tvOS 16.3" leading to a noticeable improvement in audio – we are trying to get more information on this. Apple added that tvOS 16.3 includes general performance and stability improvements.

tvOS 16.3 HomePods

ARC / eARC on Apple TV 4K (2021, 2022) is out of beta in tvOS 16.3

Bluetooth issues fixed?

Owners of the Apple TV 4K (2022) have been complaining about widespread Bluetooth issues affecting the remote's connection to the box. FlatpanelsHD has not had issues with the remote control connection but has experienced major issues with all Bluetooth game controllers. FlatpanelsHD has tested the release candidate of tvOS 16.3 over the weekend and found that, so far, it has resolved the Bluetooth issues we were experiencing with all of all of our controllers; DualSense, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and Nimbus. However, we await user reports before we can reach a conclusion, as the Bluetooth issues were widespread and affected both remote control, controllers, and AirPods. We will do further testing this week. We still have not found any signs of the promised HDMI 2.1 QMS support, but it is possible that the menu option will only appear when Apple TV 4K (2022) is connected to a compatible TV, meaning a 2023 LG TV. tvOS 16.3 is compatible with Apple TV HD and all three generations of Apple TV 4K.



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