The advent of UHD 4K resolution has been a major boon to gaming, as it brought crisper resolutions and finer detail to graphics. However, while 4K is an appreciable upgrade, if you’re not playing with High Dynamic Range (HDR) enabled you’re not getting the full experience from your 4K TV or games. Both of Sony’s current consoles — the PlayStation 4 and the 4K-ready PlayStation 4 Pro — support HDR, provided you have the proper display and the right setup. We’ve put together this guide on how to set up HDR gaming on your 4K/HDR TV and PS4 or PS4 Pro consoles for more colorful, vibrant games.
A quick note: While both the PS4 and PS4 Pro are capable of HDR you’ll need to make sure you’ve updated the firmware to 4.0 or higher. If you happen to need help setting up HDR on an Xbox One S or Xbox One X, we can help with that, too.
Set up your TV first!
Set up your PS4 or PS4 Pro
Once your TV is set up, you’re most of the way there. All that’s left to do is enable HDR on the console itself. While the PS4 and PS4 Pro will usually auto-detect that HDR is enabled on your TV and adjust the settings itself, it doesn’t always, and it’s a good idea to double check regardless. Here’s how to do it.
If you followed the above step correctly, you should now be able to play in HDR. Should you need further help, consult Sony’s video guide.
Finding the right content
Finally, you’ll need to have the right content to play and/or watch.
There is a long list of HDR-enabled video games on the PS4, and more are being released all the time. Plus, there is a plethora of HDR video content you can access on Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime.
Here’s a quick selection of some HDR-ready PS4 recommendations:
Now that you’re all set up and playing an HDR title, the picture quality should be stunning and gorgeous. But what if you aren’t impressed? Perhaps it actually looks worse? What now?
Unfortunately, this may mean that your TV is not well-suited for HDR, even if it says HDR right on the side of the box. To pull off HDR well, a TV needs to be able to achieve high-contrast ratios and expanded color. If your TV can’t pull off the contrast necessary for impressive HDR, your picture could end up looking either dark or washed out, with a lack of detail in either dim or bright areas, depending on your picture adjustments. If this ends up being the case, we suggest you disable HDR and play in a standard mode. If the picture quality looks much better as a result of reverting back to HDR, just stick with it.