PS4 Pro HDR - Problems with older HDMI cables

If you own a 4K TV and update your new PS4 Pro with the firmware update 4.00, you should actually experience your games in HDR quality. Actually. Because HDR often does not work without the right HDMI cable. And: As before, the PS4 Pro HDR seems to cause problems with some 4K TVs.

Old HDMI standard causes problems for PS4 Pro HDR
Basically a great thing: The HDMI HDR standard ("High Dynamic Range") delivers a very high-contrast picture with a particularly large dynamic range. However, there is a problem with the PS4 Pro's accessories. Despite the firmware update and the 4K flicker box, the HDMI cable provided by Sony, of all things, causes visual frustration: Despite all requirements, no HDR quality is visible on the screen. The reason for this is the HDMI standard of the cable: The cable originally supplied by Sony had the standard 1.4a. This is sufficient for games with a resolution of 1080p and 60fps, but the standard is not sufficient for gaming in HDR quality.

Watch out for the small "a"!
To remedy the situation, you often need a new HDMI cable that has the HDMI 2.0 standard. However: HDMI 2.0 is not always the same as HDMI 2.0. When buying, make sure that the new HDMI cable supports the latest standard HDMI 2.0a and the copy protection HDCP 2.2. Only HDMI version 2.0a fully supports HDR. Recognizing a corresponding cable in the technology market is not that easy. Most packaging only shows the version number 2.0. If you want to be sure, research on the Internet and buy a brand cable that explicitly shows HDMI 2.0a in the specifications.

The 2.0a standard came onto the market in 2015. So, those who use an older cable should upgrade. Meanwhile, Sony is supposed to deliver the PS4 Pro with a compatible cable. If you want to be absolutely sure, or are not able to replace the cable without further ado, you can use a special HDMI tester to check the HDMI cable's functionality.

The HDMI input on the TV must also support HDMI 2.0a!

Important note: Not only the cable itself, but also the HDMI input of your 4K TV must support HDMI 2.0a. Sometimes you have to additionally activate the extended color space on the TV for this input. The manufacturers call these functions "HDMI UHD Color" (Samsung), "Extended HDMI" (Sony), "HDMI HDR" (Panasonic) or "HDMI Ultra HD Deep Color" (LG). A look at the user manual of your TV will clarify any doubts.

Problems with some 4K TVs
And as if that wasn't complicated enough, there also seem to be compatibility issues between the PS4 Pro and some 4K TVs: Sometimes no picture is displayed at all, sometimes only the sound is transmitted. And: The HDR capability is often limited, as is the Ultra HD resolution. Sony and the TV manufacturers blame each other: Sony claims that the error lies with the TVs of the other manufacturers, while Samsung and Co. rather see the problem in the PS4 Pro. The firmware history of the PS4 gives us an indication that the problem could also be Sony's fault: The errors are said to have increased even more with version 4.05, so Sony had to deliver another version with firmware 4.06. It remains to be seen how the problem will be solved. It remains to be seen how the situation will develop.

At least Sony has now published a video that at least briefly explains the HDR setup on the PS4.

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