Your PS5 HDR Settings Are Probably Wrong. Here's How To Get Them Right

The PlayStation 5 is widely regarded as a solid console for HDR gaming. It's clear why when a PS5 is played on a modern high-definition television that displays a crisp, colorful image when playing a game like "Gran Turismo 7," which, coincidentally, has been praised for the quality of its HDR mode. However, it's very likely that your PS5's HDR settings aren't set correctly, and you're not making full use of what's available. Each HDR TV has a different maximum output, described in nits (cd/m²), and you can easily under-optimize your HDR settings inside of the PS5's HDR settings menu by leaving too many nits on the table.

The PS5's HDR setup screen guides you to press your D-Pad up and down when adjusting your peak brightness and absolute black levels so that an object (in this case, a gray-colored sun) is barely visible on each of the three screens. The issue with doing it this way is that you may not be getting the deepest blacks, brightest whites, and most comprehensive color range for your modern HDR TV. In fact, there is only one universal way to set HDR on your PS5 to accommodate any HDR10, 10+, or Dolby Vision-capable television, and it's not what Sony has prescribed.

How to set your PS5 HDR settings properly

Fixing your PS5's HDR settings is an extremely simple process that should take you no more than a few minutes to complete. To get the ball rolling, navigate to your PS5's Settings menu, then to Screen and Video, now to Video Output, and finally, you'll land on the Adjust HDR menu.

On the first of the two screens, you'll want to press the D-Pad up until the gray sun becomes entirely invisible, contrary to Sony's on-screen directions. As long as your TV is certified for HDR10 at a minimum, you should be fine to push the D-Pad up until you reach a wall and can't increase your max brightness any further.

After this point, you'll be asked to set your black levels, and this is where you'll want to do the same thing you were just doing but now in reverse. Press the D-Pad down until the gray sun is invisible, and assuming you're using an HDR10, HDR10+, or Dolby Vision-compatible TV, you should be able to enjoy much richer colors and deeper blacks.