Sony has rolled out a new firmware update that enables some of the company's best gaming TVs to get full video quality and variable refresh rate (VRR) at the same time.
Until now, activating VRR on the majority of 2021 and 2022 'Perfect for PS5' LED/LCD TVs caused the screen to disable the backlight's local dimming function. Hardy ideal, since this results in a drop in HDR contrast.
After much gnashing of teeth, it seems that Sony has fixed the pesky glitch.
According to hdtvtest, the new firmware (v6.5929) is being "rolled out now, providing an immediate improvement in contrast performance during VRR gaming." Vincent Teoh, who seems to have been first to spot the firmware, has tweeted a full list of models due to get the update...
Sony's rolled out firmware update v6.5929 to enable local dimming in VRR mode on BRAVIA XR LED LCDs from 2021 (X90J, X95J, Z9J) & 2022 (X90K, X95K, Z9K), thus improving contrast performance during VRR gaming. I don't have any of these TVs to test, but let me know how you get on! pic.twitter.com/NwIFsjGrTOJune 29, 2022
Sony OLED TVs never had this issue as they use completely different dimming technology. It also doesn't affect the 2021 X85J or X85K, since these models don't use the Japanese giant's Bravia XR Cognitive Processor for local dimming.
Sony announced that VRR would roll out to the PlayStation 5 back in April. The tech, which has become increasingly important to gamers, dynamically syncs the refresh rate of the display to the console’s graphical output. This enhances visual performance for next-gen games by minimising or eliminating artifacts such as tearing. In other words, games look and play much smoother.
Sony took an annoyingly long time to roll out VRR in the first place, and said rollout hasn't been terribly smooth. Still, now that VRR and local dimming have put aside their differences and are now willing to work together in perfect harmony, most owners' issues should now have been solved. The firmware could take a while to reach every affected TV, though, so it's worth checking the settings to see if v6.5929 is available for you yet.
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