This simple change will upgrade your PS5 HDR experience – and it only takes a second

If you've got one of the best HDR TVs, your console might not be taking full advantage of it

Aloy in Horizon Forbidden West and Darth Vade in Lego Star Wars
(Image credit: Sony / Guerrilla Games / Warner Bros. Games)

When you connect your PS5 to one of the best TVs – or even my more modest Samsung TV – and play in HDR the results can be stunning; I often paused Horizon: Forbidden West to gasp at the graphics. But it seems that if like me you just went with Sony's instructions for calibrating your console's HDR output, you could be getting a less than perfect HDR experience.

That's according to Slashgear, who point out that each HDR TV has a different maximum output. That means it's easy to under-optimise your console's display settings, delivering brightness and black levels that are fine for many TVs but not necessarily the best for yours. The good news is that it's a really simple fix. 

How to get better HDR from your PS5

Provided your TV supports HDR10, HDR10+ or Dolby Vision, your PS5 can deliver beautiful HDR visuals. And to get the most of it, you go into your PS5's Settings > Screen and Video > Video Output. Look for the Adjust HDR menu.

The next step feels odd: don't do what Sony tells you to do. When it tells you to keep pressing the D-Pad upwards until the grey sun is only just visible, keep going until it disappears completely. And in the next screen, keep pressing until the grey sun disappears altogether. 

And that's it: you should now benefit from the deepest possible black levels and the brightest possible colours from your HDR TV. It's worth going into your TV settings too: the different modes in my Samsung TV make enormous differences to the picture, sometimes by over-processing things, by making the backlight a bit bright or by making the colours just a bit much. It's definitely worth spending a bit of time in the settings to get the picture to look exactly how you want it.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).