It’s finally November, which means millions of people finally got their hands on shiny new consoles from Sony and Microsoft. These 4K beasts are created for full 4K experience, which is why many of us also spent a lot of money on a new TV. But going UHD is not as straightforward as one might think. The experts from Root-Nation.com helped us to sort out common issues and questions connected with the new tech.
“New console – new TV” is a mantra that didn’t mean much when the PS4 was still new. That’s because PS4 was an HD-console – just like the PS3. It supported 1080p picture, and only the Pro model was made with the new TVs in mind. But the PS5 and the newest console from Microsoft are tailor-made for UHD TVs, which means it’s only logical to upgrade your TV before buying a console.
Both consoles support (in theory) 8K picture and 120fps, but, really, 8K will never be the standard for them, especially considering that the PS5doesn’t even output the signal right now (it will after an update). What it means is don’t bother with 8K TVs. I mean most of us will never be able to afford them anyways, but that doesn’t change the fact that these panels are mostly meaningless. Currently there’s no content available for them – neither games nor films.
Like I said before, PS5 and Xbox Series X were made with 4K screens in mind. They support HDR, 3840 × 2160 resolution and other features only the newest TVs have. And if you want to get the most out of your console (which also can play UHD Blu-Rays and Netflix), you need a modern UHD TV. But that doesn’t mean that you have to upgrade: the consoles still support Full HD TVs just fine. You won’t have any problems with them whatsoever.
An AV receiver is a mighty convenient device that connects all your video devices, allowing you to change the HDMI ports on the fly and, what’s most important, enjoy surround sound. Both PS3 and PS4 supported the same kind of receiver – Full HD models with HDMI ports. But the new PS5 is a different story…
The thing is, your old receiver won’t be able to work with the PS5. Like, at all. It will work if it understands 4K signal. If it doesn’t, it won’t see the console at all. Nor will it output any sound. Previously it was possible to get a 5.1 sound thanks to the optical cable (S/PDIF), but, unlike the PS4, the PS5 doesn’t have a S/PDIF port. It only has HDMI, which means that you will have to buy a new 4K receiver. There’s no way around that, except for not using the receiver altogether. It’s possible, but you’ll have to live without surround sound. By the way, the PS5 supports 3D Audio, which is very impressive if you use supported headsets. For some it will be more than enough.
PS5 prefers HDMI 2.1 cable, capable of passing through 4K/120 signal, VRR, etc. It’s the freshest cable format, and it comes with the console. Don’t worry if your TV doesn’t support it – most don’t, even Sony’s own A8H OLED. You’ll still get the picture in all its glory.
HDMI 2.1 not only supports 8K resolution and higher refresh rates, but also neat features like ALLM and VRR.
ALLM, or low-latency mode (your own TV might have this feature by a different brand name) automatically detects the console and turns on the game mode on your TV. The game mode, available on most modern TVs, is very important: by disabling image processing, it allows for faster response times. You can always activate it by yourself, but ALLM makes this process a tad more convenient.
VRR is arguably more important: it helps the TV adjust the refresh rate by itself for a smoother experience. This helps eliminate judder, frame tearing etc. This feature is similar to AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync. If you have an LG or Samsung TV (and chances of that are high), your model might already support aforementioned features. And if your TV has HDMI 2.1 ports, it probably has VRR built in already.