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Why Does HDR Look Washed Out On My PS5?


HDR is one of the most notable highlights of 4K technology. And in the PS5, it adds a realistic edge to gaming.

Still, its phenomenal color depth can be elusive when the display configurations are incorrect. You end up with colors that look washed out.

That sucks the joy out of gaming.

But there’s a way out. 

If HDR looks washed out on your PS5, you may be able to salvage the situation. 

You’ll need to figure out what could be causing colors to appear dull. Then you can counter it with a fitting solution.

Below, we’ll discuss the most likely causes of washed-out images on the PS5. Thereafter, we’ll share simple solutions that can fix washed-out HDR colors.

Why Does HDR Look Washed Out On My PS5?

There may be several explanations for the washed-out look you get on the screen when using the PS5.

Let’s look at some of the most probable ones.

Using the wrong HDMI port

Most TV sets have more than 2 or 3 HDMI ports. 

In some TVs , all HDMI ports are HDR-compatible. But in others, only one or two HDMI ports are HDR-compliant. 

SAMSUNG 65-Inch Class Crystal UHD AU8000 Series
Click image for more info

Regular HDMI ports will not bring out the color benefits of HDR. So if you connect via any of them, you’ll not see the effect of HDR. 

Incompatible video settings

Sometimes, the PS5 video settings clash with the TV video settings. 

When that happens, you may get a washed-out look.

Problematic video settings could range from HDR to RGB range and 4K video transfer rate.

Your capture card does not support HDR

Are you live streaming or recording a game? 

How to Setup Elgato Capture Card with PlayStation 5 (Gameplay, Audio, Facecam)

It’s possible that your capture card does not support HDR. When this is the case, the colors will appear washed out.

How To Fix PS5 HDR Washed Out Issue

Here are some solutions you can try to rectify the HDR washed-out color issue:

Use an HDR-enabled port

Make sure you connect your PS5 to the TV through the HDR-compatible HDMI port. Depending on your TV’s make, the port may have HDR or the gaming icon in brackets after HDMI. 

VIZIO 50-Inch V-Series 4K UHD LED HDR Smart TV
Click image for more info

See also: Why Can’t I Get HDR To Work on My PS5?

Restart your devices

Is this your first time seeing washed-out colors? If the colors on the screen have been vivid up until now, a simple reset may solve the problem.

a yellow restart button on a white keyboard

Restart the TV and PS5 to see if the issue goes away.

Restarting the devices solves any handshake glitches between the TV and the game console. 

Toggle between HDR Off and HDR Automatic

After restarting the devices, go to Settings on the PS5 Home screen. Scroll to Screen and Video > HDR and turn it off. 

Go back to the same setting and change the HDR setting to Automatic. 

This step is part of solving any handshake issues. So if there is a miscommunication between the devices, turning HDR off and on again can clear the problem and reset the system.

Change HDR settings

Try adjusting the HDR settings on your PS5. 

Go to Settings > Screen and Video > Video Output Information > Adjust HDR

Press the up and down buttons as instructed on the screen to adjust HDR. Aim to reduce brightness on the three screens to a level where the on-screen image is barely visible. 

Go back and play the video to see if there’s any improvement in the color.

If nothing changes or there’s little change, go back to Settings and adjust HDR further. Increase brightness on the last screen a bit so that the on-screen image is more visible than before. 

How to Adjust HDR on PS5 for Best COLORS on 4k TV & Monitors (Easy Tutorial)

Change RGB settings on the PS5

From the PS5 Home Screen, go to Settings > Screen and Video > Video Output.

Under Video Output Information, scroll down to RGB Range. The RGB range is usually set to Automatic (Recommended).

Change this setting to Limited or Full.

Go back to Home Screen and launch a game to see if the new settings make a difference. 

You can try both settings (Full and Limited) to see which one you like best. 

PS5: How to Change RGB Range Tutorial! (For Beginners)

Change the TV RGB range

If changing the RGB range of your PS5 does not work, try changing the RGB range of the TV instead.

Menu locations and settings vary depending on the TV brand. But you should find the RGB settings under Display, Picture, or Video settings. 

A quick look at your TV manual or the brand’s website should tell you where to look.

Switch between the given RGB options, usually low, medium, high, and off. 

Test the new settings each time you make an adjustment. Compare the outcome to see which one gives the best results. Then you can leave the TV on that RGB setting.

Increase your options by trying out the different RGB settings on the TV and PS5. 

See if there’s a difference in HDR colors when you use different combinations of the settings. And then choose what you feel is the clearest, most vivid combination.

Adjust the 4K Transfer Rate of your PS5

Changing the transfer rate affects the bandwidth, limiting video transfer to specific bandwidths. In turn, this limits the refresh rate. 

The transfer rate also determines whether the colors passing through the video output should be compressed. And in doing so, it affects the availability of Deep Color.

It, thus, plays a big role in determining how colors look on the screen.

Transfer rate options vary from 0 to -1 and -2, and the default setting is Automatic. This means the device chooses the most suitable setting for the TV or display screen you’re using.

Changing the transfer rate to -1 limits video output to HDMI 2.0 bandwidth. Changing the transfer rate to -2 limits video output to HDMI 1.4 features.

You may need to try the different transfer rates to see which one produces the richest colors.

To adjust the transfer rate, go to Home > Settings > Screen and Video > Video output > 4K Video Transfer Rate

Choose -1 or -2 and test the results with a game each time to see what difference it makes. Then you can settle on the option that gives the best results.

4k transfer rate on PS5 properly explained

Conclusion

Connecting your PS5 through a port that is not optimized for HDR can leave you with washed-out images. 

The same can happen when you use a capture card that is not HDR-capable to live stream a game. 

Or when the display settings are not configured right.

You can rectify washed-out HDR by:

  • connecting the PS5 to an HDR-compatible port
  • using an HDR-capable capture card when live streaming
  • adjusting video settings like HDR and RGB range

We hope this post has been helpful and that you’ve learned what causes the washed-out look on your PS5 and how to fix the problem.

Last update on 2022-08-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.


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