Some of Sony's best gaming TVs were advertised as "perfect for PS5", but turned out to be not so perfect after all: some of Sony's best TVs with LED panels had an issue with Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) that caused problems for many PS5 owners.
If you bought a high-spec Sony OLED TV you don't need to worry, because OLEDs didn't have the same issue due to the different way in which they're lit. But if yours is one of the affected LED TVs, it's time to update your firmware.
Vincent Teoh of HDTV Test has posted the list of affected models on Twitter. The firmware is version v6.5929 and it's relevant to 2021 and 2022 Bravia XR LED TVs such as the X90J – which we reckoned was one of 2021's best TVs in the mid-range price bracket – and the X90K series.
Here's what the update fixes.
Why perfect for PS5 wasn't quite perfect enough
The problem is with the TVs' dimming features, which are exclusive to backlit TVs – which is why OLED TVs didn't have the same issues. Without the update, activating VRR for PS5 gaming would disable the local dimming for the backlight. That isn't ideal, because without local dimming your PS5's HDR visuals get a distinct downgrade – but if you don't use VRR then you don't benefit from the dynamic syncing between PlayStation and Sony TV.
When you consider how long it took Sony to actually implement VRR support – if I recall correctly it was roughly eleventy billion years before Sony actually delivered the VRR it promised on my PS5's packaging – you can understand why some PS5 gamers weren't very happy. Especially when you consider the price tag of some of the bigger TVs in the model list.
I'm a bit baffled that this problem made it through quality control, but at least it's finally been addressed – so hopefully this update will mean the end of PS5 VRR worries. As with all firmware updates it won't appear on every Sony TV at the same time, so if you have one of the affected TVs and you don't see the update then don't worry: it's coming.