Console gaming is a lot like PC gaming when it comes to getting the best picture possible—you need the latest and greatest tech to make it possible. For console gaming, that comes down to a TV and console that are 4K and HDR compatible. While 4K TVs have gotten all of the press and become fairly common, HDR is still a bit of a dark horse.
For instance, I bet you can describe 4K to me pretty easily, but can you say the same for HDR? No worries. We have an excellent breakdown of everything you need to know about HDR. Or, to put it simply, HDR (which stands for High Dynamic Range) allows your TV to display deeper colors and richer contrast, which equates to a more vibrant and realistic image.
It might seem a little silly, but trust me, just like the jump from 1080p to 4K was eye-opening, the difference HDR makes is well worth it. But, if you want to game in HDR, you'll first have to make sure your settings are adjusted accordingly.
Of course, before you can game in 4K and HDR, you need a TV that'll support those formats. We've already done the work to find the best 4K and HDR TVs for gaming, but be warned, these aren't exactly budget-friendly. For that, I'd recommend the TCL P Series, an affordable 4K and HDR compatible TV with amazing picture quality. I picked this up myself recently and absolutely love it. The picture is crisp with an impressive range of color and contrast. But you don't have to take my word for it, our resident TV expert has an excellent TCL P Series review for you to look at that goes in-depth on everything you could want to know.
If you want to experience 4K and HDR gaming and you're firmly in Microsoft's Xbox camp, you'll need either an Xbox One S or the soon-to-be-released Xbox One X. Unfortunately, the original Xbox One doesn't support gaming in 4K or HDR so you'll need to update if you want the best visuals.
While your One S should be set up for 4K and HDR out of the box, it doesn't hurt to check and make sure. To do that, simply:
- Tap the Xbox Button to open the guide and go to "Settings" followed by "All Settings"
- Select "Display & Sound"
- Select "Video Output"
- Select "Advanced Video Settings"
- Make sure "Allow 4K" and "Allow HDR" are checked
PlayStation 4 Pro
Setting up 4K and HDR on the PlayStation 4 Pro is just as easy. You just need to make sure you updated to system software 4.0 and you're using an HDMI 2.0 cable—older HDMI cables won't carry a 4K/HDR signal. Also note that the original PS4 and the PS4 Slim both do not support 4K output, for games or movies, though all PS4 systems can output HDR.
Otherwise, this is what you'll need to do to make sure your PlayStation is rendering games in HDR.
- Go to "Settings"
- Select "Sound and Screen"
- Select "Video Output Settings"
- Set the "HDR" and "Deep Color" output settings to "Automatic"