Tomorrow the new PS4 firmware (4.00) update will be released. What caught my eye is the fact that it will include the HDR update Sony announced at their conference a short time ago.
In the initial aftermath of that conference there were a lot of questions on how it would work on a console that wasn’t outputting a 4K resolution. I wanna take a look at what HDR is and hopefully figure out why it can be used on a device that doesn’t support HDMI 2.0.
In my search for more information I decided to go to Samsung’s website and look at their description of HDR. Since I own the UN65JS9500, Samsung’s 2015 full-array local dimming flagship TV, I figure that’s a good place to start. This TV is 4K and includes HDR that can be turned on or off based on what HDMI input you use. I’m a little disappointed that my Pioneer SC-85 does not carry the HDCP 2.2 copyright protection and without that I won’t be able to pass through an HDR image. On the other hand I can directly connect the PS4 to the TV but that leaves me with outputting the audio through an optical cable and I would really prefer not to. I guess we’ll see what compromises I have to make tomorrow morning.
Taken from Samsung’s website here is their definition of what HDR means:
HDR is an acronym for ‘High Dynamic Range’. This is really all about the expression of images and is a result of the depth of contrast between light and dark colors that a TV screen can produce. Or as the name directly states, the range of luminescence that a television screen is able to render.
Basically it means the TV is capable of outputting a higher luminosity giving you deeper blacks and brighter whites. All of this comes together to give you a brighter image and our eyes love to see this, they perceive this as a superior image.
While there won’t be any games available to output HDR tomorrow we’ll still be able to activate it and see if there are any differences. I am still excited for the new update because it will be adding some much needed features. Folder support will finally be added and that is one of the big things that myself and many others have been waiting a long time for. We’ll also be getting a better pop-up menu that won’t take up the entire screen to do simple tasks such as changing a song or turning off your controller. I always turn my controller off while using Netflix since my Harmony remote controls everything. The update will also integrate Spotify and the Media app into the new quick menu making it easier to control.
They’re also adding a better layout for the “What’s New” section with bigger icons and an easier way to interact with what your friends are doing.
Along with the “What’s New” section the information content for each game is also getting a similar overhaul, again giving you a better way to interact with the game and your friends.
The final part of the update will include a LAN-to-LAN transfer feature if you plan on updating to the PS4 Pro when it releases. Certainly a nice feature to have since it should allow for faster transfer speeds than downloading.
It certainly looks like a much needed update. We’ll let you know tomorrow how well it works.