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How to Fix a PS5 that Looks Too Dark on TV

Why is my TV screen too dark when playing PS5?

The main reason why your TV screen looks too dark when playing PS5 is because the TV  cannot reach at least 500 nits (cd/m2), or beacuse dynamic tone mapping is enabled.

As a rule of thumb, you may find that HDR-enabled PlayStation 5 games become excessively bright or too dark.

If you are having these brightness difficulties, you may use Seeking Tech’s guide to identify some potential solutions.

Aside from the specialized modification of the board used, that’s always worth a look if it is too low. It is very frequent in PlayStation 5 structures to find a specific alternative enabled and causing the issue of a display that would be too dark.

We are discussing HDR, which, while trying to improve the contrast of colors during gameplay, may create the brightness defect if users do not have an appropriate TV or monitor, and much more.


Possible Causes

  • HDR Issue
  • TVs that can not reach at least 500 nits (cd/m2)
  • Dynamic Tone Mapping


HDR Issue

Playing games in HDR is one of the PS5’s main selling features, and most televisions made in recent years contain the option as standard, so this may not be an issue for most PS5 owners.

The PS5 automatically enables HDR even for material that does not support a high dynamic range. Thus you should not experience the issue unless you intentionally seek it out.

However, this does not rule out the possibility that some PS5 users would choose to play in SDR mode. Because many streaming and recording platforms do not capture HDR, this might be a major issue for video makers.


TVs that cannot reach at least 500 nits (cd/m2)

The first step is to determine whether your tv screen is HDR capable. For HDR to truly stand out, we suggest TVs with a maximum resolution of at least 500 nits (cd/m2). This should preferably be at 600 nits or higher.

Anything less than 500 nits may not even be effective in playing games with HDR activated since your Display will become too dark to see the material effectively. Check the bottom section of this article to learn how to switch off HDR on the PS5.

We suggest looking for your tv screen on RATINGS to see how bright it can go, as the company evaluates the brightness levels of the number of current TVs.


Dynamic Tone Mapping

If your TV can display HDR satisfactorily, we suggest removing Dynamic Tone Mapping, or it’s equal, on your TV if it is allowed.

This tool enhances the HDR image using post-processing, which may result in erroneous black and white hues.

If your Display has HGiG, we suggest that you use it instead. The high mode was designed primarily for videogames to guarantee constant HDR image quality across various television manufacturers.


PS5 looks too dark on TV
Image Copyright: AlenaKr/Depositphotos.com


Why is HDR too dark on PS5?

The reason HDR is too dark on PS5 could be because your TV cannot reach the required nits the device requires.

Movies and TV shows you’ve been viewing for years have been mastered in what’s now known as standard dynamic range, or SDR—and it isn’t very interesting, with peak brightness levels of only approximately 100 nits.

On the other hand, most current LCD TVs can produce 300 nits or more when playing SDR video, so if you’re in a brilliantly lit room, turn up the backlight, which raises the brightness of everything in the picture—from dark shadows to dazzling highlights.

HDR is unique. Its principal aim, as the name implies, is to increase the dynamic range—that is, to create a larger gap between an image’s dark and bright sections.

Bright highlights in HDR can reach 1,000 nits or more, based on your TV’s capability. A sun streaming through the woodland will stand out against the shaded foreground in HDR, and a bonfire will shine like an oasis of warmth against the black desert nighttime.

This produces a fantastic image on the correct TV, but it does not mean that the entire frame is brighter than its SDR counterpart—only the hotspots are.


How to fix a dark HDR screen while playing PS5?

To fix dark HDR screen while playing PS5, open image settings on your television. Heron suggests beginning with a clean slate, so restore the image modes to factory settings.

Then attempt the following:

  • You’ve probably done this previously, but if not, go to the Backlight option and turn it up. It’s important to note that you want to increase the Backlight setting rather than the Brightness option, which should always be left at its default amount
  • Raising the brightness will slightly brighten the image but also destroy shadow detail. Sony televisions are an anomaly, with the Backlight setting named “Brightness.” Some TVs may not allow you to raise the backlight in HDR mode, while others will
  • This setting is probably already at its optimal level, but just in case, enter your picture options and experiment with the Local Dimming option (if your TV has one). Certain settings may darken the entire screen to maintain as deep a black level as possible, which is unnecessary in a well-lit environment
  • If your television has a Gamma setting, it’s probably set to 2.2 by default. Setting it to 2.0 or below may make the image look brighter


How to stop PS5 dimming the screen while inactive?

To stop PS5 from dimming the screen while inactive, you have to prevent burn-in from happening. Burn-in happens when your television develops either temporary or permanent discoloration/screen dimming.

  • If you keep on playing a game with such a high-contrast heads-up displays (HUD) instead of using the TV to do anything else, you may experience issues
  • Take short intervals every hour later since you’re having some fun with something like a non-customizable, high-contrast HUD
  • It would be best if you also tried stopping the game, bringing up the game system, using the PS5 fast menu, using the PS5 home screen menu, turning off the television, and anything else that will give your TV a rest from always presenting the same static picture while taking a pause


How do I adjust brightness settings on PS5?

To adjust brightness settings on PS5 is a little tricky where HDR is concerned. HDR has a stronger contrast—that is, a wider color and brightness range—than Standard Dynamic Range (SDR).

Though all PS5TM consoles support 4K and HDR, the accessibility of visual quality is dependent on your home media setup.

Adjust HDR by going to Settings > Screen and Video > Video Output.


Best brightness settings on PS5

The best brightness settings on PS5 are HDR, hands down. The PlayStation 5 is commonly considered a capable HDR gaming system. It’s easy to see why a PS5 is used with a recent high-definition screen and a game like “Gran Turismo 7,” which has been acclaimed for the clarity of its HDR setting.

However, it’s highly probable that your PS5’s HDR settings are incorrect and that you’re not fully using what’s available.

  • Fixing your PS5’s HDR settings is a straightforward operation that should only take you a few minutes to finish. To begin, go to the Settings menu on your PS5, Screen and Video, Video Output, and the Adjust HDR option
  • Contrary to Sony’s on-screen instructions, it would help if you pushed the D-Pad up until the grey sun is completely invisible on the first two screens. As long as your TV is at least HDR10 certified, it would help if you were alright pushing the D-Pad up until you hit a wall and can’t boost your maximum brightness anymore
  • After this, you’ll be prompted to set your black levels and want to perform the same thing you did, but this time in reverse. Press the D-Pad until the grey sun is gone, and you should be able to experience considerably richer colors and deeper blacks if you’re using an HDR10, HDR10+, or Dolby Vision-compatible TV

Ernie Lo

Ernie Lo is a qualified web designer and web developer. He works as an IT support technician and website manager at Benleigh Vending, and he also fixes vending machines.

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