PlayStation 5 Reportedly Fails to Display SDR Content Correctly, Resulting in Black Crush

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The PlayStation 5 reportedly fails to display games that were originally mastered in Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) properly. This is according to Digital Foundry’s content creator for PC, Alexander Battaglia, who commented on one user’s experiences with capturing footage from Demon’s Souls with PS5’s HDR option turned off and clarified that the console actually has a display issue that results in black crush. Black crush is a problem in which shadow details and other darker portions of the image are lost.

PS5 is actually not displaying Original SDR content correctly – unfortunately. Does it with Backward Compatibility titles for sure. Could lead to black crush or other changes in reproducing the game’s colour or tone.

It is not as dramatic as the limited vs full issue shown in the quoted tweet – but if you capture SDR on a PlayStation 4 Pro and compare it to SDR on PS5 of that same game there are differences which can be negative.

Digital Foundry’s John Linneman agreed, suggesting that the issue probably stems from the way that the PlayStation 5 handles Full RGB (0–255) and Limited RGB (16–235). The publication has been unable to capture footage of PS5 games running in SDR without black crush.

Yeah, it’s been a real issue for us. That said, in this case, it’s likely a full/limited RGB issue as PS5 typically crushes darker shades rather than increase the black floor.

[…] the PS5 does not properly display SDR. If we capture the same game from all PS4s and Xbox systems using the same settings, blacks are crushed on PS5 in SDR. I’m convinced SDR output is broken. SDR in HDR container is better here.

SDR just doesn’t seem to be quite right – all of our captures from PS5 in SDR are slightly crushed compared to all other machines…but if your display does a poor job with HDR it might still look better in SDR.

Sources: Alexander Battaglia, John Linneman, Wccftech

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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