Unlike the PS4 and its inability to accommodate 4K UHD Blu-Rays, has the PS5 taken a step in the right direction with support for this functionality?
When it was released in 2016, three years after the debut of the PS4, the PS4 Pro was almost seen as the next generation in the console’s progression. It promised a lot to encourage sales but may have not actually lived up to expectations.
Although the PS4 Pro was initially marketed as a 4K Ultra-HD console, Sony ended up choosing to limit their expenses on the system’s disc drive, which meant it could not play 4K UHD Blu-Rays as originally stated.
The PS5 was released in November 2020 but despite the underwhelming addition of the PS4 Pro three years earlier, fans remained optimistic about the PS5 and the features it would offer – and they were right to do so.
Amongst the features that PlayStation fans were anticipating the most with the PS5 was the promised introduction of 4K compatibility.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, 4K refers to a television format that has four times the number of pixels as a standard HD display. Otherwise known as Ultra-HD or UHD, it offers an extremely high resolution which adds a lot of detail to your favourite movies and games. Was it finally implemented with the PS5 after being dropped on the PS4 Pro?
Does The PS5 Support 4K?
If you’ve recently purchased or intend to purchase a PS5, you’ll be thrilled to learn that it is 4K compatible. The PS5 Standard Edition will take 4K Blu-Ray discs, while the PS5 Digital Edition will only support 4K streaming due to the lack of a disc slot.
Due to its inexpensive cost relative to its great quality, 4K is gaining a lot of traction. Whatever you’re playing, 4K will allow you to view more detail in a larger resolution while also improving framerates.
But, in order to get the most out of 4K, you’ll need specific peripherals. If you want to watch, stream or play in 4K, you’ll need a 4K television as well. Make sure your PS5 is connected to the TV via a 4K-ready HDMI connector, which should be designated as such on your machine. When it comes to the HDMI cable, just use the one that was provided with your PlayStation 5.
Basically, your PS5 will always output in 4K, unless you change this in the settings. However, to actually see the difference, you’ll need the right display and connectors.
Does The PS5 Support Blu-Ray Discs?
As previously mentioned, the PS5 can accept Blu-Ray discs as long as you have the Disc Edition console. If you have the digital edition of the PS5, you’ll be able to stream 4K movies etc., but without the disc slot, Blu-Ray discs are not an option.
In reality, the PS5 is not only interoperable with Blu-Ray discs, but it is also natively 4K, allowing it to play 4K or UHD Blu-Ray discs.
The PS5 will also handle normal DVD playing as well as user-created material on formats including BD-ROM and DVD+RW.
Is The PS5 Blu-Ray Player As Good As A Standalone Blu-Ray Player?
While the PS5 Disc Edition does support Blu-ray discs, it is a bonus feature instead of a primary function, which means it is unlikely to compete with specialised players.
Dedicated Blu-Ray players will include additional features such as Dolby Vision and HDR10+, as well as likely compatibility for 3D Blu-Rays, which the PS5 lacks.
If you were debating whether to acquire the PS5 Disc Edition or the Digital Edition and an additional Blu-ray player, getting the Disc Edition will probably save you some cash.
Given that the Standard Edition is around $100/£100 more expensive than the Digital Version, and that most Blu-ray systems will cost you more than the difference, we’d say that if playing Blu-rays is a requirement for you, it’s well worth the extra money – unless you’ve already got a standalone Blu-Ray player, of course.
While the PS5 Standard Edition may not be capable of competing with the greatest Blu-Ray readers, it will nonetheless play Blu-ray discs in gorgeous 4K and integrate Dolby Atmos, ensuring that you get the cinematic experience you desire.
How To Enable 4K On Your PS5
By default, your PS5 should be set to 4K. Here’s how to turn it back on if for some reason it has been turned off:
- Turn on your PS5 and head to the settings by clicking the cogwheel in the top right-hand corner of the screen next to the search bar.
- Scroll down to find the ‘Screen and video’ settings.
- Within the ‘Video output’ tab, you’re able to choose your preferred output resolution.
- Your resolution will most likely be set to ‘Automatic’. If ‘Automatic’ isn’t automatically setting your resolution to 4K, you can force it to do so by selecting ‘2160p’.
- Scroll down to the HDR tab on the Screen and Video page. If your TV can’t support it, it will be turned off automatically. If your device has 4K capability, turn it on to enjoy the greatest 4K experience.
Troubleshooting PS5 4K Issues
First of all, if your PlayStation 5 straight up refuses to output in 4K resolution, double-check that you have 4K tolerant HDMI cables and that your TV is not only 4K ready, but also set to 4K output. This process will be very similar to the way we did it with the PS5 however menu navigation will depend on your TV.
If you do have the necessary hardware and it is installed and running as it should be, your PlayStation 5 can still run into particular problems. We know this by now with most things we buy.
If you’re not entirely sure whether or not your HDMI cable supports 4K, there is a specific error message you will receive if it is the source of the issue. The message will read “When displaying 4K HDR content at 60 Hz, the colour format will be YUV422 or YUV420 instead of RGB due to HDMI 2.0 transfer speed limitations”.
4K compatible HDMI cables will only cost a few bucks on Amazon and it’s always good to have a spare, so maybe try purchasing a new one before sending the PS5 in for repair.
Jake is a professional copywriter, journalist, and life-long fan of technology. He covers news and user guides for KnowYourMobile.