PSVR Set

The almost perfect HDR 4K setup for PS4 Pro, PS4 and PSVR

Sony really dropped the ball when it came to creating the PSVR’s Processing Unit.

For those of you not in the know, the PSVR comes with a breakout box, which has to connect to your PS4 and your TV with a few extra HDMI cables. This is so that a person not wearing the headset can see what’s happening on the TV or see an alternate screen if the PSVR supports multiplayer. A great idea that reduces some of the isolationism that can be occasionally felt when using the headset. That said it does come with a rather large flaw; it lacks HDCP 2.2 support.

PSVR processing box

The PSVR processing box

HDCP 2.2 and HDR

HDCP 2.2 is required for the implementation of High Dynamic Range (HDR) in certain titles. Assuming your TV supports HDR then you’ll be treated to more accurate colour reproduction and more striking lighting effects.

It’s not a deal breaker for most players, some say they can’t even tell the difference, but for AV enthusiasts like myself, it’s heartbreaking to have the feature stripped out of my PS4 Pro (HDR is also available on PS4) when I have my PSVR set up too.

The free but highly impractical solution is to get down on your knees and unplug some cables every time you switch between regular games and PSVR, however, not only is this cumbersome and annoying but it could also cause premature wear of the HDMI socket on the PS4/PS4 Pro.

The next solution is to buy a male to female HDMI lead/adapter. Leaving this permanently plugged into the back of your PS4 means that it’s only the connector exposed to wear upon switching.

Neither of these solutions is good enough for me. With a wife who likes tidy, my entertainment setup doesn’t allow for cables to be pulled in and out all of the time, not only are they hard to access, the PS4 Pro and PSVR breakout box skid around our wooden floor every time they’re moved.

Searching for a solution

So I decided to do some research on switches. There are hundreds out there to choose from. From low-cost 3-port switches to expensive multi-port powered devices, price, however, does not really come into it, it’s the supported specs that matter.

Looking for a low-cost solution I bought five different 3-port switches from Amazon. All of them claimed to support HDCP 2.2, some of them claimed to support 60hz and only one of them claimed to support HDR.

In addition to the switches, I bought three Amazon Basics HDMI 2.0+ High-Speed HDMI cables.

I won’t run through the different devices or what the results as because there’s no point, in the end only one worked:

A small £15 device made by a company called CSL. The box is around two thirds the size of a deck of playing cards, made of metal with a good weight to it. It allows one input and two outputs, however, being bi-directional this is rather inconsequential. On the top of the device is a push button which switches between the two outputs. A blue LED activates when a signal is detected. It’s a little bright for my liking but a bit of black tape and remembering whether depressed means one device or another soon sorted that.

CSL HDMI Switch

The CSL HDMI Switch we used

Switch it up!

Initially, I couldn’t get the device to display anything at all from the PS4 Pro. The supplier suggested that I use shorter cables, but the brand new Amazon cables were 0.9m and anything smaller would have been impractical. I nearly gave up until I looked at the box of random HDMI cables I had lying around. Instead of going shorter, why not go longer?

Success! In the end, it took two 1.5m, HDCP 1.4 cables from an old Sky+ box to get it working. However, with a bit more testing and switching to make sure it wasn’t a fluke; I’d finally found a device and cables that would switch between the PSVR and PS4 Pro while maintaining HDCP  2.2, 60Hz, RGB and the all-important HDR on the latter device. All without restarting the system.

So if you’re looking to get a seamless PS4/PSVR HDR setup here is what you need. Firstly the switch. Next, you’ll need a lot of HDMI cables. I can’t recommend where to buy the Sky+ cables because I can’t guarantee they’ll be the same as mine. However, I do know that the supplied PS4/PS4 Pro cable doesn’t work nor do Amazon cables. So I suggest you try as many different ones as possible, it will work eventually. In some cases, you will get a flickering or snowy image, don’t persevere, ditch the cables and move on. You’re also going to need an additional HDMI socket on the TV.

The cables you are focusing on are the two between the PS4, the switch and the TV. (Highlighted in red in the image below).  The cables for the PSVR are inconsequential and you can use any cables you like.

Quick side note: Stay well clear of gold plated cables and anything promising magic and dreams. They’re a con, you can read more about them here.

Setup Diagram:

PSVR PS4 Switch Diagram

PSVR to PS4 with HDR switch

 

What’s happening is that the PS4 is feeding all of its signals into the switch. If left on the standard configuration, the original HDR HDCP 2.2 signal will pass straight through to the TV. Pressing the button on the switch sends the same signal through to the PSVR box. The PSVR box will strip the signal to HDCP 1.4 and then pass it to the TV.

A great thing about this switch is that it will happily do all of this without a reboot.

So there we have it, an almost perfect PSVR/PS4 setup. I wish I could promise you that it’s going to work out of the box but that’s not true. Prepare to tear your hair out as you try tens of HDMI cables to get a result. However, if you want to swap between glorious HDR and the PSVR with the touch of a button. It’s worth the effort.

 

  • Nicolas

    Thanks for the tips, I just ordered the switch from the French Amazon website and a couple of KabelDirekt HDMI cables and I will give your configuration a try…

  • Mark

    I am upgrading to PS4 pro next week, so have been searching and searching for a fix, this looks like the best one, got loads of hdmi cables, so fingers crossed they work, unless anybody can suggest a hdmi cable haha

  • Scott

    I tried it with a range of HDMI cables and the same switch but no joy 🙁 tried two different switches (Same Model) both going back to Amazon. hoped to have one switch to split and one to combine to use on one HDMI port but could not even get it to work to split let alone combine 🙁 tried premium HDMI cables ranging from 50cm to 1.5m and still no luck must have tried fifteen different HDMI cables.

    • Hi Scott, sorry to hear you didn’t have any luck getting this to work.

      We posted this article on Reddit and found that most people didn’t succeed 🙁

      As you can probably tell our site is going through a bit of a re-design at the moment and we’ll likely remove the guide until we’re 99% confident we have a solution, or archive it with an apology/disclaimer for those who feel we’ve wasted their time.

  • Michel

    thanks! Got it all installed. Works like a charme. I noticed that the PSVR Unit turns off only if you have it on the right channel (blue light/button choice), while putting the PS4 off.

    If not the PSVR Unit stays powered on. it probably gets a power off/standby signal via HDMI 🙂

    • Glad you got it working. Seems you’re one of the lucky few, most people haven’t been as successful, either that or they’re keeping quiet 🙂

  • B de Steur

    I bougt an PS4pro and i also have digital tv but my problem is that my HDMI tv that I use have only one HDMI input socket available so my question is can I use an ordinary switch or does the switch need some special specifications to use it with PS4pro btw I don’t have a 4K tv I am still looking for the wright one now I am using digital tv on my tv with scart cable and my PS4pro with the only HDMI port on my tv so I haven’t the best possible tv signal with the scart cable because the scart can’t distribute a hdmi signal so that’s the reason that I want to buy a switch so that I have more HDMI inputs ports available.

    • Hi,

      I would recommend something like this http://amzn.to/2slOdRX for your scenario. Without the PSVR, looking for a specific switch is irrelevant. The link I’ve shared will give you more ports for everything and still retain the correct signals from your PS4 Pro. When you do upgrade to a new TV, the switch hopefully won’t be needed anymore as it’s rare for a TV to have less than 2-3 HDMI ports these days.

      If you decide to purchase a PSVR, I can recommend the switch in the article but please read the info carefully, it can be very tricky to find cables that work.