PSVR Set

Although we love the PSVR and the PS4 Pro, 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. It’s a great idea and reduces some of the isolationism that can be felt when using the headset but the breakout box comes with a rather large flaw; it lacks  HDCP 2.2 support.

PSVR processing box
The PSVR processing box

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 when you choose to switch.

Neither of these solutions are good enough to 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.

Something had to be done.

So myself and the OOC team 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 we 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 we bought three Amazon Basics HDMI 2.0+ High Speed HDMI cables.

We 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, you know which one you’ve selected thanks to a blue LED which becomes active when a signal is detected. It’s a little bright for our liking but a bit of black tape and remembering wether depressed means one device or another soon sorted that.

CSL HDMI Switch
The CSL HDMI Switch we used

It wasn’t plain sailing at first, this device almost got returned with all of the others, no matter what we tried we couldn’t get the device to display anything at all from the PS4 Pro. After talking with the supplier they suggested we use shorter cables, but our brand new Amazon cables were 0.9m and anything smaller would have been impractical. We nearly gave up until we looked at the box of random HDMI cables we had lying around. Instead of going shorter, why not go longer?

Success! In the end it took two 1.5m cables from an old Sky+ box to get it working. As far as we were aware, the cables were only rated for HDCP 1.4 but apparently not, with a bit more testing and switching to make sure it wasn’t a fluke we’d finally found a device that would switch between our 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. We can’t recommend where to buy the Sky+ cables because we can’t guarantee they’ll be the same as ours but we do know that the supplied PS4/PS4 Pro cable doesn’t work nor do Amazon cables. So what we can suggest is that 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.

The whole setup should look like this:

PSVR PS4 Switch Diagram
PSVR to PS4 with HDR switch

 

What is happening is that the PS4 is feeding all of its signal into the switch. If left on standard the original HDR HDCP 2.2 signal will pass straight through to the TV. When you press the button on the switch, the same signal gets sent through to the PSVR box, which, due to it’s limitations, strips out HDMI and converts the signal to HDCP 1.4 and then sends it to the TV. The great thing about this switch we discovered is that it can do this on the fly, some other success stories have resulted in switches that need the PS4 to be rebooted before working on a different setting.

So there we have it, an almost perfect PSVR/PS4 setup. We wish  we could promise you that it’s going to work out of the box but the truth is you’ll be tearing your hair out as you try tens of HDMI cables to get a result, however if you want to swap between glorious 60Hz, RGB, HDR and PSVR with the touch of a button, it’s worth the effort.

 

10 thoughts on “The almost perfect HDR 4K setup for PS4 Pro, PS4 and PSVR

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

  4. 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 🙂

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

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