Consoles Gaming

How do I stop my PS4 Pro screen flickering?

Has your PS4 Pro been suffering from a flickering screen? Mine did for months, and it was to blame for many a defensive lapse in FIFA – or that’s what I kept telling myself. For me, it manifested itself with the screen turning black, “HDMI 3” popping up in the left-hand corner and then the image returning – usually two or three times a session. 

Google is disappointingly quiet on the subject – there are plenty of suggestions out there, but most of them didn’t do anything for me. Still, before we get into what actually did do the trick, let’s quickly run through some of the possible remedies:

  • Switch the HDMI lead out for a new one, just in case
  • Change your colour format from RGB to YUV in the PS4 Pro’s settings
  • If your TV has an eco sensor or energy saving feature, disable them
  • Disable HDCP – not ideal, as this will prevent Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, et al
  • Switch on your console via the TV rather than using the DualShock pad (HDMI Device Link in system settings) 

…but for me, as I say, the root problem was something else entirely. It was this:

That’s a PSVR headset, just in case it’s not clear. Though if you’ve never seen one before, then this obviously won’t apply to you.

Y’see, for PSVR to output to TV and the headset at the same time, your PS4’s HDMI connection has to go via the headset’s processing box. And that was causing issues for me. Obviously the simplest way to fix this is to unplug the cable every time you want to use PSVR, but that’s a right old pain, so allow me to show you my £11 solution:

Ta da.

Here’s what worked for me:

How to stop PS4 Pro screen flickering

  1. First of all check that PSVR is indeed the culprit before splashing any unnecessary cash. This is simple enough: just connect the HDMI lead directly from your PS4 to your TV, then play as normal. If there’s no more flicker, then move on to stage 2…
  2. Buy yourself an HDMI splitter box. There are lots of HDMI boxes on Amazon, but the trick is to find one that supports both 4K and HDR so you’re not hobbling performance. This is the one I ended up buying.
  3. Add an extra HDMI cable to your basket if you don’t have a spare, as this process requires a total of four (!) leads.
  4. When it arrives, connect it up. The first lead goes from the PS4 to the input slot. Then from the A/B output side, one cable goes directly to the TV and the second goes to the PSVR processor box. Then the PSVR processor box has yet another HDMI lead going into the TV.  (Yes, unfortunately this does mean you need to take up two of your TV’s HDMI slots with PS4-related stuff, but that’s the price you pay for a flicker-free life.)
  5. You’re good to go. Simply press the button on top of the splitter to switch between PS4 and PSVR, and say goodbye to those annoying flickers.

About the author

Alan Martin

Alan has been writing about tech professionally for a decade, and answering tech questions to family members on a voluntary basis for even longer. That should make him an ideal fit for Big Tech Question, then...

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