Gaming Console 101

Can You Use PS5 Without HDMI 2.1?

The jargon surrounding the HDMI interface can get quite confusing considering the fact that while all HDMI ports and cables look the same, they can be drastically different in terms of performance.

PS5 natively supports HDMI 2.1 output. If you do not have a TV or a monitor with an HDMI 2.1, that would then beg the question “can you use PS5 without HDMI 2.1 input port”?

The short answer is a yes, you can use PS5 without an HDMI 2.1 port on your TV or monitor. However, you may miss out on some of the featuring when using the inferior version of the HDMI port.

Ideally, though, the version of the HDMI input port on your TV or your monitor should match the HDMI 2.1 version on the PS5 for best results. However, HDMI 2.1 display devices can get quite expensive and not everyone is ready to make the investment.

In that case, rest assured that your PS5 will work just fine on an HDMI 2.0 or an HDMI 1.4 TV or monitor – albeit at reduced specs.

The Different HDMI Interfaces

In order to thoroughly understand the topic at hand, you need to be familiar with the different HDMI versions.

As mentioned earlier, while all HDMI ports and cables look the same (including input and output ports), they can be vastly different in terms of their capability.

The following table explains different HDMI version and their respective specs. Pay close attention to the refresh rate and the resolution each HDMI version is designed to support.

HDMI VersionMax ResolutionRefresh RateHDR
1.21440P1080P = 60Hz
1440P = 30Hz
1.3-1.44K (4096 x 2160)1080P = 120Hz
1440P = 60Hz
4K = 30Hz
2.04K (4096 x 2160)1080P = 240Hz
1440P = 144Hz
4K = 60Hz
2.18K (7680 x 4320)1440P = 240Hz
4K = 144Hz
4K = 240Hz (DSC)
8K = 120Hz (DSC)

It should be clear from the table above that the HDMI 2.1 interface is significantly more advanced compared to the previous interfaces (in terms of the bandwidth it can carry). So much so that HDMI 2.1 can technically carry data as high as 10K resolution @ 120Hz refresh rate (with DCS enabled).

PS5 is Capped at 4K @ 120Hz

It is worth mentioning here that while PS5 features the HDMI 2.1 interface capable of doing 10K @ 120Hz, it is actually capped at a maximum of 4K and 120Hz. In other words, PS5 itself does not utilize the full spectrum of the HDMI 2.1 interface.

This has mostly to do with the fact that PS5 hardware can hardly support any game at 4K @ 120Hz, let alone 8K or 10K resolution.

So, Can You Use PS5 Without HDMI 2.1?

The HDMI interface is backward compatible!

The HDMI interface on any device, be it a PC, camera, projector, media console, etc. is backward compatible with its previous version. The same is the case with PS5.

In other words, if you have a TV or a monitor that does NOT have an HDMI 2.1 port and instead only has either an HDMI 2.0 or HDMI 1.4 port, you will STILL be able to play PS5 on them.

There are a few video quality specs that you will lose when doing so, however:

The Specs that You Will Lose Without HDMI 2.1 Input

While your gaming sessions will still be pleasurable even without an HDMI 2.1 input on your TV or monitor, there are a few quality specs that may lose.

1. Resolution and Frame Rates Reduced

Of course, if you plug your PS5 into an HDMI 1.4 or an HDMI 2.0 TV or monitor, then PS5 will only work at the rated specs of the lowest performer. 

So, on an HDMI 1.4, PS5 will be capped at 4K @ 60FPS max and on HDMI 2.0 it will be capped at 4K @ 60FPS max.

At lower resolution, HDMI 1.4 would be capped at FHD @ 120Hz and HDMI 2.0 TV or monitor would be capped at 1440P @ 120Hz.

2. No VRR Support Without HDMI 2.1

Another spec that you will miss out on if you do not have an HDMI 2.1 input port is the VRR or the Variable Refresh Rate. This technology is similar to NVIDIA G-Sync or the AMD FreeSync in the sense that it is designed to reduce stutters and screen tears that is caused by unsynchronized frame rate and refresh rate.

Putting it the other way, FreeSync or G-Sync on monitors will ONLY be supported if you have an HDMI 2.1 input port.

3. No HDR Support on HDMI 1.4

PS5 has the capability to also support HDR (High Dynamic Range). This technology basically enhances the colors and the contrast ratio of the image so that the visual look more vivid.

For HDR to work, you need a TV or monitor with an HDMI 2.0 at least.

HDMI 1.4 interface DOES NOT support HDR. Hence if you have a very old TV or a monitor with an HDMI 1.4, you will miss out on this feature as well.

Can You Use PS5 Without HDMI 2.1

Source: Reddit 

Is HDMI 2.1 Worth It on TV for PS5

Display devices with HDMI 2.1 interface can get quite expensive. While you can find a good HDMI 2.0 4K TV for around $200 in the market. An HDMI 2.1 4K TV can cost almost twice as much due to the higher refresh rates that it can feature.

But should you really make that investment, especially given the fact that there aren’t a whole lot of games that support 4K @ 60 FPS let alone at 4K @ 120Hz – The former can be done even on HDMI 2.0 TV.

Additionally, the newer trend of AAA titles (God of War Ragnarök, Gotham Knights) capping at a maximum of 4K @ 30FPS ONLY makes HDMI 2.1 all the less attractive.

The HDMI Cable Version Also Matters

Lastly, let me also briefly make it clear that you also need to have the right HDMI cable to carry the required bandwidth. Not all HDMI cables are the same.

For HDMI 1.4 interface any HDMI cable would do. For HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1, you will need CERTIFIED Premium High-Speed and Ultra-High-Speed HDMI cables respectively.

HDMI Cable CertificationSupported SpecsIntended HDMI
Port Version
Standard1080P @ 60Hz1.0-1.3
High SpeedFHD @ 144Hz
QHD @ 60Hz
4K @ 30hz
Premium High SpeedFHD @ 240Hz
QHD @ 144Hz
4K @ 60Hz
Ultra High SpeedFHD @ > 240Hz
1440P @ > 240Hz
4K @ 144Hz (240Hz with DSC)
8K @ 120Hz (DSC)
10K @ 120Hz (DSC)

Also Read: Can You Get 120 FPS on PS5 with HDMI 2.0?

Final Words

Again, you can most certainly use PS5 without an HDMI 2.1 input on your TV or monitor. You may miss out on some features but the majority of gamers wouldn’t care much about those anyways.

So, in short, if you have an HDMI 2.0 TV capable of doing up to 4K @ 60Hz and 1440 @ 120Hz, there is very little incentive left to upgrade to an HDMI 2.1 TV or monitor.

Atif Qazi

Atif Qazi is the founder of and a huge gaming nerd. Thanks to the vast gaming experience under his belt, you can often find him writing detailed pieces of content on gaming hardware and console. But in all honesty, nothing gives him more pleasure than 'one-shotting' everyone as a stealth archer in ESO: Skyrim.

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