Sony finally adds VRR and ALLM to its XH90 LED TV

Mike Wheatley

Sony has finally updated its “Ready for PS5” XH90 Full Array LED TV to give it the next-generation gaming features that were promised at launch, a full 12 months after it went on sale.


The Japanese firm has just announced a firmware update, v6.1288, that enables HDMI 2.1 features such as Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency Mode.

The firmware has officially only launched in China so far, but a Reddit user has spotted public direct download links that anyone can use to update their Sony XH90 TV.

VRR is a big deal for gamers, making it possible for the TV to adjust its refresh rate in real-time to match the frame rate output of the games console or PC it’s connected to. What that means is the on-screen image will keep pace with what the console or PC is telling it. It should result in a smoother low-lag gaming experience with more accurate images. Sony said the XH90’s VRR range is between 48 and 120Hz.

As for ALLM, this automatically switches the TV to the preset gaming mode when it detects a console, toning down the picture processing quite significantly in order to reduce input lag further.

Once the firmware has been installed, users will see a new “Enhanced format” option for the HDMI3 and HDMI4 inputs that must be switched on to enable VRR. User reports on Reddit say that when VRR is engaged, Dolby Vision is disabled along with local dimming – that’s not a surprise though as those features use a lot of video processing power. At present, all existing LCD TVs that support VRR either disable or reduce local dimming to a minimum when the feature is switched on. So the picture looks flatter, with lower contrast and less deep blacks.

Users will in any case be pleased to see the upgrade. Sony has marketed the XH90 TV as “PS5 Ready” for a full year now, even though it hasn’t actually been ready to take advantage of all of the promised capabilities. In actual fact, the PS5 also does not currently support VRR or ALLM either, and is waiting to receive them through a firmware update. So now, while the Sony XH90 might be “PS5 Ready” the PS5 itself is left wanting. The word on the street is that the console should receive its long-awaited firmware update in December, but that’s far from guaranteed.

Besides adding VRR and ALLM, the Sony XH90 firmware upgrade also brings with it Android TV 10, replacing the Android TV 9 operating system it launched with.

Sony hasn’t said when it will push the v6.1288 firmware upgrade out to TVs in other countries, and it cannot be found in the TVs’ menus, but European users can download it via this link. There are separate download links for XH90 TV owners in North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific. It goes without saying that users should download the correct firmware for their region onto a USB stick, then stick that in the TV to complete the upgrade.

You can watch the video below for full instructions on how to complete the upgrade manually.

As for the rest of Sony’s “PS5 Ready” TVs, which include this year’s Sony A90J and A80J OLED models, they’re also waiting patiently for an upgrade to enable VRR and ALLM. While it might be reasonable to assume that can’t be far off, Sony is far too unpredictable to say for sure that an update for those models is imminent.