back to article PlayStation 4 probs: Gamers struggle with PSVR headset blackouts

PlayStation 4 gamers are growing increasingly irritated with Sony after a rising tide of complaints over audio and video blackouts in the PS4 Pro console’s PSVR headset. Reg reader John told us that strange things were happening with his PSVR, adding that Sony tech support were not very helpful when he contacted them to ask …

  1. Halfmad Silver badge

    Damn

    As a PC gamer who's keen on VR but wants to see it mature before throwing cash at it - I'm wanting the PS VR to be a success, that's not going to happen if the console that was built for it has silly bugs like this.

    Got to wonder how bugs like this get back QA in huge companies like Sony though, seems to happen a little too regularly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Damn

      To be fair it seems to work on the PS4 which has sold over 50 million consoles. The PS4 Pro is relatively recent so the number of effected users is likely to be quite low....... not that any of this is an excuse for not fixing the problem.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Damn

        The same issue occurs on PS4's too, it isn't just the Pro.

        What *is* common to both problems is the breakout box (Processor unit) and I'm pretty certain it is heat related.

        The problem occurs 5 minutes in to using the PSVR, sometimes it is so severe that it requires a reset of of the headset, or a full on power cycle of the PU.

        If I put my ps4 into rest mode, the problem gets worse each time I use the headset. However, if I take the power cord out of the PU for 10 seconds before I start my ps4 up, the problem is much less pronounced.

        I have also heard the fan whirring up and down in the PU when having the issue. Once the fans on the PU kick in properly the problem never occurs again that session. It has all the hallmarks of a capacitor based non-triggering of the fans when the PU heats up. If it's hot when it's restarted the fan kicks in and you don't have the problem again that session.

        Also, when I first got my headset (using an OG PS4) I had it on top of the ps4 which meant it got hotter quicker and the problem was worse. Moving the PU off to the side improved it (a bit).

        1. Salbrox

          Re: Damn

          Have you tried standing the PU on its side?

    2. Shufflemoomin

      Re: Damn

      PSVR is to VR what mobile gaming is to PC gaming. it's a cut-down, budget version. Try it and then try a Rift or Vive to see the difference.

      1. Adam JC

        Re: Damn

        Having tried the Vive, Rift and PSVR I can hand-on-heart say I didn't notice much difference between the Rift and PSVR. The Vive was a tad more impressive, obviously, but there's really nothing in it, in terms of the Rift/PSVR..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Damn

          "but there's really nothing in it, in terms of the Rift/PSVR.."

          Apart from Rift costs 4x more when you start looking into TCO.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Damn

      Damn, I count 3 people in that reddit thread with a problem, and it's been going for a month. Is it spot the hidden agenda Wednesday or something, or does someone not understand context?

      https://www.google.ch/search?q=oculus+rift+disconnecting

      Given that PSVR has already outsold Rift and Vive. COMBINED in 1\10th of the time, I would suggest problems on competiting systems may be much more widespread..

  2. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Those reddit quotes seem to be remarkably civilised - did you edit out the swearing?

    1. Boothy

      reddit usually is, at least in my experience.

      If people start being uncivil, they get down-voted, and so their posts tend to vanish from site.

      Perhaps I frequent nicer channels? (Usually tech, gaming or development related).

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        the psvr subreddit is very civilised and adult, and if any kids come in talking smack we usually just let them know it isn't welcome (without resorting to triggering the poor little mites :) )

        When they don't get the reaction they expect they soon move on or grow up a bit.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have these exact issues.

    Crazy that there isn't a fix or word from Sony about it

    1. Frank Bitterlich
      Coat

      Thank you for contacting Sony support...

      I have these exact issues.

      Did you make sure that everything is plugged in and switched on?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thank you for contacting Sony support...

        Have you tried turning it on and off again?

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Thank you for contacting Sony support...

          It's usually found to be more useful when fixing something to turn it off and then back on again rathe than the other way round :)

          Although it is true that just turning the thing on in the first instance tends to improve performance :) [not forgetting to turn it off again when you're done with it]

  4. TheDoc

    I get the same too - very annoying that Sony aren't even acknowledging the issue.

  5. Tom_

    Heat

    My immediate complete guess is that something's overheating.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Re: Heat

      Well, they do say that VR is hot right now...

    2. Sampler

      Re: Heat

      my gut's not buying heat, if it's not long post boot, similar timing and application independent then it's not heat.

      Heat would be application dependent, as an intensive game would generate more heat. Post boot is another factor, if it were heat the issue would repeat during play, but he claims it drops not long post boot, returns, and that's it.

      I'd say something that starts at boot and is taking a while to initialise, once initialised it's restarting the video feed, causing the break.

      But that's just my gut.

      I don't own a PS4 or Pro, does it have any inbuilt screen recording (for the facebook share button I heard they added to the controller) - that could be a culprit as it would interfere with rendering (and possibly need network authentication, which would account for the delay as it awaits a response from servers about the legitimacy of the login credentials for facebook or whatever it's sharing to)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Heat

        I've recorded the dropout via the share button. Interestingly enough this shows no video or audio drop, but you can see that the character in a video game suddenly stops moving and sometimes people in a party chat are asking if you're still there.

        It's like someone having an absence seizure in-game.

        To reply to the "Heat" issue, this can't be the problem. Dropout occurs post boot then after that you rarely see it occur. You can use the console for VR titles for hours without experiencing another dropout. IF it was heat I would expect this to occur after hardware intensive activity, not prior.

        It's usually a one off occurrence but it sometimes happens multiple times.

        The Audio loss is a relatively new thing that happens to me. Usually I only see this if I boot up and jump into a VR title before waiting for the dropout to run it's course.

        I usually boot up and make a cup of tea or do other things for a while before using the console now to avoid the issue.

        It's more a frustration than anything else, you effectively wait for whatever process causes the problem to run its course then the console is usable.

    3. Tom_

      Re: Heat

      OK, I'm revising my guess to cold. Once it's warmed up it sounds like it's ok. :)

  6. ChrisCabbage

    Fingers crossed - no problems so far.

    Wonder if it's an HDMI timing issue? Could be A/V driver related perhaps?

    Edit: some are reporting that turning DTS on and HDR off, works around this problem for now.

  7. kensal

    Expect many more issues to come with that novelty device and worse still lack of communication from Sony.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      I'm not going to argue that there aren't issues, or that Sony are poor at communicating, but I can assure you it is anything but a novelty device.

      Smartphone VR is novelty, PSVR is very much a 'proper' VR headset.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
        Trollface

        The device itself might be deadly serious, but it's still a VR device.

  8. Pig Dog Bay
    FAIL

    PS4 Pro

    Another black mark against the PS4 Pro.

    Here's me with my lowly PS4 thinking I will be the underclass of the PS world with all the good Pro folk with their la-de-dah flashier games, pitying us fools. No, I pity thee!

    I would have preferred a shorter cycle for a console refresh, say 5 years, but this slightly 'upgraded' version is silly.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: PS4 Pro

      news flash - it affects the og ps4 too

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PS4 Pro

      If you think over twice as powerful is slightly upgraded, then frankly, you are a fool.

      http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/20/13350476/sony-ps4-pro-mark-cerny-4k-games-psvr-graphics

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My bet for root cause - power saving

    Some chip controlled by firmware or the os of the PS4 thinks a HDMI signal is not present and shuts down the output to save power, and another software process reinitialises the output again as it is set to drive video output updates as the screen has to be updated.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: My bet for root cause - power saving

      that's an interesting idea

    2. WonkoTheSane Silver badge

      Re: My bet for root cause - power saving

      That was my first thought, too.

    3. Salbrox
      Thumb Up

      Re: My bet for root cause - power saving

      Sounds quite plausible.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Same issue exactly as described. Irrespective of game, or even when using headset without TV plugged in. On the phone Sony were really helpful, confirmed that I didn't have 4K or HDR configured, then spent a bit of time ruling out the extension cable, then told me I'd need to return the headset and APU for replacement (2 weeks). Obviously I'm keen establish if this is a fault with my headset, or a feature of the Pro +PSVR combination, in which case the new headset will be just the same. Currently I reboot the headset once it starts blanking, and then it works perfectly for many many hours, so I could almost live with it, if Sony confirmed that an imminent firmware fix will reslove.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Power management...

    My playstation 3 cuts the brightness to HDMI output when sitting idle for 5-10 minutes. Idle as in, no controller input. The video is still there, but darkened.

    All power saving features ARE OFF and still it does that.

    If the PS4 has some power-saving feature similar to that...

  12. Stretch

    Reset expectations

    Having purchased a Sony product you should already be aware that they do not provide any sort of customer service or after sales care. This is not the point of the company. No money is made this way so why would they do it? if your Sony product is broken you have two choices: Buy something else, or do not buy something else.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Reset expectations

      I have had good customer service from them

      1st gen IDTV - updated regularly, once had a tuner mod by an engineer when the sound was wrong way round

      Video camera - CCD chip fault bad glue batch, repaired at quite an age for free.

      Digital camera - CCD chip replaced for free

      PS4 - faulty PSU on launch day unit, swapped out for new one

      And I still have a working 1982 VCR

  13. mikefs

    problems here too

    exactly the same issues experienced over here - I did wonder if it was just me...

  14. palmtreeent

    same problem with no PSVR

    I've seen this issue and I'm not even using a PSVR...theres a number of PS4 Pro users also reporting this- I found a post which has a suggested fix (sorry cant find it now)...but it involved changing the colour mode from RGB to YUV (or something similar) - anyway this has fixed it for me but I'd like to see Sony provide a proper fix as I'd like to return to using RGB (it was suggested that there was some fault with the HDMI protocol negotiation on the PS4 Pro which was causing this)

  15. Shades24

    Similar issue here. Work around?

    So I have the same problem however if I run the system directly to the tv with out the vr box no issues. I think it has something to do with the fact the vr box is not pushing the higher throughput out to tv. I have 4k with out the vr box but with it its not running in full HDR mode and the black out occurs.

    1. Kurtisknopf

      Re: Similar issue here. Work around?

      I would like to make it clear that this problem has nothing to do with your cables. tv or personal set up . the psvr was built on the platform of the old ps4 when they announced the the ps4 pro. they made changes to the hardware and firmware in order to make the new technology work . the breakout box was designed for the ps4 as i have both (Reg, and Pro) and the VR and as a journey man electrician i tried to resolve the issues myself prior to talking with sony tech support. all Sony suggested was are you using the cables provided by Sony . while others during the time suggested changing the hdmi sound outputs and formats believing these had to do with my personal settings for my setup. which where changed and the problem still occurred. Here are the facts : Sony releases the update for the regular ps4 in order to keep up wit the new ps4 pro. and with this we find the problems occur sometimes in the regular ps4. the Final note is there is a larger problem with the breakout box that splits the signal between the vr and the tv. to break it down simply the hdmi cable is a pass-through cable that transmits sound and video with relies on a decoding method and if there what i like to call a speed bump in the transmitter the signal will be lost . much like the more resistance in a smaller gauge wire ( you lose energy in heat loss) as an example. which in turn we see it as picture and sound loss. and that's due to the fact t he transmitter and or receiver can not talk to each-other.

  16. Kurtisknopf

    Connectiongate

    Thank you, We truly appreciate the fact this is finally getting the media attention It deserves.

    -A few Months ago I Posted on Social media forms since i was experiencing this issue feeling that i was the only one . once this happened a hundred of people came forward with little to no feed back from the internet we deemed it 'Connectiongate' I contacted Sony Tech support and was given the impression that they knew of the problem but did't want to deal with it and would rather cover it up.

    i have been passing around the case number if you too are having this issue: Case #15667228

    this Link has been shared in these forums and on facebook. this is still an on-going problem and sony needs to deal with it you can also Sign the Online Petition Here Put on by another member 'MChellinga' ;

    https://www.change.org/p/sony-get-a-fix-from-sony-on-the-occasional-blackouts-of-the-ps4-pro-in-combination-with-ps-vr.

    Thank you for all your Support.

  17. Root Ginger

    It affects both the PS4 and Pro equally.

    I had the issue with my launch edition PS4 and have also seen it in my PS4 Pro. The same as others I lit happens early on in gaming and the. Going back to the PS4 menu and back to the game fixes it and then it's not seen again. I believe this is an HDMI issue/bug.

  18. Chadders77

    I to have the exact same issue with the PS4 Pro connected to the VR breakout box. TV is a SONY 2014 4K (non HDR), all HDMI are 2.0 and HDCP 2.2. I had an issue after booting the Pro where the I would get no steady video signal until at least 1m10sec. Before this i would get flashes of sound, then flashes of video, then both would come through on the TV. After say 5 mins post boot, I would loose both video/sound for 2-5secs then signal returned, sometimes the would not??

    Non of the above issue are there if I connect the Pro directly to the TV, but this isn't really an option due to the way my equipment is set up.

    I have now managed to get the signal to come through after about 10-15secs, when connected to the VR breakout box by going into the main console settings and turning off HDCP setting. I still get the loss of signal after 5 mins though?? I have also figured out that if the video signal returns but the audio doesn't, all I have to do is press the PS button on the controller, go to screen/sound settings and change the audio chose to PCM then back to Dolby Digital which I have the console set to and the sound returns. Still a pain but at least I don't have to restart the whole console.

    I have contacted Sony support at least 4 times now and each time they have told me I was the firs person to have contacted them with regards to the matter??? The last person I spoke to told me the VR breakout box didn't support 4K and I had to connect direct to the TV, when I told him I was getting 4K on the TV through the breakout box, he put the phone down on me, lol.

    This needs sorting out ASAP as I haven't spent the best part of £1000 on 2 Playstation product, which were released 1 month apart, for them not to work properly together. I understand these are new products but Sony haven't even made any statements regarding the issue or lettings us know there is a fix in the works.

    How they have released the VR box knowing the Pro was being released the month later and not have the box fully support all features such a HDR, which the VR box will not pass is mind blowing.

    I am so glad that this has finally been reported on, now Sony may have to make a statement. I even contacted Digital Foundry to see if they would have a look into what may be happening but never heard anything back from them. I can also comfirm i had non of these issues using the launch day PS4. but I got rid of that before both 4.06 and 4.07 firmwares were released so maybe it has something to do with either of those firmwares.

  19. Loutronz

    PSVR Break Out Box

    The problem is no doubt with the break out box. I really can't believe that this issue and the fact it doesn't pass through a HDR signal aren't plastered everywhere in order for Sony to fix the issue which would require a new breakout box. The HDR issue cannot be fixed via a firmware update. Its a hdmi hardware issue with the box itself. Please get vocal people!! I think it's crazy that I have to unplug my HDMI from the breakout box and go directly to my PS4 any time I want to use a feature they used as a selling point on the pro. I'm aware the og unit can now also output in HDR so it would be the same for those users. I can't understand why this isn't a voiced issue for people. Its a major problem in my eyes.

  20. NI'MAH PASTEL BOA

    I believe the problem to be in your setting on the tv set, I was having this problem because, apparently some 4k tv sets have HDR already pre-set on the tv set while the PS VR dose not support 4K and HDR so if the VR set is connected to these ports you will get interference on the VR set while if you want to play your vr set you will have to find the HDMI port that is without the 4K and HDR features...this worked for me I am on the Pro with VR and every since I figured this out I have had no farther problems. Hope thus proves beneficial for all who are experiencing this issue.

  21. MChellinga

    Sign the pertition

    Hi,

    Can everybody who is having this issue please sign this pertition?

    https://www.change.org/p/sony-get-a-fix-from-sony-on-the-occasional-blackouts-of-the-ps4-pro-in-combination-with-ps-vr?source_location=minibar

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Resolution Error

    When the blackout happens my Onkyo amp/receiver shows this as a resolution error. As your story says it happens for me after about 5mins of turning on the PS4 Pro, it doesn't matter whether I'm using my VR or not it happens.

  23. Rob 63

    This isn't specific to the pro, I have had blackouts of audio and video for up to a couple of seconds with varying regularity on my CUH1200 and PSVR since launch, sometimes it will happen once, sometimes it will never happen and ONCE it kept happening again and again every 10-40 seconds until i reset it and it was ok ..... i still bloody love the thing though

  24. TommyGonk

    I also have the PS4 Pro/PSVR issue, worked fine with the original PS4. I've played many hours of BF1 on the TV with the PSVR unit inline and no problems. Use the PSVR and I can guarantee it will go wrong at least once per session.

    Usually it will recover after a few seconds but tonight the system locked up, had to power the PS4 Pro down and back up, the VR game (Tethered) was still running and I could continue. Very annoying problem and seems very odd that Sony does not seem to be acknowledging the issue.

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