Sony rolls out VRR firmware update for its premium 2021 TVs

Mike Wheatley

Sony has said that the long-awaited Variable Refresh Rate capability is now rolling out to its 2021 TVs, along with new features such as 4K mirroring and Dolby Atmos over AirPlay.


Sony revealed the update at an online event last week, saying VRR will start rolling out to 2021 Sony TVs such as the A90J OLED from March 2. It added that everyone in Europe should receive the update by March 16 at the latest, though those who don’t want to wait can download it manually now via Sony’s support pages. The update is also being rolled out in the U.S., but Sony didn’t provide any specific dates.

Sony X900H TV (a 2020 model) owners will, of course, not need any update as their TVs already received the VRR capability last year, even though it didn't work exactly as intended.

The update will enable HDMI 2.1 VRR capabilities on the Sony A80J OLED, as well as the Sony Z9J, X95J and X90J LCD TVs, as well as the A90J model, the company said. VRR is a feature that allows the TV to synchronize its refresh rate in real-time to match the source device, such as a PC or games console. Doing this creates smoother, tear-free motion with minimal input lag. Of course, it’s required that the source device also supports VRR over HDMI 2.1.

As such, that rules out the Sony PlayStation 5 console, at least for now. Sony has long-promised it will add VRR support for the PS5, but even though it would seem like now is the perfect time to do so, it continues to hold back. So, the Sony TV’s VRR feature will only work with PCs and Xbox Series X or Series S consoles for now.

If you happen to own one of those, plus a Sony TV, be sure to enable VRR manually from the game console’s picture menu, as well as the TVs settings. You can watch the video below to see how that’s done.

As for Sony’s 2022 TVs such as the A95K QD-OLED TV, the company said these will arrive with VRR enabled at launch, so no need to wait for an update if you happen to buy one of those.

Sony said the same firmware update brings improved Apple AirPlay 2 functionality in its 2021 TVs, adding support for Dolby Atmos and 4K Mirroring, otherwise known as AirPlay mirroring. There’s also a bunch of bug fixes, Sony said.