Sony scrubs VRR and ALLM upgrade from X900H / X90H TV support pages

Sony X900H
Sony X900H (Image credit: Sony)

Update January 18 (1:16 a.m. ET): Sony states VRR and ALLM support still remains planned for the XH90 / X900H series.

What you need to know

  • The award-winning Sony X900H and XH90 launched in 2020, among the top recommendations for PS5 and Xbox Series X owners, with 4K resolution and 120Hz refresh rate support.
  • The manufacturer also marketed variable refresh rate (VRR) and auto low latency mode (ALLM) features for a future firmware update.
  • Sony has removed references to VRR and ALLM from its support pages, over half a year since the X900H and XH90 launches.

The Sony X900H (and the X90H in Europe) have emerged staple TVs in the 2020 lineup, regarded among the best LED displays on the market. The 4K duo found themselves among the frontrunners headed into the next generation of consoles, supporting the standout features for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. That included 4K resolution and 120Hz refresh rate, even stamped with the "Ready for PlayStation 5" tagline as an official seal of approval.

But unlike many of the best 4K TVs for Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 throughout 2020, the X900H and XH90 lacked support for 4K at 120Hz refresh rates, variable refresh rate (VRR), and auto low latency mode (ALLM) support out of the box. Sony instead promised these for post-launch firmware updates, with 120Hz arriving last October, but VRR and ALLM remain absent. But the latest changes in support documentation suggest Sony could be walking back those claims, with growing concern among existing owners of the 4K TVs. Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sony X900H / XH90 Support Change

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

HDMI 2.1 remains crucial to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X owners, providing the bandwidth to support 4K resolution up to 120Hz, alongside these new display features like VRR and ALLM. VRR looks to eliminate screen tearing, adapting your display's refresh rate to that of outputted content. ALLM also targets gaming, allowing compatible TVs to adjust the picture, keeping games latency-free.

While these won't impact movie watching, they're huge components of the latest-generation experience for console and PC. The Xbox Series X already boasts the features, with the PlayStation 5 also scheduled to deliver both in a future update.

Sony is yet to officially confirm the cancellation of VRR and ALLM support for the X900H and XH90 series. However, it's yet to deliver these features over half a year after release, leaving us hesitant to recommend either TV in 2021. The company still references plans to provide both technologies across some listings, but contrasts recent changes made to its support pages, and responses from support representatives (via Stop the FOMO on YouTube). While we expect Sony to clarify the situation soon, stay wary if in the market for a new 4K TV.

While the manufacturer often keeps to its word, we've repeatedly warned buyers to proceed with caution in case it fails to deliver. That comes after it just unveiled its new 2021 TV lineup as a part of CES 2021, including the X90J and X95J as LED successors, with VRR and ALLM on the spec sheet.

Update January 18 (1:16 a.m. ET) — VRR and ALLM firmware update still planned

Sony has reaffirmed plans to deliver VRR and ALLM support with a future update, with corrections issued to any existing support documentation which referenced the chance. "XH90 will support VRR and ALLM via a future firmware update," a Sony UK representative told Windows Central in a statement. "Any articles on Sony sites that stated otherwise have been updated with the correct information."

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.