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Motion Smoothing on modern TVs makes movies look bad, Tom Cruise says

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broken tv television
Flickr/schmilblick

  • Many modern TVs come with
    a motion smoothing feature that causes video to appear smoother
    than many filmmakers intended.
  • Tom Cruise and director Chris McQuarrie spoke out against
    smoothing features on TVs, suggesting it gives their movies a
    “soap opera” effect, where the movie appears smoother than usual.
  • Cruise and McQuarrie suggest movie watchers should disable
    the feature to enjoy movies the way filmmakers intended. 

Modern TVs have a feature that make movies look like soap operas,
which isn’t how most filmmakers intend their movies to be
watched, actor Tom Cruise and director Chris McQuarrie say in a
video tweet from Cruise’s Twitter account.

The duo are referring to a feature in many high-definition TVs
(HDTVs) called “video interpolation,” which can also be known as
“motion smoothing” that causes an effect many know as the “soap
opera effect,” where video appears to be smoother than we’re used
to. And according to Cruise and McQuarrie, it makes video appear
smoother than it should be.

“The unfortunate side effect is that it makes movies look like
they were shot on a high speed video rather than film,” Cruise
said in the video tweet.

“If you own a modern high-definition television there’s a good
chance you’re not watching the movie the way the filmmaker
intended,” McQuarrie also said in the video tweet.

Different TV brands have different names for this motion
smoothing feature, and those features are often automatically
enabled by default when you take a TV out of the box. On Samsung
TVs, the feature is called “Auto Motion Plus. On LG TVs, it’s
called “TruMotion.” Basically, you should be wary of any feature
that has the word “motion” in it, or anything that could suggest
it’s smoothing out your video.

Cruise said that filmmakers are working with TV makers to change
the way that video interpolation features are activated on their
TVs. 

Cruise and McQuarrie suggest that finding and disabling video
interpolation features on a TV can be difficult, as the feature
can be nestled deep in a TV’s settings menu, or it could have an
unrecognizable branded name. The best way to find out how to
disable the feature is to search for “Turn off motion
smoothing [your brand of TV here]
” on the
internet. 

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