Home Technology Goodbye motion smoothing? TV manufacturers pledge support for Filmmaker Mode at CES

Goodbye motion smoothing? TV manufacturers pledge support for Filmmaker Mode at CES

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Motion smoothing in TVs is a crime against humanity. Whenever I’m at somebody’s house and they have the feature enabled on their sets, I wait for them to leave the room before turning that godforsaken abomination of technology off. Motion Smoothing or interpolation gives everything the “soap opera” effect – and it’s often on by default on a lot of new sets. While fine for things like sports, it makes movies and TV worse – to the point where filmmakers and actors have spoken out against it. They’re all rallying behind a newer initiative for TVs called filmmaker mode, which will limit the post-processing to deliver films as they were intended by the people who made them.

A letter signed by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Mostow and sent to the Director’s Guild in 2018 suggested that filmmakers would, through the UHD Alliance, attempt to make TVs better for watching films.

“Modern televisions have extraordinary technical capabilities, and it is important that we harness these new technologies to ensure that the home viewer sees our work presented as closely as possible to our original creative intentions. To this end, Christopher Nolan and Paul Thomas Anderson reached out, via the studio UHD Alliance, to television manufacturers. By starting a dialogue with the manufacturers themselves we hope to try and give directors a voice in how the technical standards of our work can be maintained in the home…”

And it looks like that’s gaining steam, as many TV makers announced at CES that their new 4K and 8K sets would support Filmmaker Mode. Samsung, LG, Philips, Panasonic, and Vizio have all committed to the mode. LG’s even said that it’ll come to “every new 4K and 8K TV that we introduce in 2020.”

Many of these new sets will even turn the mode on automatically, detecting when a film is playing and turning off post-processing and effects. It takes the hassle out of finding the setting and means that less technically inclined folk will still be able to watch a movie at its best.

“We’re honoured to have the support of the DGA, ASC, ICG & the Film Foundation,” says the UHD Alliance. “All of which just formally recognized Filmmaker Mode as an important and critical step toward allowing home viewers to enjoy movies and TV shows as they were intended to be seen by the filmmaker.”

Last Updated: January 9, 2020

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