Modern TVs are making your movies look bad, Tom Cruise and director Chris McQuarrie say

  • 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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