Posted Mon Sep 17, 2018 at 10:45 AM PDT by Steven Cohen
Turns out the Dark Knight director hates motion smoothing just as much as we do.
As reported by Slashfilm, Hollywood is going to war against Motion Smoothing and other inaccurate TV settings. Spearheaded by directors Christopher Nolan, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Johnathan Mostow, the DGA (Directors Guild of America) has reached out to its members and consumer display manufacturers in order to help establish a new "reference mode" for TVs.
Motion Smoothing, otherwise known as motion interpolation or "the first thing I turn off when I unpack a new TV," is a common feature found on many modern displays designed to produce a more fluid and sharp image during motion. To do this, the setting artificially increases the natural 24fps cadence of film content to match the 120 Hz or higher refresh rate of many consumer displays by generating extra frames in between existing ones. Unfortunately, though indeed smoother, this technique typically results in a "soap opera effect" with an unnatural and overly processed appearance that can make movies look like cheap video recordings.
And while this setting can be manually disabled on most TVs, Motion Smoothing is usually turned on by default -- along with several other artificial picture options that result in inaccurately sharpened images and unnatural colors. Unhappy with how their movies are being presented in the home, Hollywood directors are now hoping to help eliminate these settings via a "reference mode" that better represents a filmmaker's artistic intent.
To do this, Christopher Nolan and Paul Thomas Anderson have reached out to TV manufacturers through the UHD Alliance. As a result, the DGA has now sent out a survey to its members in order to help determine what this proposed TV "reference mode" should feature and how it should operate. The answers will then be used to create a set of guidelines for the UHD Alliance to consider.
Here's a rundown of some key questions form the survey obtained by Slashfilm:
Though the concept of a "reference mode" is nothing new -- select displays essentially already offer such a feature via THX, Technicolor Expert, or Netflix Calibrated modes -- the idea of a universal pre-calibrated option across all brands approved by the DGA sounds like a home theater dream come true. Of course, this is only the first step toward making such a feature a reality, but it looks like Nolan and company are helping to steer the industry in the right direction.
The latest news on all things 4K Ultra HD, blu-ray and Gear.