What the Tech: Soap opera effect

What the Tech

If you’ve spent hundreds of dollars, maybe thousands, on a new television, you expect it to have a great picture, but a setting inside the TV could be making it look lousy. Hollywood stars and directors are now complaining. 

Movies are shot on film while everything else is shot with video cameras. If you’ve ever watch a movie in a theater, then watch it again on your TV, you may have noticed it just doesn’t look the same.

Terrance Cole from Best Buy told Jamey Tucker, it’s because new TVs are shipped with something called interpolation that smooths the picture. Great for ballgames and fast action, “but on a movie it can look a little weird. They call it the soap opera effect.”

You can turn it off on newer TVs, but they haven’t made it easy. It’s way down in settings, then way down some more. With older TVs, you don’t even get the option.

It’s a big enough deal that Hollywood actors, like Tom Cruise are talking about it on Twitter; here’s a change.org petition, and talks are underway with TV manufacturers to make it easier to turn off and on.

Each TV brand has a different name for interpolation. To find out how to turn it off on your TV, the best way is to search it on Google.

Most people don’t care and they can’t tell a difference unless the TV screens are side-by-side. but film fans do care, and want to watch the movies on their TV screens the way Hollywood intended.

The setting is turned on by default and comes out of the box with motion smoothing on. Hollywood directors said they’re not asking that smoothing be removed all together but that there should be an easy way for consumers to turn it on and off.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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