You've been watching TV wrong this whole time (and Tom Cruise wants to fix it)

5 December 2018, 10:57

By Tom Eames

Have you ever worried about 'motion smoothing' on your TV? Well, Tom Cruise has.

In a passionate Twitter video, Tom Cruise joined with Mission Impossible - Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie to warn about a default setting on many high-end televisions.

Cruise warned that this "makes most movies look like they were shot on high-speed video instead of film".

Taking a break from filming the new Top Gun movie, he asked fans to do a quick internet search to find out how to change the correct settings on their TV.

“If you own a modern high-definition television," he said, "there’s a good chance you’re not watching movies the way the filmmakers intended, and the ability for you to do so is not simple to access."

What is motion smoothing?

Motion smoothing, or interpolation, is a technique that artificially adds more frames to the moving image on the screen, in order to prevent blurring. This is particularly effective when watching HD sport.

Watching TV
Picture: Pexels

However, many filmmakers hate it, as it can decrease the image quality of the original film, and alter its colouring.

It is also rather difficult to find how to turn it off on most TVs, as it can be called different things on different devices. It’s called Auto Motion Plus on most Samsung TVs, Motion Flow on Sony TVs, and TruMotion on LG TVs.

"It takes the cinematic look out of any image and makes it look like soap opera shot on a cheap video camera,” wrote American director Reed Morano, who recently launched a petition asking TV makers to turn the setting off.

"It is unbelievable that this is a default setting on all HDTVs because essentially what it is doing, is taking the artistic intention away from filmmakers.”

Cruise added in his video: “Filmmakers are working with manufacturers to change the way video interpolation is activated on your television, giving you easier access and greater choice on when to use this feature."

McQuarrie advised that we should search “Turn off motion smoothing [your TV brand here]”.

Cheers for the advice, guys!