You may not notice it at first, but there is a feature on your TV that may prevent you from watching films in the best quality available. It is called motion smoothing, and the best way to describe it is that it makes what you are watching look like a soap opera. What it does is artificially increase the frame rate to a higher speed, so it forcefully inserts frames into the film so that there is no blur.
A lot of filmmakers have rallied against this feature and have been trying their best to work with TV manufacturers to get it off. While general audiences may not care for it at first, it looks like the anti-motion smoothing movement needed a bit more star power. Enter, Tom Cruise. The Mission: Impossible actor and Mission: Impossible – Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie recently released a video to try to bring this to the public’s attention in hopes that they can convince fans of their film, and any other films, to watch them in the best available quality. Check out their video below.
Cruise and McQuarrie took some time off from Top Gun: Maverick to talk about enjoying their latest film, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, in the best quality possible, just as you would in a theater. Trouble is, that isn’t possible with “video interpolation” already set on every TV. While the feature was meant to reduce the blurs during major sporting events, the unfortunate effect is that it prevents you from watching films in the best quality possible. So it looks like it was shot on high-speed video rather than film.
And since not all TVs are built the same, the “video interpolation” or “soap opera effect” may go under different names, thus making it nearly impossible to find so that it can be turned off. But, as McQuarrie suggests, a simple internet search of “Turn off motion smoothing [your brand of TV here]” might make navigating things a bit easier. So the mission to turn it off may not be as impossible as first thought.
There is probably a high percentage of the population that might not even be aware that this feature is on, so to bring this out so publicly is great. I mean, what better time to talk about this then the release of one of the best films of the year. And you wouldn’t want to see Cruise’s one-shot mid-air take in with a blurred effect. See it like it was meant to be seen.