If you’ve ever been to someone’s home to watch a movie–or if this is the case in your own home–and noticed how the picture looks oddly soft and synthetic while high speed motion looks unnatural, the fault is the settings of their or your own television. The average consumer is not aware of the default settings established by manufacturers that are actually a detriment to the movie viewing experience as the filmmaker(s) originally intended such as the correct aspect ratio, colors, and frame rates. Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie recently made headlines by calling this problem out, asking consumers to disable motion smoothing on their television in the manner of a PSA prior to the release of Mission: Impossible – Fallout on Blu-ray and digital. The problem is each and every manufacturer has different terminology for this technology and other settings which mar the cinematic experience at home. Furthermore, each and every manufacturer’s interface often obscures where such settings can be found. I am fortunate enough to be technically minded enough to know what to look for and have maintained a policy of never using electronic devices of any kind at factory set defaults. That being said, it can be difficult to know exactly which settings to disable, leave enabled, or to what level these onboard processing features should be selected in order for an even experience watching movies or broadcast television (if your television allows for the choice).
In an attempt to make the movie going experience better at home without having to know the technical jargon involved, “the UHD Alliance, three major television manufacturers, and leading Hollywood filmmakers announced at a press event held at the Screen Actors Guild a new partnership effort to implement Filmmaker Mode as an extension of the 4K Ultra HD spec” (The Digital Bits). Essentially, the goal is to allow consumers to engage Filmmaker Mode with a button on the remote or a clear and obvious menu setting. With Filmmaker Mode engaged, the TV’s settings will automatically be changed to parameters that most accurately display 4K content as signaled by the data either on disc or within streaming metadata.
A vertible who’s who in Hollywood filmmaking have lent their day one support to the initiative including Rian Johnson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Ryan Coogler, Patty Jenkins, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Ang Lee, Christopher McQuarrie, Reed Morano, Damien Chazelle, James Cameron, Ava DuVernay, the Duffer brothers, J.J. Abrams, and M. Knight Shyamalan. They have participated in a testominial video shown at the event which can be viewed below. No doubt this will also be shown to the many manufacturers and studios which have not yet jumped onboard at the outset.
It’s a shame something like this did not happen out of the box, or manufacturers have enabled these by default without full explanations offered in order to let consumers “opt-in” rather than “opt-out” of the settings but with more and more people viewing movies and cinematic-like television series at home, the need for a unified, technical solution across all manufacturers of not only televisions but disc and streaming data is imperative. When consumers begin to see the difference they were not aware of previously, the cinematic experience will only improve for creators and consumers alike.
Please read the full report as detailed by Bill Hunt over at The Digital Bits by clicking here.