Today is a strange day for me: I'm actually agreeing with Tom Cruise on something. The something in question is regarding TV settings, more specifically the default settings on modern TVs that will leave your beautiful movies and TV shows looking like a low quality soap opera.
The setting that causes this heinous effect is something called motion smoothing, something that's turned on by default on most new TVs for some reason. While most movies are shot in 24 frames per second, motion smoothing works to insert extra frames between the ones that have been shot to, as the name suggests, smooth the motion across the screen.
Only, this doesn't actually make most movies and TV look better. It's good for things like sport where being able to see the action clearly is a bonus, but movies are filmed in 24fps for a reason.
If you ever saw The Hobbit in 48fps and really didn't like the effect, it's exactly the same thing. 24fps is the standard in the film industry, and is key to achieving a 'cinematic' look.
I’m taking a quick break from filming to tell you the best way to watch Mission: Impossible Fallout (or any movie you love) at home. pic.twitter.com/oW2eTm1IUA
— Tom Cruise (@TomCruise) December 4, 2018
So how do you fix it?
On most TVs, motion smoothing controls are under advanced picture settings, and each manufacturer has a different name for it. Most of the names have 'motion' in it somewhere - look for settings like TruMotion (on LG TVs), Motion Rate Supreme (on Samsung) or Motionflow on Sony screens.
Turn those off and you'll have a beautiful, cinematic picture quality again. Thanks Tom Cruise! (But only for this one thing.)
If you're one of those people who buys a brand-new TV, spends hours straining your back trying to place it in your home entertainment centre (or affix it to your wall) and starts watching your favourite show to celebrate... you missed a crucial step. Your television, new or old, comes with a bunch of settings that are worth exploring to get the best picture quality — or, at least, a picture you're pleased with.