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Tom Cruise hits out at 'motion smoothing' on high definition TVs

06 December 2018

Today is a unusual day for me: I'm actually agreeing with Tom Cruise on something.

Millions of Britons bought HD-ready televisions over the past decade on the promise of being able to enjoy their favourite programmes in superior picture quality.

"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 started a petition calling for TV makers to turn the setting off. And Cruise is right - turning off the setting really does make movies look a ton better, and the way the creative forces behind the movies intended. HDTVs that have the feature insert (i.e., interpolate) frames that didn't exist in the source video to smooth out the action. But Tom Cruise in his fighter pilot duds, along with his Mission: Impossible - Fallout director and Top Gun: Maverick co-writer Christopher McQuarrie, have an important message for you about the worst setting on your TV and how to turn it off - a message which they filmed on the new Top Gun set.

Unfortunately, for some reason beyond any rational human's comprehension, the Samsung and LGs of this world ship their TVs with motion smoothing on by default.

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It means the average viewer finds it too hard to turn off - and many realise something looks odd without being able to pinpoint what it is.

In the meantime, the pair recommends a quick internet search to find step-by-step instructions on how to disable the setting.

"If you own a modern high-definition television there's a good chance you're not watching movies the way film-makers intended, and the ability for you to do so is not simple for you to access", McQuarrie added. The film is being rebooted for television, but Cruise won't be part of it.

Cruise is now filming Top Gun: Maverick, which is expected to be released in 2020.

Tom Cruise hits out at 'motion smoothing' on high definition TVs