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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Tom Cruise wants you to check your television default settings

'Top Gun' star appears with director to warn against 'motion smoothing' on modern TVs

US actor Tom Cruise is currently filming 'Top Gun: Maverick' with director Joseph Kosinski. AFP
US actor Tom Cruise is currently filming 'Top Gun: Maverick' with director Joseph Kosinski. AFP

Tom Cruise has taken a break from filming Top Gun: Maverick to implore fans to check their TV settings when they’re watching his, or anyone else’s, movies. The Mission Impossible star warned that a default setting on many high-end televisions "makes most movies look like they were shot on high-speed video instead of film".

Cruise appeared on the Top Gun set alongside Mission: Impossible - Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie, who also pleads with viewers to do a quick internet search and find out how to change the correct settings.

“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."

Motion smoothing, or interpolation, also known by a number of brand names, and referred to in the industry as “the soap opera effect” is a technique that artificially adds additional frames to the moving image in order to prevent blurring - most effective when watching sport. But many in the film industry hate it as it can degrade the image quality of the original film, and alter colouring.

"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 gathered over 12,000 signatures on a petition to manufacturers to change the default settings.

"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.”

In the video posted on Tuesday, Cruise added: “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, who directed the most recent Mission Impossible film, added that people should search “Turn off motion smoothing [your TV brand here]”.

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