At CES 2020, the UHD Alliance, a coalition that helps define display standards, announced that Filmmaker Mode, which is designed to show films with as little motion smoothing or post-processing as possible, will be coming to TVs released in 2020 from Samsung, TP Vision (which makes Philips-branded TVs internationally), and Kaleidescape (via Hollywood Reporter). LG, Panasonic, and Vizio, which previously expressed interest in bringing Filmmaker Mode to TVs, also shared details about their implementations of the setting.
According to Variety, LG said it will have Filmmaker Mode in “every new 4K and 8K TV that we introduce in 2020.” Panasonic said its 2020 OLED HD 2000 series will include the Filmmaker Mode, with more on the way. And LG, Panasonic, and Vizio all confirmed that their TVs with Filmmaker Mode will be able to automatically turn it on, according to FlatpanelsHD (a feature I will explain a bit later).
Samsung, TP Vision, and Kaleidescape have not shared which TVs will have Filmmaker Mode. And notably absent from the list of TV providers that have pledged to include Filmmaker Mode are Sony and TCL.
The goal of Filmmaker Mode is to make movies on TVs look a lot better. Right now, many HD TVs have motion smoothing turned on by default, which applies a lot of post-processing to what you’re watching and can sometimes create a blurry, overly smooth picture, referred to as the “soap opera effect.” That can make movies look much different — and usually much worse — than the filmmaker intended them to.
Motion smoothing isn’t the easiest thing to turn off, as you usually have to know what the setting is called on your specific TV (LG calls it the not-obvious “TruMotion,” for example) and know exactly where to turn it off in your TV’s settings. (Fortunately, we have a guide to help with that.)
Filmmaker Mode is supposed to remove all of that post-processing so that movies on your home TV look the way their filmmakers made them to look (hopefully without the soap opera effect). The UHD Alliance also wants to make Filmmaker Mode easy to use by having it to turn on by default. That means you won’t have to dive into your TV’s settings just to see The Irishman the way Martin Scorsese wanted it. And if you do want to turn Filmmaker Mode on manually, the UHD Alliance is also standardizing the Filmmaker Mode name across all TVs that have the mode so you can more easily find it in your TV’s settings.
Not surprisingly, Filmmaker Mode also has the backing of a number of directors, including Scorsese, J.J. Abrams, James Cameron, Ryan Coogler, Ava DuVernay, Rian Johnson, and Christopher Nolan. You can hear them and others talk about Filmmaker Mode in this video:
It’s important to note that Filmmaker Mode is only coming to new TVs; it’s not something you can expect to turn on after a software update to the TV you already own. And based on what LG, Panasonic, and Vizio said at CES, it seems that Filmmaker Mode is only coming to some 2020 TVs from the companies that have pledged support. So if you want to use the mode, wait until TVs that have it are officially on sale.