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Consumer Report Joined Us On The Show To Help Us With Our TVs Soap Opera Effect

Soap Opera

Consumer Reports joined Into Tomorrow this week to help us avoid the “soap opera” effect on our TVs:

Does your new HDTV’s picture seem to have a weird “soap opera” effect? Fear not, Consumer Reports electronics spokesman James McQueen is here to tell you how to fix that.

Don’t worry; there’s nothing wrong with your HDTV, says our TV guru Claudio Ciacci. This soap opera effect is a common problem that comes up when a feature called smooth motion is activated, causing movies to lose much of their filmic character.

It’s referred to as the “soap opera effect” because films end up looking hyper-realistic, almost like daytime soaps. Those shows are usually shot with cameras running at a higher 60 frames per second, or 60Hz, which naturally yields smoother motion.

Movies, by contrast, are usually shot at a relatively slow 24Hz, with motion that can look a bit jerky during camera pans, but that’s the “film look” we’re accustomed to seeing.

An easy fix for the soap opera effect is to turn off the smooth-motion feature. But with some TVs, it’s tied to anti-blurring processing—which is helpful in reducing blur during motion scenes.

So by turning the soap opera effect off, you also lose any blur-reduction benefits. For TVs that have sub-controls in this feature’s menu, be sure to turn down the setting called anti-judder and turn up the anti-blurring processing. That should preserve the authentic film look.

For more info on this story, visit ConsumerReports.org.

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For Into Tomorrow, James McQueen – Consumer Reports

Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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