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Tom Cruise speaks out about the Soap Opera Effect

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Wayne_j, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Cinematographer

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    "We would like a moment of your time to talk about Video Interpolation"

     
  2. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    I already sent that to a handful of friends who had no idea what I was talking when I mentioned that their TV setup looked odd. Even after I turned it on and off on their sets and showed it to them.
     
  3. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    The first comment (this was posted on Tom's official Twitter) is the best:
    https://twitter.com/franklez/status/1070124688595017730
    Franklez - the hero we need and deserve. :rolling-smiley:
     
  4. RichMurphy

    RichMurphy Second Unit

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    I don't mind frame interpolation. What is a crime against humanity is the horizontal stretching of a non-widescreen image (old movie or vintage TV show) to fill a 16:9 HDTV screen. It makes everyone looks like a Weeble. I must admit I do try to convince friends to correct that setting, but most of them don't like black bars on the side.
     
  5. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Several years late Mr. Cruise and Mr. McQuarrie, but better late than never I suppose.
     
  6. Worth

    Worth Cinematographer

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    I've never understood what "problem" motion interpolation was trying to solve.
     
  7. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I think there are just two fundamentally opposite approaches to watching content (and the same could be said for listening to audio content as well). Some people watch content, some people watch their TVs.

    For the people who watch content, the most important priority is to view that content as closely as possible to how its creators intended. This means putting up with black bars to preserve aspect ratio and accepting that a certain type of look is inherent to how the content was created.

    Other people watch their TVs. They spent good money on their television set, and want to take advantage of all of the functionality built into the TV. The point isn't to watch the most accurate version of the content; the point is to show off what the TV can do.

    That's always been the battle with playing media at home. I notice a lot of the same conversation happening among people who are avid music listeners and home stereo enthusiasts, where there's a similar tension between those who enjoy playing back exactly what's on the recording, and those who want to take advantage of every speaker and setting they have at home.

    I don't think we'll ever get the majority of people who want to watch the gear to care about artistic intent.
     
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  8. RobertR

    RobertR Executive Producer

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    I don't view black bars as something to put up with. They simply have no effect on my viewing a movie.
     
  9. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Cinematographer

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    This is the video where I first heard about this:


    They go on to complain about lack of masking in movie theaters and video releases modified to fit your screen.
     
  10. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    A then-girlfriend of mine went to dinner with a friend of mine and his boyfriend. At their townhouse, we got into a discussion of their TV and the boyfriend made a snide comment about how my friend liked 4X3 TV series in their original AR.

    He didn't say it that formally, but he left the impression that you'd have to be an idiot NOT to stretch out the 4X3 image to fill the whole screen.

    I guess the boyfriend thought I'd be on his side.

    Which I was not.

    Before I could respond, my friend gave me an imploring "please don't go there" look, so I didn't engage with the boyfriend to tell him that only idiots like Stretch-O-Vision.

    The friend later thanked me, as he knew how hard it was for me to ignore the boyfriend's arrogant idiocy! :D
     
  11. Mark_TB

    Mark_TB Second Unit

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    While I agree with the sentiments in the video, I doubt 90% of the public understands what they are talking about without a visual demonstration.
     
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  12. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Yep.
     
  13. Message #13 of 50 Dec 5, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
    MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    The irony of this is that at least one actual soap opera, All My Children, tried to make itself look like film artificially towards the end of its run. Some of those soul-crushingly bad Disney Channel sitcoms do it, too. They do it to a lot of old shows from the UK as well.

    I saw a demo in Best Buy that demonstrates what they mean. Some recent sci-fi film whose name I can't remember and didn't bother to look up and whose actors I didn't recognize. It didn't look like a movie. It looked like very good videotape. To be honest, it almost looked like the last episode of Webster in which he dreams of meeting Worf on the Starship Enterprise!* For a theatrical film, I expect better production values than a 30-minute TV sitcom for children. I think a lot of it is because our brains process any frame rate faster than 24 fps that way. It wasn't chosen arbitrarily.

    *For Star Wars fans (who don't have a descriptive demonym), think of Bea Arthur serving one more round at the Cantina. Or don't if it's too much of a trip down repressed memory lane. You get my point either way.
     
  14. Wiseguy

    Wiseguy Stunt Coordinator

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    MeTV compromises on that point. They stretch the picture but only about half-way to wide screen.
     
  15. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I'm no longer on speaking terms with my uncle after he gruffly told me not to fix his TV that had this on. He's a professional photographer too, but truth is his work is about average.
     
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  16. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Some cable station, WGN perhaps, used to show Veronica Mars stretched in some weird way. The show was broadcast in widescreen, so I don't know why it was stretched (maybe they were showing 4:3 standard definition transfers). Anyway, I would go to my DVDs when I wanted a Veronica Mars fix.
     
  17. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Cinematographer

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    Isnt Tom Cruise point applicable to LCD/LED televisions. My OLED has excellent motion handling, one of my reasons for buying it.
     
  18. McCrutchy

    McCrutchy Second Unit

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    I'm fairly certain that the primary reason for the implementation of motion interpolation technology is actually live sports broadcasts (I know we call it the "soap-opera-effect", but I doubt most soap opera viewers have any reservations about the qualities of their picture). I think the idea is that with motion interpolation, the game image looks "better" because of the smoothing.

    Personally, I think it makes everything look horrendous, and I wish TV manufacturers would remove it or leave it off and bury it in a sub-menu or as part of a particular mode.
     
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  19. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    I've found one thing that interpolation is good for. On the deluxe blu-ray of Oklahoma, the dream ballet in the roadshow version looks incredible with interpolation turned on. It was shot at a faster frame rate already, so the interpolation has more to work with than just 24 fps. Try it. It's a great bit to use to demonstrate your theater.
     
  20. RichMurphy

    RichMurphy Second Unit

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    Interpolation also helps smooth out the distracting strobe effect as the camera pans down the matte painting near the beginning of CASABLANCA, and at least makes the beginning of the shot match the smooth live action ending of the shot. (1:57 on the attached clip)

     

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