How to Turn On Motion Smoothing for Sports (Then Turn It Off) | Tech

058ljxp74ej0qbrfzjx2phf Lim.size 1200x630.v1643726561.jpg

Television enthusiasts tend to rail against the motion-smoothing feature included in many TVs. I know, because I’m one of them. I tell people to turn off the feature whenever possible. However, there is one important exception: live sports.

Turn motion smoothing on for sports games. Seriously, it’s one of the few cases where motion smoothing is good.

Depending on your TV model, the interface for turning motion smoothing on might look something like this (this one is for Roku TV) (Credit: Will Greenwald)

What Is Motion Smoothing?

Motion smoothing is a video-processing feature found in most TVs. It works by injecting new frames between the frames in a video signal to make the image motion look less jerky. These frames are interpolated, calculating halfway points and processing the picture to keep the video even and consistent (often in conjunction with patterns of backlight flickering to further enhance the effect). It works, but the result is a video that looks unnatural. It’s often called the “soap opera effect,” and it makes the movies and shows you’re watching look like they’re all recorded for daytime TV.

Film content is usually recorded at 24 frames per second, and TV content is usually kept at 30fps. Motion smoothing bumps those numbers up to 60, 120, or even (depending on TV manufacturer) 960 with different tricks. Most content was created, edited, and mastered at 24 or 30 frames per second, so making it look smoother is extremely jarring. So, yes, turn off motion smoothing if you’re watching a TV show or movie. You can find the option within your TV’s video settings (check out this story to find the setting based on your TV brand).

Why Motion Smoothing Is Good for Sports

On the flip side, motion smoothing is a useful feature when you’re watching live sports, especially sports involving a ball that gets passed, kicked, thrown, or shot. Due to how TVs create images, the camera movement wreaks havoc on the picture. You’ve probably noticed this if you’ve…

read more

FTC: We use income earning affiliate links. More on Sposored links.
Terms of use and third-party services. More here.

“The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of like is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give.” —William Arthur Ward

Related Posts