At CES 2020, additional TV makers confirmed that they will offer Filmmaker Mode in their TVs. Samsung and Philips join LG, Panasonic and Vizio. Here is how it works.
Filmmaker Mode gaining support
From Tom Cruise to Christopher Nolan; Hollywood hates motion smoothing in TVs. It is not too excited about oversaturated colors, converted frame rates, wrong aspect ratios, and other enhancements either.
That is why Hollywood directors approached the UHD Alliance and TV makers to jointly solve the problem. The result is Filmmaker Mode that was announced in August 2019. Back then, LG, Panasonic, and Vizio pledged support.
At CES 2020, Samsung and Philips (TP Vision) joined the initiative along with Hollywood guilds and Kaleidescape. LG, Vizio, and Panasonic have said that their 2020 TVs will support Filmmaker Mode. Samsung has yet to detail its plans while Philips will announce its 2020 TV line-up later this month.
- "We’re honored to have the support of the DGA, ASC, ICG & the Film Foundation. All of which just formally recognized Filmmaker Mode as an important and critical step toward allowing home viewers to enjoy movies and TV shows as they were intended to be seen by the filmmaker," the organization said.
The initiative is also backed by notable film directors such as Christopher Nolan, Paul Thomas Anderson, Ryan Coogler, Patty Jenkins, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, J.J. Abrams, Ava DuVernay, Judd Apatow, Ang Lee, Reed Morano, and the Duffer Brothers.
Sony and TCL are notably missing from the list of partners. Sony declined to comment on its future plans.
How Filmmaker Mode works
Filmmaker Mode comes as Hollywood is acknowledging a significant shift from cinema to home entertainment. For the first time, TV video technology has leapfrogged cinema with 4K and 8K, HDR, and other new developments. However, all of this technology must be tamed to deliver the original creative intent, filmmakers argue.
Engaging Filmmaker Mode in a TV will disable post-processing systems such as motion smoothing, noise reduction and sharpening. It will also preserve the frame rate, colors, and aspect ratio. It works with both HDR and SDR content.
Filmmaker Mode can be engaged manually via a button or automatically through metadata in the signal. LG confirmed that 2020 TVs will support both automatic activation of Filmmaker Mode. There are no plans to bring Filmmaker Mode to previous TVs.
Here is how it works in LG's 2020 TVs. The TV will automatically recognize movie content and initially ask the viewer if he or she would prefer to activate the mode. LG said that Filmmaker Mode in SDR will use 100 nits full scene white and 2.4 gamma.
CES 2020 is the big launch event for Filmmaker Mode and with new partners onboard it could become a key marketing feature in new TVs. Most of the same things can be achieved through proper picture calibration but automatic activation adds a new level of integration.