Get ready for a new TV mode. The UHD Alliance, along with a group of Hollywood filmmakers, have banded together to launch Filmmaker Mode – designed to preserve films and TV shows in the way they were intended on consumer TVs.
Filmmakers aren’t happy with how their films look on consumer TVs. After Christopher Nolan mentioned a Reference TV mode a few years back, and Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie piped up about motion smoothing on TVs, it’s something that’s been on Hollywood’s mind for a while.
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They’ve now decided to take action with the introduction of Filmmaker Mode. The mode aims to preserve the creative intent of the film by disabling motion smoothing, retaining the correct aspect ratio, colours and frame rates. LG, Panasonic and Vizio have signed up, with the presence of Vizio suggesting that the mode could hit the US first.
A number of leading filmmakers have thrown their weight behind it, with the likes of Christopher Nolan, Paul Thomas Anderson, Ryan Coogler, Patty Jenkins, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, J.J. Abrams, Ava DuVernay and Ang Lee among the long list of supporters.
Filmmaker Mode is intended to be more accessible to the viewers, removing the jargon that accompanies more technical calibration modes offered by ISF, THX and Technicolor. It will be activated automatically by films and TV shows through embedded metadata, or via a dedicated button on the remote.
TVs that support the new mode will bear a logo, in much the same way as TVs that carry the UHD Premium logo, signifying that it meets a specific HDR requirement.
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How this will conflict with existing modes is yet to be known, considering that Netflix already offers its Calibrated Mode and the likes of LG and Panasonic have worked closely with Hollywood for better image quality on their high-end TVs.
“Modern televisions have extraordinary technical capabilities, and it is important that we harness these new technologies to ensure that the home viewer sees our work presented as closely as possible to our original creative intentions,” said Christopher Nolan, director of Dunkirk, Interstellar and the Dark Knight Trilogy.
“Through collaboration with TV manufacturers, Filmmaker Mode consolidates input from filmmakers into simple principles for respecting frame rate, aspect ratio, color and contrast and encoding in the actual media so that televisions can read it and can display it appropriately.”
Vizio has said its Filmmaker Mode TVs will launch in 2020. We expect to hear from Panasonic and LG in the coming months about their own plans.