Game of Thrones cinematographer versus Joe Public: Learn to tune your TVs

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“I know it wasn’t too dark because I shot it.”

It’s a perennial mystery.

Why do people put up with crap picture quality when they enjoy Game of Thrones so much and spend so much of their time in front of the TV?

“A lot of the problem is that a lot of people don’t know how to tune their TVs properly. A lot of people also unfortunately watch it on small iPads, which in no way can do justice to a show like that anyway.”

So says the Game of Thrones cinematographer Mr Wagner.

Personally I don’t think there’s any point blaming the audience. The industry needs to stop doing stupid things in the delivery of content. Maybe have a compression algorithm that’s adaptive and prioritises the shadows if it’s a dark scene or an entire episode shot in the dark.

Also, let’s have a meta-data based calibration of TV settings like Dolby Vision but for normal everyday viewing (standard 720p and 1080p). If the purpose of the cinematography is to look cinematic, let’s have the TV deliver that. Force 24p mode on, turn off motion smoothing, check the HDMI black levels and make sure the highlights aren’t blown out or the saturation too high.

And while we’re at it, do something about the skull crushingly loud wide dynamic range audio mixes that are so in fashion at the moment. They’re better suited to a cinema than a living room TV.

Viewers deserve better!

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