Jump to content

Why are modern TV's defaulted to horrible settings out the box?


Oliver Daniel
 Share

Recommended Posts

You've all probably experienced / noticed this, but it's something that really hits a bone. 

Modern TV's come defaulted with some horrible setting, sometimes called "True Motion" or "Smooth Motion" - making everything look like it's being broadcast at a high frame rate - sometimes I perceive it as high as the look of continuous 120fps. 

Most fictional TV series and anything cinematic suddenly looks like a soap opera or behind the scenes video. Everything looks cheap. Certainly with a lot of TV going for the cinematic, progressive feel - this really doesn't make any sense. 

For instance, I went round to a friends, he was watching The Walking Dead. Without knowing this, I assumed he was watching some cheap nasty Z-movie DVD from a bargain bucket. He said it was The Walking Dead. I was thinking, why is it playing at 50fps? He had no idea what I was complaining about. I turned off the crappy motion setting, and bingo, it locked great! Dramatically far better. Afterwards, he said "Oh yeah!", it does look better.

Another friend of mine started showing his parents my videos on his TV. I had to stop him because his TV's "motion" settings made the frames look so fast, that it really cheapened the look and feel of the videos, like they were shot on a home video camera. Of course, I changed the setting. It's happened over and over, that I've now become the rather cringey "TV settings genius" in my family / friend circle. 

The thing is, most people have no idea and are watching TV at these horrible settings and don't care. 

So, content creators, who are trying so hard to reach that high end, cinematic feel may arguably be wasting their time, as the look and quality is just thrown out of the bin? 

Do you think it's a problem?  What are your thoughts? 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Initial TV settings are designed to show off features on a bright show room floor next to other TVs.  Brightness, saturation, contrast and other bells and whistles are amped up through the roof.  Also the content on display is different.  With 4k there are a lot of ultra sharp wide angle landscape time lapses looped on store TVs.  A lot of the subject matter is real life so it doesn't hurt it too look like real life... with jazzed up colors.

The other thing is sports are big in the United States and men drive a lot of the TV purchasing.  No one is going to complain about sports programming at 60p.  If you have a 40 inch 720p television most women aren't ever going to think they need to upgrade.  Only meat head guys go to the mall and drool over 75" TVs.  I don't talk about my girlfriend's shoes and purses and she doesn't talk about my TV.

The third thing is most people aren't going to notice the stuff we obsess about.  4k is great for downsampling to 1080p and future proofing but I have no desire to toss my current TV and upgrade to 4k.  If the story is good and the video and audio meet basic standards people will watch.  If it is a poor story or the special effects aren't good it doesn't matter how technically perfect the audio and video are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is a problem. I do the same with people's TVs, most do not even know what I am talking about. It is because of "sports" and "action films", for some reason.. There are few that know that something is not right, but do not know exactly what is going on. 1 out of 20, probably. 

People are ignorant about most things video. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the motion interpolation is meant to make sports and video games smoother or something. I don't know how many times I've had the same experience of pointing the shitty motion out to people who don't notice it. I also had a friend who had a TV with adaptive aspect ratio. It would automatically crop anything shot in scope or 4:3 to 16:9, sometimes zooming in and warping during the shot. *shudders*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, deezid said:

Sometimes I wish Apple would make TVs. At least they know how to calibrate them correctly.

i used to work at an a p p l store and i tried to fix the motion smoothing on the 4k LG tvs and they made me change it back smh

4 hours ago, Oliver Daniel said:

Do you think it's a problem?

yes, so does stu maschwitz, v smart dude, for those who arent familiar look him up, fascinating guy

heres what he says about hdr (related) https://prolost.com/blog/hdrtv

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, kaylee said:

i used to work at an a p p l store and i tried to fix the motion smoothing on the 4k LG tvs and they made me change it back smh

Well, that sucks. 
The first thing I do is turning all these rubbish "enhancements" off. And of course the obligatory white balance (it's always way too bluish) as well as gamma (always too contrasty and shadows crushed) setting...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, deezid said:

Well, that sucks. 
The first thing I do is turning all these rubbish "enhancements" off. And of course the obligatory white balance (it's always way too bluish) as well as gamma (always too contrasty and shadows crushed) setting...

its one of those corporate things that comes down from up high "Dont change the settings on the tvs"

i was like Yeah just one problem those settings are APPALLING

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My parents quite like their HDR tv on factory settings. On a vomit-o-meter scale however it manages an impressive tolerance of as low as 1.2 seconds for me. When I fixed it to something easy on the eyes, accurate and cinematic, they complained about it and made me change it back too... tomato faces and soap opera motion strikes again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used a post from an AV forum and got a great setting on my last TV - a LG 1080p. My brother just bought s Samsung 4k panel and did the same with great results. When I get my 4k set next year after I return from a. round-the-world trip, I'll repeat the process. If you google "brand/model number/settings" or something similar you'll find 1000 post threads on popular TV's with great examples. 

As mentioned, stock settings and all the true motion crap is for large stores - the TV selling environment, not your viewing room.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your display does not automatically adjust it's frame rate to match the input rate, without things like Truemotion enabled, whatever you are looking at is going to have god-awful judder.  That is the whole purpose of having that functionality in a TV. If you have something like a decoder box on your TV, that process is happening automatically anyway due to the way long GOP encoding works. The footage is not individual frames, but a series of frames interspersed with a set of motion data. Your TV's truemotion takes that a step further by converting the 60 fps your box is delivering to 120 or 240Hz through a similar process, primarily for fast moving subject matter like sports.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's definitely a problem.  The aficionados like us or AVSForum'ers will turn off all the big box store defaults and find better settings (or even get their TV ISF calibrated).  But the masses will be stuck on crap defaults forever and it will ruin a lot of content.

Embedding HDR metadata is a good first step, but like Andrew says the content creators need to work with the TV mfrs to go way further.  Right now HDR metadata is only seems to be giving us the color gamut and luminance (link to PDF):

SMPTE ST2086 defines static metadata that is supported by HDMI 2.0a, and is included with mastered HDR content to convey the color volume of the mastering display and the luminance of the content. This is described by the chromaticity of the red, green, and blue display primaries and white point of the mastering display, plus its black level and peak luminance level. ST2086 also conveys the following luminance attributes of the mastered content (calculated in linear light domain):  MaxCLL (Maximum Content Light Level) The MaxCLL cd/m2 level is the luminance of the brightest pixel in the content.  MaxFALL (Maximum Frame-Average Light Level) The average luminance of all pixels in each frame is first determined (frame-average maxRGB). The MaxFALL cd/m2 level is then the maximum value of frame-average maxRGB for all frames in the content.

This doesn't tell the TV what color temperature, motion settings, or even basic display settings like brightness/contrast are appropriate.

Eventually I hope we can get to a point where the content metadata contains profiles for each display, tuned by the content creators.  Sure it'd take some time to design setting profiles for the myriad of sets out there, but it's not an insurmountable task.  Most mfrs are using the same panels for a range of models and most settings would be the same for each category of content (e.g. movies / sports / etc.).  Of course in this ideal future reality you could still set your TV to override the recommended settings but if it was using them by default then we'd at least be starting from a good baseline.

A shorter-term solution before the dream of an industry-standard display-specific metadata is probably for major content platforms like Amazon and Netflix to start doing it, since they're already integrated with the TV's.  e.g. the TV's Netflix app knows what display you're using and when you set up Netflix it prompts you to use the Netflix's recommended settings based on the content.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's crazy for sure, but it's still far simpler setting up my TV than my camera. To get my GH5 ready, I had to change over twenty settings: Creative Video Mode, M Menu, Shutter Angle, VFR, Record Format, Continuous AF Off, Photo Style, Noise Reduction, Contrast, Saturation, Sharpening, Hue, Luminance Level, Mic Level Limiter Off, Mic Level Adjust, HDMI Settings, ISO Increments 1/3 EV, Extended ISO, AF Assist Lamp, Peaking On, Guidelines, Zebra Pattern, Fn Buttons, Beep, Live View, Monitor Luminance, Eye Sensor, System Frequency... and I'm still not finished. Waiting for your manual, Andrew! The one good thing with the GH5 is that you'll just be able to copy all the settings to your SD card and away you go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's easy for everyone to agree that the out of box settings are not optimal. Less easy for everyone to agree what they should be. And that, presumably, is the problem facing Sony, LG, Panasonic et al. I know several people who have bought new 4k TVs only because the picture looked so good in the shop (including a couple who assumed that it was the TV which made things "4k" rather than the broadcast...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Just picked up an LG 55” C7 OLED television last night, and aside from switching to ‘Cinema’, lowering sharpening and turning off a few auto features, the set looked pretty fantastic out of the box. The image quality is just insane. Again, far easier to adjust settings on the LG to my liking than setting up a new camera, and best of all, it didn’t require an owner’s manual to figure it all out. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...