While there’s nothing wrong with HDTVs having the option, the problem that Cruise and many others have with the digital effect is that it’s the default setting on most modern hi-def television sets. And not only does it go by a different name depending on the brand (“Clear Motion Rate” for Samsung versus “MotionFlow” for Sony, for instance), but manufacturers also don’t always make it easy to switch off.

Other filmmakers have made a crusade of destroying motion smoothing long before Cruise and McQuarrie. Director and cinematographer Reed Morano started a petition four years ago to ask TV manufacturers not to make motion smoothing the default setting on their TVs. She also suggested a way for TVs to automatically turn the feature on or off, depending on what kind of program someone is watching.

In September, the Oscar-nominated directors Christopher Nolan and Paul Thomas Anderson reached out directly to TV manufacturers to see if they could resolve the problem. That followed social media campaigns by other filmmakers, including Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson (who once said motion smoothing makes movies look like “liquid diarrhea“) and Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn.

Cinematographer Naim Sutherland has explained well why the extra frames can make a film look so much worse: “The goal of motion pictures is not to recreate reality, it’s not even to show reality,” she has said. “By not showing enough visual information, we force the brain into filling in the gaps…it draws you in even more. It’s part of how you let go to the point where you can laugh or cry or feel tense or afraid or elated.”

Wars over the best formats for watching video at home have broken out since the 1970s, when Sony’s Betamax vied with JVC’s VHS to become the standard for home-video entertainment. It happened again in the mid-2000s with Blu-ray discs and HD DVDs. That time, major movie studios such as Disney, Fox, and Universal took sides, choosing the formats they each preferred to show their films on. Today, Netflix publishes an annual list of recommended TVs by manufacturers like LG and Sony that it says its programs look best on.

Earlier this year, Sony introduced a TV setting specifically for watching Netflix, which automatically adjusts things like color and contrast to match the settings that Netflix’s creators use on their own monitors in post production. It’s meant to show the content the way creators meant for it to be seen.

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