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The UHD Alliance used the occasion of this week’s CES to offer an update on Filmmaker Mode, a TV setting that effectively disables post processing such as motion smoothing and aims to give consumers the opportunity to view content in the way that the filmmakers intended, including with the original aspect ratio, color and frame rates.
This mode was first announced in 2019 by leading directors including Martin Scorsese, Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler, who had teamed up with the UHD Alliance, a coalition whose members include Hollywood studios and consumer electronics manufacturers. It was developed due to concern in the production community that with the many settings available on consumer UHD TVs, the filmmakers’ artistic intent is not always what is displayed.
As 2022 begins, “phase 2” development is starting, with a focus on ambient lighting recommendations. “As much as we like people to watch movies in dim or dark environment (on which Filmmaker Mode is based), we know that’s not always possible,” UHDA president and chair Michael Zink says, explaining that UHDA intends to work on a technical recommendation so as to maintain creative intent when images are shown in brighter settings. The aim is to incorporate the use of ambient lighting sensors on TVs so that it would automatically switch to the optimal setting.
“We’re hoping to work with filmmakers on those guidelines to have a better experience in bright environments but still maintain creative intent,” Zink adds, saying that this work would include input from filmmakers including those from the Directors Guild and American Society of Cinematographers.
According to UHDA, Filmmaker Mode is now available in all new LG and Samsung TVs as well as select models from Hisense, Panasonic, Philips/TP Vision and Skyworth; projectors from LG, Samsung, Benq and Hisense; and services including Kaleidescape and Prime Video (the first streaming platform to automatically implement Filmmaker Mode for Prime on LG TVs).
In the not too distant future, Filmmaker Mode could also be added to in-flight entertainment on passenger aircrafts. According to Zink, the Airline Passenger Entertainment Experience Association recently completed an updated technical specification for in-fight entertainment systems that includes 4K, HDR and Filmmaker Mode. He noted that American Airlines has announced plans to implement this new spec for in-flight entertainment systems in new planes that are expected to join the airline’s fleet in 2023.
The Association also continues to work to raise consumer awareness of the Filmmaker Mode technology. As an example, Zink noted that Dune helmer Denis Villeneuve recently recommended the Mode via social media, working with UHDA, WarnerMedia and HBO Max’s promotion team.
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