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How to turn off Motion Smoothing or Disable Soap Opera Effect on your TV


Motion Smoothing, or the Soap Opera effect as it is otherwise known, has been in the news repeatedly. Why? You could trace it to the campaign started by Tom Cruise and Mission Impossible: Fallout Director Christopher McQuarrie on Twitter against this technology. Many media outlets have picked up the celebrity campaign, generating a buzz on the internet and joining Directors like Reed Morano, James Gunn, and Rian Johnson, who have spoken out against this.

But what exactly is this technology, why would you want to turn it off, and how to disable it on your TV?

What is Motion Smoothing or Soap Opera Effect in TV?

Let us start with the basics of motion, i.e. frames and fps (frames per second).

  • A frame is a still image, just like a photo. And when we record a series of still images of a particular scene and play it consecutively at a rapid pace, it gives the human eye a perception of smooth motion, just like a flipbook (see video below).
Grumpy Cloud FLIPBOOK
  • fps or frame rate per second is the frequency/rate at which consecutive images appear on a display. The higher the fps, the human eye perceives better clarity and a smoother video.

Movies are usually filmed at the industry standard of 24 frames per second or 24 fps, while on the other hand, modern televisions typically use refresh rates of 50 or 60 frames per second or 60 fps.

With the smoothing feature turned on, your TV will up the frame rate from 24 fps to 60 fps by adding extra frames in the gap between frames making the video appear smoother with less motion blur. The extra frame is added using a technique called video interpolation or motion interpolation.

It works great with sports content, with a lot of fast-moving action on the screen. The higher fps give more detail and crispness to the image, giving the viewer a better feel for the action. However, this also is not without its challenges. Sometimes the action is too fast for the motion smoothing technology to accurately generate a frame resulting in a blur.

However, with movies, the motion smoothing technology brings a shade of ultra-realism to a scene and removes the cinematic look. Our brains have been trained on 24 fps movies for a long time, and if you watch a movie with this effect, you will probably think that something is off and you are watching a TV documentary of the movie rather than the movie itself.

For viewers, this can be discomforting and give movies what is popularly called the soap opera effect. Soap opera TV content in the past were typically shot in 60 fps video, hence the tag.

If you are a gamer, you probably know about Game Mode, which some of the newer TVs are equipped with. Gamers need video while gaming to be quick with no lag to allow them to control or play the game effectively (which means winning ????). The latest TVs do a lot of video processing, which introduces lag due to the processing time. Gaming Mode effectively turns off all unnecessary video processing like motion smoothing, noise reduction, advanced picture effects, etc., making the video more responsive for gamers.

Cinematic Effect vs. Motion Smoothing Feature

Check out the following video content for a visual perspective of the motion interpolation technology. The videos show the same clip with different frame speeds, a way to demonstrate the soap opera style picture vs movie content.

Soap Opera Effect in Slow Motion
Frame Doubling Interpolation (SmoothVideo Project)
24fps (Standard) Vs 60fps Movie/TV Show Comparison

If you have watched the above videos, you may have been able to discern the difference between watching it with or without motion smoothing. As always, there will be people who prefer the smoother motion and clarity and those who believe they are missing the “movie magic” and prefer to turn off this feature.

And if you are in the latter category, you should navigate to the appropriate settings in your TV menu and turn off the feature.

Easy, right? Probably. The problem is there are no standards around this feature. Every TV manufacturer has created a unique name for this feature (LG will call it TruMotion, while Sony calls it Motionflow, for Samsung, it is Auto Motion Plus, and so on). So if you don’t know what you are looking for, you won’t know which feature to browse to in your TV settings, whether to toggle it on or off, or adjust the setting to your preference.

Turn off Motion Smoothing in your TV Setting

Some of the more popular TV Manufacturer’s brands are listed below with their corresponding terminology for TV motion smoothing and how to turn off the feature. In your TV, open settings and follow the instructions for your TV brand:

Note: The settings module in TVs is constantly changing, so some of the instructions on how to turn off motion smoothing might not be perfect. Having said that, these should still give you an idea of what to look for to disable motion smoothing.

  • LG TV – TruMotion
    • Picture Menu > Picture Mode Settings > Picture Options > TruMotion
    • Scroll to TruMotion Settings, and select the “Off” option to turn TruMotion off.
  • Samsung TV – Auto Motion Plus
    • Settings > Picture > Expert Settings
    • Scroll to Auto Motion Plus Settings. Select the “Off” option
  • Sony TV – Motionflow
    • Picture Settings > Advanced Settings > Motion > Motion Flow
    • Select the “Off” option or the “True Cinema” option if it is available
  • Panasonic TV – Motion Picture
    • Menu > Picture > Advanced Picture
    • Scroll to Motion Picture Settings, and select the “Off” option
  • Toshiba TV – Clear Frame or Motion Judder Control (MJC)
    • Menu > Picture > Picture Settings > Advanced Picture Settings > ClearFrame
    • In the ClearFrame settings, Select the “Off” option
  • Sharp TV – AquoMotion
    • TV Setup > Picture > Advanced > Motion Enhancement
    • Select the “Off” option
  • Roku – Action Smoothing
    • Press the “*” button to go to the Options menu
    • Scroll down and select Advanced Pictures settings
    • Change the Action Smoothing setting to “Off” mode. You can also select the Low or Medium setting.

Most manufacturers usually allow you to tune or select intermediate settings instead of choosing to shut off motion smoothing completely. After you are done, close the settings menu, and watch a clip preferrable an action sequence to see the difference.


At the end of the day, this is a personal choice; you must try both ways: Motion Smoothing Turned On or Off and, select the one you like best. 

Our recommendation: Turn off MOTION SMOOTHING to watch movies and enjoy the true cinematic effect

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Happy viewing!


  1. i looked for motion smoothing on the picture settings on my new toshiba android tv and couldnt find it its called mjc (motion judder control) instead but the same effect as motion smoothing and your tips got me to the right place so thanks shashi, because of your helpful tips now i can enjoy my new tv fully

    • Happy this helped. Thanks for writing about it. This will be helpful for other folks who might have the same issue.


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