In August 2019, on the initiative of famous directors such as Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, J.J. Abrams, Paul Thomas Anderson, Ang Lee, Ryan Coogler, Christopher Nolan and others, the UHD Alliance introduced a special cinematic mode, Filmmaker Mode for televisions, which is designed to ensure that films are shown on TVs as closely as possible to the way their creators intended. Filmmaker Mode is also supported by Hollywood industry associations such as the Director's Guild, The Film Foundation, the International Cinematographers Guild and the American Association of Cinematographers.
The UHD Alliance has now introduced new partners at CES 2020 who will be launching TV sets equipped with Filmmaker Mode before the end of the year. The manufacturers LG, Panasonic and Vizio, who have been won over so far, are joined by big names such as Samsung and Philips.
There will be a choice of methods for activating Filmmaker Mode: either automatically via metadata embedded in the films or manually by the viewer via remote control, and many TV models will even have a dedicated button. LG plans to implement the automatic method in each of its new 4K and 8K TVs this year, while Panasonic plans to offer both options in its 2020 OLED HD 2000 series TVs.
Filmmake Mode: What for?
Modern televisions offer a whole range of possibilities for users to optimize the display of special content - be it sports or video games - on their TV according to their viewing habits and wishes. The new Filmmaker Mode is designed to provide a special, true-to-original and cinematic experience - similar to Netflix Calibrated Mode of some top Sony and Panasonic models. Film lover Scorsese also sees a great opportunity for analog film classics through Filmmaker Mode: that they can be seen exactly as intended by the creators, with all their very special features and looks.
How does the Filmmaker Mode work?
For example, the new "Filmmaker Mode" deactivates all post-processing, such as the long disputed Motion Smoothing, which has long been a nuisance for filmmakers because it gives films a "video look". In addition, Filmmaker Mode is supposed to ensure that movies are not only shown in the correct aspect ratio, but also with the original colors, contrast and frame rate. This information is transmitted to the television sets by special metadata. It is not yet clear, however, who provides or defines this necessary metadata (and in what form) (e.g. for old films). For this, the large streaming providers such as Netflix and Amazon would have to be on board.
The exact specifications of the Filmmaker mode:
- A D65 white point (6500K) is applied to SDR and HDR content
- Frame rate and aspect ratio of the source content is maintained
- Motion interpolation is deactivated
- Overscan is disabled unless the content indicates otherwise
- The functions for resharpening are deactivated
- Noise reduction is switched off
- The processing of other image enhancements is also disabled