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What is ‘Soap Opera Effect’ in TV and how to turn it off

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Madeleine Vogel
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You just got a new TV, got it all set up, and excitedly fired it up for the first time.

What is wrong with your new TV?!

It isn’t 4K resolution, HDR, or even the panel technology in the TV.

What you’re witnessing is actually just a picture setting that creates a phenomenon commonly known as the “Soap Opera Effect.” Below, we’ll tell you what it is, how it works, and most importantly, how to turn it off.

Since TV isn’t delivered at this frame rate, though, motion smoothing came along as a way to “fake” a higher frame rate by inserting images in between the actual 30 or 60 frames per second that come from your cable box, game console, or antenna.

Motion smoothing works fine for sports programming and video games because of the way that content is recorded and/or produced, but we’re actually used to seeing lower frame rates in many TV shows and movies, most of which are at 24 frames per second.

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Madeleine Vogel
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