TikToker @kylo_sten responded to a question from another user on the platform who asked: "What's the one thing because of your profession you cringe when you see in other people's houses?"
@kylo_sten says, "I work in television post-production and almost all of you guys are setting your TVs up wrong," he says while laying down on a couch.
He stressed, "First of all, take off sports mode it's gonna come turned on by default. There should be no motion smoothing turned on ever on your TV unless you are literally watching a sport and then immediately turn it off again."
"There is no show on television designed to be improved by having motion smoothing turned on. Ever. Secondly, the placement of your TV. Your TV should always be at eye level of where you're seated. If when you're seated, you have to do this to look at your TV," he then turns his head upwards to demonstrate, "bad, bad, viewing angles are off."
He then goes on to explain, "most TVs, unless you have a very expensive OLED TV are not going to perform well if you're looking at them from an angle. And lastly: do not use your TVs f**king built-in speakers. A good rule of thumb when you're shopping is to spend 75% of your budget on the television and 25% on sound. Whether that's a sound bar or system."
He then wrapped up his post by saying: "So that's it no motion smoothing, eye-level, invest in sound!"
Motion smoothing on TV sets has resulted in awkward-seeming framerates that make certain programs appear as if they're almost being played in Benny Hill style fast forward, and @kylo_sten isn't the first person to talk about the detrimental effects this default feature on most TVs has on the viewing experience.
In a 2018 PSA uploaded by Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie on the set of Top Gun: Maverick, the critical and commercially successful sequel to the iconic '80s film that was praised for its gripping storytelling, phenomenal casting, and stellar production quality.
In the PSA, Cruise and McQuarrie discuss "video interpolation" aka "motion smoothing." They reference that the technology was developed for sporting events and other high-def broadcasts, but that it doesn't represent the visual dynamics presented by production teams who put out cinematic works like Mission Impossible: Fallout, which the duo references in the clip.
Tom Cruise says that this makes movies look like they're shot on high-speed video "rather than film" and added that it's sometimes referred to as "the soap opera effect."
So why are cinephiles so adamant about turning motion smoothing off? Tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars are poured into films to get their specific sounds and imagery just right.
Filmmaking being a visual storytelling medium, relies on all of these different factors, from sound to visuals, to color-grading, lighting, editing, shot-lists, talent performances, and a multitude of other factors to culminate in a singular experience layered with nuanced details. For exacting filmmakers, this can make or break their product and how people perceive their work.
So it would make sense why Tom Cruise would go so far as to make a PSA about a technology that is, in his eyes, almost "ruining" his movies.
As for viewing angles, The Buddy Company reverberates a lot of other folks who've written about this particular topic, including what @kylo_sten said in his now-viral TikTok.
"When watching TV, the optimal vertical viewing angle is between 0 and 15º. This ensures the best viewing experience and maximum comfort - there is a reason why nobody ever wants to sit in the first row in the cinema!"
And when it comes to sound, maybe mounting speaker systems behind your head, on the wall, or in different parts of the room isn't a practical solution for you.
However, there are several high-rated soundbars you could easily hook up to your TV screen you can purchase online to help your auditory experience, so maybe you won't be forced to constantly raise and lower the volume during the action sequences of a movie, versus when characters are talking about their tragic back story explaining why they don't like getting close to someone/can't eat chicken nuggets, etc., etc.