What is Soap Opera Effect and How You Can Fix It?

Soap Opera Effect
Soap Opera Effect

Curious to know what soap opera effect is and how we can fix it? Isn’t it irritating when the quality of the film you are watching on your precious TV is not worth all the money you invested in it? It is not the error of the film’s lighting or equipment. Instead, it is something you require to figure out with your TV. The latest model you have, the higher the risk that you will experience this issue.

This is named the soap opera effect or video interpolation, and it can get your TV’s picture quality strange, but it is not something you have to live with forever.

Soap Opera Effect Samsung
Soap Opera Effect Samsung

What is the Soap Opera Effect? 

The serial Effect may sound love it may be a defect or bug on your television receiver, but the truth is, it’s a feature built-in intentionally in plenty of modern TVs. It’s called quite a few different names, but the technology behind this phenomenon is named video interpolation or motion smoothing. It had been added to newer LED and LCD TVs to deal with a drag.

Older TVs (plasma and old CRT models) haven’t any issues with motion blurring like LCD models. Some models tend to be more sensitive than others, but when the screen has got to display a show or Movie with fast motion (like video games or sports telecasts), the blur gets worse.

The result’s obscured image detail. To unravel this, manufacturers opted to use displays that have higher refresh rates. They move from the quality 60Hz refresh rate of old TVs to 120 Hz of LCD models.

Unfortunately, most sources of video (shows and movies for streaming and broadcast) aren’t delivered with this frame rate. Thus, motion smoothing, through inserting images in between the prevailing frames per second, was done to fake this higher frame rate. This is often done by your television receiver, which analyzes the image and guesses what quite images are usually inserted. Motion smoothing has also been utilized in some OLED TVs.

When it involves video games and sports programs, motion smoothing works just fine because they’re produced and recorded differently. For TV shows and films, they’re mostly shot at only 24 frames per second. So when people watch The Hobbit at 48 frames per second rather than the 24, they became unnerved. They felt that it had been unnatural and for a few people, looked too real.

Soap Opera Effect Samsung 4K
Soap Opera Effect Samsung 4K

How to Turn off the Soap Opera Effect

The bad news: Every TV Company features a different name for his or her motion interpolation processing. And in most default picture modes it’s turned on. Why? Maybe because TV makers want to justify the additional price you purchased a TV with this feature built-in. Ah, progress. With almost every TV on the market, you’ll turn it off.

Step 1: Put the TV in the Movie, Cinema or Calibrated mode. On most TVs, this will not only eliminate or significantly reduce smoothing, but it will also make the picture more accurate in general, particularly colours. If the Movie seems too dark, feel free to turn up the Backlight (on LCD TVs) or Brightness (on newer Sony LCD TVs) or OLED Light (on OLED TVs) until its bright enough for you.

Step 2: Make sure smoothing is off. Some TVs have the soap opera effect turned on even in Movie or Cinema mode. Not cool. CNET checked out a few of the 2018 TVs in its lab — here’s what we found, and how to make sure it’s off.

  • LG: Picture settings menu > Picture Alternatives>TruMotion: Off. On the 2018 B8 OLED TV we reviewed, smoothing is allowed in Cinema mode (TruMotion: Clear) but disabled in Technicolor. Expert mode.
  • Samsung: Proficient settings menu > Auto Motion Plus > Off. On the 2018 Q9, we reviewed, smoothing is mostly disabled in Movie mode (Auto Motion Plus: Custom, Judder Reduction: 3).
  • Sony: Picture changes menu > Advanced settings > Motion >MotionFlow: Off or TruCinema. On the 2018 X900F, we reviewed, smoothing is disabled in Cinema Pro mode (MotionFlow: TruCinema).
  • TCL: Picture menu > excellent picture settings > Action smoothing: Off. On the 2018 TCL 5 series, we reviewed, smoothing was disabled in Movie mode.
  • Vizio: Picture menu – More Picture – Movement Control – Reduce Judder: 0. on the 2018 P-Series Quantum, we reviewed, smoothing was disabled in Calibrated and Calibrated Dark mode.


[wps_faq style=”classic” question=”Q: Why is it called the soap opera effect?”]A: Smoothing is usually derogatorily called the serial Effect because it evokes a budget visual look of classic daytime soap operas, which were generally shot on videotape instead of film out of practical necessity thanks to their daily production schedules.[/wps_faq][wps_faq style=”classic” question=”Q: What is the soap opera effect on TV?”]A: Soap opera effect is user lingo for a visible product caused by motion interpolation, a process that prime definition televisions apply to display content at a better refresh rate than the source. The goal of motion interpolation is to offer the viewer a more life-like picture.[/wps_faq][wps_faq style=”classic” question=”Q: Do 4k TVs have soap opera effect?”]A; Have you ever noticed the odd Effect on most 4K TVs, often mentioned because of the serial Effect? This is often wont to describe the hyper-realistic look created when TV manufacturers apply a technology called frame interpolation, and Hollywood hates it. The great news you do not need to accept it.[/wps_faq][wps_faq style=”classic” question=”Q: Is the soap opera effect suitable for sports?”]A: It’s often called the serial Effect, and it makes the films and shows you’re watching appear as if they’re all recorded for daytime TV. However, it is a valuable feature when you’re watching live sports, which supply you the camera feed, filtered into a studio and editing bay, straight to your TV.[/wps_faq]


Many vendors allow viewers to show off interpolation and force the tv to repeat an equivalent frame five times or use a more traditional 3:2 pulldown. This creates a more cinematic effect.

The commercial name given to motion interpolation depends on the seller. Sony names it MotionFlow, LG names it TruMotion, Toshiba names it ClearFrame, Mitsubishi names it Smooth120Hz and JVC names it Clear Motion Drive. Some vendors also ask it as anti-judder.