Browse Definitions:
Definition

soap opera effect (motion interpolation)

Soap opera effect is consumer lingo for a visual effect caused by motion interpolation, a process that high definition televisions use to display content at a higher refresh rate than the original source.

The goal of motion interpolation is to give the viewer a more life-like picture. Some viewers, however, think the picture is too lifelike and that motion interpolation makes films on TV look as if they were raw video feeds. (Soap operas have traditionally been recorded on video, not film.)

Here is how motion interpolation works:

If a television screen has a refresh rate of 120Hz (120 frames per second) but the television is going to display film that was recorded at the standard 24 frames per second, the vendor must figure out a way to fill in an extra 94 frames each second.

One way to do this is to have the television repeat each film frame five times(5x24=120). Another way is to have a computer program in the television digitally analyze concurrent frames and use the data to create intermediary frames. The insertion of these frames is called interpolation and they are what cause the soap opera effect.

Many vendors allow viewers to turn off interpolation and force the television to repeat the same frame 5 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 vendor. Sony calls it MotionFlow, LG calls it TruMotion, Toshiba calls it ClearFrame, Mitsubishi calls it Smooth120Hz and JVC calls it Clear Motion Drive. Some vendors also refer to it as anti-judder.

See also: 3-D television, judder, Flat-panel TV Guide

Learn more about the soap opera effect:

Crunchgear says you can simply turn interpolation off and get the old, juddery picture you know and love.

James Mowery's blog explains anti-judder and motion smoothing technology.

This was last updated in December 2010

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

  • conduct risk

    Conduct risk is the prospect of financial loss to an organization that is caused by the actions of an organization's ...

SearchSecurity

  • application whitelisting

    Application whitelisting is the practice of identifying applications that have been deemed safe for execution and restricting all...

  • security

    Security, in information technology (IT), is the defense of digital information and IT assets against internal and external, ...

  • insider threat

    An insider threat is a malicious hacker (also called a cracker or a black hat) who is an employee or officer of a business, ...

SearchHealthIT

  • HIPAA Privacy Rule

    The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule, establishes ...

  • HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA)

    Under the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, a HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA) is a ...

  • telemedicine

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • data recovery

    Data recovery restores data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted or made inaccessible. Learn how data recovery ...

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A company's disaster recovery policy is enhanced with a documented DR plan that formulates strategies, and outlines preparation ...

  • fault-tolerant

    Systems with integrated fault tolerance are designed to withstand multiple hardware failures to ensure continuous availability.

SearchStorage

  • data deduplication

    Deduplication retains one unique data instance to reduce storage and bandwidth consumed by remote backups, replication and ...

  • byte

    In most computer systems, a byte is a unit of data that is eight binary digits long. Bytes are often used to represent a ...

  • Secure Digital card (SD card)

    SD cards use flash memory to provide nonvolatile storage. They are more rugged than traditional storage media and are used in ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • flash file system

    Flash file systems are designed specifically for memory devices. A well-designed flash device and flash file system ensure ...

  • IOPS (input/output operations per second)

    IOPS measures the maximum number of reads and writes to non-contiguous storage. It is not an actual benchmark since vendor ...

  • eMMC (embedded MultiMediaCard)

    An embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) is a small storage device made up of NAND flash memory and a simple storage controller.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close