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

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

  • evil maid attack

    An evil maid attack is a security exploit that targets a computing device that has been shut down and left unattended.  An evil ...

  • Common Body of Knowledge (CBK)

    In security, Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) is a comprehensive framework of all the relevant subjects a security professional ...

  • rootkit

    A rootkit is a program or, more often, a collection of software tools that gives a threat actor remote access to and control over...

SearchHealthIT

  • value-based healthcare

    Value-based healthcare, also known as value-based care, is a payment model that rewards healthcare providers for providing ...

  • health informatics

    Health informatics is the practice of acquiring, studying and managing health data and applying medical concepts in conjunction ...

  • clinical trial

    A clinical trial, also known as a clinical research study, is a protocol to evaluate the effects and efficacy of experimental ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with ...

  • Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and ...

  • crisis management plan (CMP)

    A crisis management plan (CMP) is a document that outlines the processes an organization will use to respond to a critical ...

SearchStorage

  • hard disk

    A hard disk is part of a unit -- often called a disk drive, hard drive or hard disk drive -- that stores and provides relatively ...

  • cache memory

    Cache memory, also called CPU memory, is high-speed static random access memory (SRAM) that a computer microprocessor can access ...

  • RAID 10 (RAID 1+0)

    RAID 10, also known as RAID 1+0, is a RAID configuration that combines disk mirroring and disk striping to protect data.

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close