Sony Motionflow & Film mode Settings Explained (finally!)

Mallett94

Well-known Member
Hello all, between myself and some others on this forum, namely @Built To Chill , @Metalex , @Mattjax05 , we have pieced together what the different settings do and how different combinations affect different content.

*Note that these results were obtained from tests on the XF90 & A1 Oled models. Both of these use the X1 Extreme chipset. It it reasonable to assume that other TV's which also contain the X1 Extreme chip will behave the same, except for the cases where TVs do NOT include X-motion clarity - these sets should just have clearness 0 the whole time. There is a possibility that these settings work differently on different chipsets other then the X1 Extreme.

24p source -->
Motionflow Off, True Cinema or Custom w/ Smoothness 0; with Film mode Off = Correct 5:5 pulldown cadence.

Motionflow Off, True Cinema or Custom w/ Smoothness 0; with Film mode High = Correct 5:5 pulldown cadence.

Motionflow Off, True Cinema or Custom w/ Smoothness 0; with Film mode Low or Medium as yet untested, however I believe they would also result in the correct cadence.

24p over 60hz source -->
Motionflow Off, True Cinema or Custom w/ Smoothness 0; with Film mode Off = 2:3 pulldown cadence.

Motionflow Off, True Cinema or Custom w/ Smoothness 0; with Film mode Low = 2:3 pulldown cadence.

Motionflow Off; with Film mode Medium = 2:3 pulldown cadence.

Motionflow Off; with Film mode High = 2:3 pulldown cadence.

Motionflow True Cinema or Custom w/ Smoothness 0; with Film mode Medium = Correct 5:5 pulldown cadence.

Motionflow True Cinema or Custom w/ Smoothness 0; with Film mode High = Correct 5:5 pulldown cadence.

24p content delivered by UK broadcasters -->
In the UK SD and HD tv is delivered at 25fps over a 50hz signal. For some content this is a 50 fields per second interlaced source (where 1 interlaced field is half of a full frame), and other content a 25 frames per second progressive source where each frame is shown twice in the 50hz broadcast signal.

24p content is sped up by approx. 4% to 25p and the pitch of the sound corrected. Therefore when broadcast there is no frame rate mismatch.

Motion Smoothing and the Soap Opera Effect (soe) -->
Motionflow Custom, Smoothness above 0; Film mode Off = Smoothing but NOT interpolation - possibly frame blending.

Motionflow Custom, Smoothness above 0; Film mode Low = Smoothing via interpolation for 24hz source signal - causes noticeable SOE if Smoothness is 2 or higher.

Motionflow Custom, Smoothness above 0; Film mode Medium = Smoothing via interpolation for all progressive source content - causes noticeable SOE if Smoothness is 2 or higher..

Motionflow Custom, Smoothness above 0; Film mode High = Smoothing via interpolation for all interlaced AND progressive source content - causes noticeable SOE if Smoothness is set to 2 or higher.

A word on the Clearness setting -->
This is Sony's implementation of Black Frame Insertion (bfi). On the X900F & XG9505 models (or any subsequent model which is released which includes X-motion Clarity), setting Clearness to 1 will engage the X-motion clarity technology. This works really well and I actually have this set for all of my content. All this does is reduce motion blur, which is itself caused as a result of the sample and hold method that lcd displays use. There is no smoothing or interpolation applied by this setting.

A word on Film mode Low -->
Film mode Low appears to engage smoothing via interpolation only for a 24hz source signal, therefore obviously for 24p content.

I hope that I have explained clearly what the different settings and combinations do. I hope that people find this useful and it helps them to achieve an image that they are happy with. If people who have different chipsets notice that their tvs behave differently, please comment below so we can get it documented.

*Latest update on final conclusions - 19th April 2020*
There have been several firmware updates to the XF90 since release and the update to Android 8 change subtly how some of the motion processing was working. Based over several months of tweaking and testing with different content, I have arrived at the follow optimum settings and why I think so.

When Motionflow & Film mode are NOT Off, Film mode appears to be trying to constantly track the frame rate of the source content that is being displayed (so that it can decide if it needs to do anything with it or not). I have noticed that when the source is 25 or 50 fps (which tend to always come in a 50hz refresh rate wrapper), that every now and then Film mode can 'lose lock' (for lack of a better phrase) which can result in a random frame stutter every now and again. My theory is that sometimes it slips up and thinks the 25 fps source is actually 24 fps, so then it tries to perform reverse pulldown causing the glitch. Obviously for people that notice this it can be quite annoying. However this links with what I am going to say next.

Many people actually want to view their content with a little bit of smoothing in order to remove the natural STUTTER that comes with low frame rate content. Everyone wants to view their content without JUDDER. The tricky part is balancing the correct level of smoothness to reduce stutter but not cause SOE. Due to this I would advocate using an external streaming device where possible which has the features to be able to match content based on source frame rate and dynamic range. In my personal case I have an Apple TV 4K. I have it set to 4K SDR 50 hz by default with match content enabled for both frame rate and dynamic range. What this means is that if I start watching something that is 24p Dolby Vision, the Apple TV 4K will change its output refresh rate to 24hz to exactly match the source frame rate.

The two different settings I mainly use on the XF90 are as follows:
When the source frame rate exactly matches the refresh rate, set Film mode to Off, Motionflow to Custom and use Smoothness 3, Clearness 1.
When the source frame rate is 24p but the refresh rate of the device is 60hz e.g. Native TV apps Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Youtube etc, set Film mode to High, Motionflow to Custom and use Smoothness 1, Clearness 1.

Of course please be aware that this is what I think looks best on balance to my eyes on my TV set. To others they may prefer other options. However you should now be armed with the information to be able to achieve what looks best to each of you individually.

People with a TV containing the X1 Ultimate processor should be aware it has taken away the option for Film mode Low/Medium/High. It is simply Off or Auto. Therefore like on the XF90, if you can get content frame rate to match refresh rate then leave Film mode Off. Otherwise if using Native apps, or if you explicitly want to achieve a strong SOE effect, should always leave Film mode on Auto on TV models with this chip.

Thanks for reading :)
 
Last edited:

Metalex

Active Member
Top work sir! These settings are an absolute minefield when you consider the number of combinations and the lack of documentation from Sony. I admire your patience and dedication.

Thank you for the acknowledgment too. :)
 

wass1985

Banned
The question is why would you leave some motion settings on for high definition content like Netflix or Sky?

I still don't understand why Sony doesn't give any information on settings and when you should employ different modes.
 

Mallett94

Well-known Member
The question is why would you leave some motion settings on for high definition content like Netflix or Sky?

I still don't understand why Sony doesn't give any information on settings and when you should employ different modes.
So the Netflix app on the TV or from many external sources delivers a signal at 60hz. If you want to extract the 24p signal from this you have to use a specific combination of settings to achieve correct frame rate reproduction. If you didn't do this then you would get judder/stutter.

Leaving Film mode on High or Medium with Sky content is not going to do anything negative to the image, but will mean that if you notch up the smoothness slider, let's say for sport, you will get frame interpolation.

Are you worried that leaving certain settings on for certain content will have a negative effect?
 

dUnKle

Member
Really good work and appreciated. Well done sir

Now, can we find out what Tom Cruise thinks and how he would have it set ?
 

desinho

Well-known Member
With the X1 Ultimate you can only choose Off or Auto for Film Mode. I do recall Low (on the other sets) being discussed in one of the (video)reviews but don't quite recall the conclusion (probably that it was useless).
 

Mallett94

Well-known Member
With the X1 Ultimate you can only choose Off or Auto for Film Mode. I do recall Low (on the other sets) being discussed in one of the (video)reviews but don't quite recall the conclusion (probably that it was useless).
What is the GUI description for Film mode Auto with the X1 Ultimate?
 

wass1985

Banned
So the Netflix app on the TV or from many external sources delivers a signal at 60hz. If you want to extract the 24p signal from this you have to use a specific combination of settings to achieve correct frame rate reproduction. If you didn't do this then you would get judder/stutter.

Leaving Film mode on High or Medium with Sky content is not going to do anything negative to the image, but will mean that if you notch up the smoothness slider, let's say for sport, you will get frame interpolation.

Are you worried that leaving certain settings on for certain content will have a negative effect?
I'm far from an expert but can't this be remedied by making TVs with 120Hz?
 

Mallett94

Well-known Member
I'm far from an expert but can't this be remedied by making TVs with 120Hz?
My TV, the Sony Bravia 55XF90, is a 120hz panel. The settings I listed before will extract the 24p frame rate from the 60hz signal, and then use 5:5 pulldown to display each 24p frame 5 times per second to fit the 120hz refresh rate.

If you don't change your settings to achieve 5:5 pulldown, you will be viewing the content with 2:3 pulldown (telecine) judder/stutter. The fact that the panel is 120hz makes no difference in this case because the TV effectively double shows what is in the 60hz signal which is the telecine adjusted frame rate.
 

Stinger69

Active Member
Well done Mallet94, that must have taken some research and testing!

One thing I find slightly different is that I'm getting 3:2 60hz judder removal (ie a proper 24fps cadence) with motionflow custom, smoothness 0, clearness 1, and film mode medium.

I used either the internal video player, which I'm pretty sure plays back at 60hz, or my WDTV Live box that I can set the output to 60hz. I used one of my bluray rips (Skyfall 23.976 fps) and with film mode low or off I could clearly see the 3:2 judder, up to medium and back to the normal 24fps cadence.

Cheers!
Andy

Edit: I forgot to say, this is for an XF90!
 

Mallett94

Well-known Member
Well done Mallet94, that must have taken some research and testing!

One thing I find slightly different is that I'm getting 3:2 60hz judder removal (ie a proper 24fps cadence) with motionflow custom, smoothness 0, clearness 1, and film mode medium.

I used either the internal video player, which I'm pretty sure plays back at 60hz, or my WDTV Live box that I can set the output to 60hz. I used one of my bluray rips (Skyfall 23.976 fps) and with film mode low or off I could clearly see the 3:2 judder, up to medium and back to the normal 24fps cadence.

Cheers!
Andy

Edit: I forgot to say, this is for an XF90!
You may be right! This would certainly make sense if you look at the GUI description for medium and high. Explicitly the part where it talks about extra judder reduction.

What app was it that you were testing it on? Could you try Netflix or prime video? It is possible some of the different apps behave slightly differently with different settings.

Cheers!
 

Stinger69

Active Member
image.jpeg
You may be right! This would certainly make sense if you look at the GUI description for medium and high. Explicitly the part where it talks about extra judder reduction.

What app was it that you were testing it on? Could you try Netflix or prime video? It is possible some of the different apps behave slightly differently with different settings.

Cheers!
It was the built in default video player. I haven't got a netflix account, but I'm currently inthe middle of a Prime free trial so I'll give it a go later.

Andy
 

md178

Active Member
With the built in Netflix app I use true cinema and Film Mode on Medium, with Film Mode off there is too much judder.
 

phillyd1

Active Member
A question about X-motion clarity. If I engage it at the clear setting of 1 what is the general thoughts on how to up your brightness back to how it was previously as I know it dims the image. I had my brightness set to 8 and gamma -2 so engaging X-motion clarity at a setting of 1 I should set them back up at say 14 and -1 I'm a little confused lol
 

Mallett94

Well-known Member
A question about X-motion clarity. If I engage it at the clear setting of 1 what is the general thoughts on how to up your brightness back to how it was previously as I know it dims the image. I had my brightness set to 8 and gamma -2 so engaging X-motion clarity at a setting of 1 I should set them back up at say 14 and -1 I'm a little confused lol
I don't think clearness affects the gamma setting, just the brightness.

When you engage the clearness setting to 1, adjust your brightness up 2 or 3 notches and that should take you back to your prior brightness level.
 

desinho

Well-known Member
What is the GUI description for Film mode Auto with the X1 Ultimate?
I don't have one but noticed it in the reviews. I believe 'Vincenze Theo' covered it as well in either the AF9 or ZF9 review.
Perhaps you can ask someone in the AF/ZF9 topics ...
 

wesslan

Member
I have found these D-nice (a US calibrator) settings to work best for me on AF8. These are without artifacts and a nice balance and a little smoother than the "original" True Cinema setting that he prefers. Some users use Smoothness 2-3 with these but I found that be too off for me, too soapy.

Motionflow: Custom, Smoothness: 1, Clarity: Low, Film mode: Low
 

Mallett94

Well-known Member
I have found these D-nice (a US calibrator) settings to work best for me on AF8. These are without artifacts and a nice balance and a little smoother than the "original" True Cinema setting that he prefers. Some users use Smoothness 2-3 with these but I found that be too off for me, too soapy.

Motionflow: Custom, Smoothness: 1, Clarity: Low, Film mode: Low
Glad you found something yours eyes are happy with! Just be aware that if try to watch any 24p content from a 60hz source you will 2:3 pulldown telecine judder without film mode at high (and possibly medium).

Cheers :)
 

Mallett94

Well-known Member
Hope everyone had a good Christmas period and new year.

I wondered in general what settings people were settling on after having had a bit of a play around? Do people have one setting for everything, or do people change anything for certain types of content?

Happy viewing :)
 

martin31fr

Standard Member
When you write "Smoothing but not interpolation - possibly frame blending.", I don't get it.

How can motion be smoothed, if images are not linearly interpolated? How does that work in this case? Frame blending would create ghosting (afterglow), wouldn't it?
 

iGiDK

Active Member
Hope everyone had a good Christmas period and new year.

I wondered in general what settings people were settling on after having had a bit of a play around? Do people have one setting for everything, or do people change anything for certain types of content?

Happy viewing :)
Happy UK 55 XF90 user here.
For Sky Q general day-to-day viewing as per a few posts from yourself and other members in the owners thread I have been using Custom - Smoothness 0 - Clearness 1 - Film Mode High with no complaints (Smoothness set to 2 for sports)

I've applied the same settings for the inbuilt apps. I've not really spent much time testing yet but we watched stranger things season 1 on Netflix and noticed quute a bit of juddering in panning scenes / bright scenes in the forest etc. Yet to have a proper play to see if I can improve it and also yet to try the same episodes via another netflix input source (eg xbox / x800 blu ray player)
 

Mallett94

Well-known Member
When you write "Smoothing but not interpolation - possibly frame blending.", I don't get it.

How can motion be smoothed, if images are not linearly interpolated? How does that work in this case? Frame blending would create ghosting (afterglow), wouldn't it?
Unfortunately at this point in time I can't give you a more thorough explanation.

What I can tell you is that the effect of using the smoothness setting in combination with film mode off doesn't to me really produce much soe and also doesn't create any artifacting in the picture. However it definitely does something because ticket tapes at the bottom of news channels are much smoother. Using smoothness in combination with film mode high produces really noticeable soe and and at higher smoothness levels, a lot of artifacting is produced in the image. The strong soe and artifacting are a direct result of frame interpolation. This also lines up with the gui description of film mode medium/high when it says "additional frame compensation to remove judder".

You may be right that 'frame blending' isn't the exact method used for the smoothness and film mode off/low combo, but I'm fairly sure that isn't frame interpolation.

What do you think it could be?
 

radosuaf

Standard Member
I have been using Custom - Smoothness 0 - Clearness 1 - Film Mode High with no complaints (Smoothness set to 2 for sports)
These seem like a sweet spot - no frame interpolation, 1080 lines motion resolution and correct pulldown.
I find smoothness of 2 a bit too much, but 1 looks pretty OK, at least for film-based material (I still leave it at zero, nevertheless), haven't watched too much sports yet.
 

Metalex

Active Member
These seem like a sweet spot - no frame interpolation, 1080 lines motion resolution and correct pulldown.
I find smoothness of 2 a bit too much, but 1 looks pretty OK, at least for film-based material (I still leave it at zero, nevertheless), haven't watched too much sports yet.
Agree on Smoothness 2 setting - SOE is just starting to get objectionable at that level. 1 is tolerable, but I use minimum setting mostly.
 

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