LG OLED TVs are getting a Dolby Vision Filmmaker Mode – here’s why it’s a big deal

LG G4 OLED TV showing Foundation on Apple TV plus
(Image credit: Future)

When TechRadar attended a presentation of LG’s then-new LG G3 OLED TV in early 2023, a newsworthy item to emerge from the meeting was that a Dolby Vision Filmmaker Mode was in the works, and it could be implemented in new TVs possibly as early as 2024.

At CES 2024, that reality has come to pass, with LG revealing that the company’s new OLED TVs arriving in 2024 will be the first sets to feature a Dolby Vision Filmmaker Mode, which recently was finalized by the UHD Alliance, an industry group with members from the consumer electronics and Hollywood production communities.

If you’re not familiar with the original Filmmaker Mode, it’s a standardized picture preset for TVs that was developed by the UHD Alliance in response to filmmakers unhappy with the way their films looked on most TVs, with inaccurate color and aggressive motion “smoothing” being two of the main sticking points. Martin Scorcese, Denis Villenueve, and Tom Cruise are all big advocates of Filmmaker Mode, which can be found in the best TVs from brands like LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Philips, Hisense, and Vizio.

When active, what Filmmaker Mode does on a TV is to lower the brightness levels to reduce loss of highlight detail in images, as well as set it to a “warm” color temperature preset that lets colors more accurately reflect what was originally presented at the movie theater. It also switches off motion smoothing and reduces any picture enhancing effects used to artificially sharpen the look of images.

LG G4 OLED TV showing an abstract image

Movies and shows with Dolby Vision HDR can be watched in Filmmaker mode on the LG G4 and other new LG OLED TVs (Image credit: Future)

Dolby Vision Filmmaker Mode: a Filmmaker Mode for an HDR world

Although Filmmaker Mode has contributed to raising awareness of TV picture quality among home theater enthusiasts, it has one rather serious limitation: it can’t be used for watching movies with Dolby Vision HDR. When the TV detects a movie or TV show with Dolby Vision HDR, Filmmaker Mode will be switched to a Dolby Vision picture mode with Dark or Normal presets (or an IQ preset that auto-adjusts based on lighting conditions in your room).

The main problem with a TV making that switch is that Dolby Vision Normal and IQ presets typically engage motion smoothing – the chief reason that Filmmaker Mode was developed in the first place. Viewers can go into their TV’s picture settings and dig out an option to switch off motion smoothing, but Filmmaker Mode was also meant to simplify the process of getting good, director-approved pictures on a TV.

With the arrival of Dolby Vision Filmmaker Mode on LG's 2024 OLED TV lineup announced at CES, a viewer now streaming a movie in Dolby Vision from the best streaming services like Netflix, Max, and Disney Plus that support Dolby Vision HDR should be able to watch it without having to visit their TV’s picture menu to disable any motion processing. The arrangement will presumably be plug-and-play, with the benefits of Filmmaker mode carrying over to movies and TV shows in regular high-definition to one with Dolby Vision HDR.

We look forward to checking out Dolby Vision Filmmaker mode on LG’s 2024 OLED TVs such as the LG G4, C4, and B4 when they arrive, and will report on how well the new picture mode works at that time.

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Al Griffin
Senior Editor Home Entertainment, US

Al Griffin has been writing about and reviewing A/V tech since the days LaserDiscs roamed the earth, and was previously the editor of Sound & Vision magazine. 

When not reviewing the latest and greatest gear or watching movies at home, he can usually be found out and about on a bike.