Adopting the refresh rate to content in order to fight the ‘soap opera effect’
TV tech and audience analytics firm Samba TV has teamed up with Vestel Group to launch an AI technology called ‘Picture Perfect’ that promises to optimize picture quality in real time for gaming, live sports, and movies.
Vestel, which manufactures televisions for brands like Toshiba, Hitachi, JVC, and Panasonic, will embed Picture Perfect within its products.
Even without an Internet connection, the technology can recognize the settings and optimize the quality of content playing on the screen in real time, by leveraging machine learning embedded in the edge device.
“Smart TV hardware today integrates truly amazing display technology and algorithms for picture quality enhancement,” Ashwin Navin, co-founder and CEO at Samba TV, said. “The promise of AI is to make our lives easier and, within the living room, we believe AI should remove the manual steps of setting up your television for the best viewing experience for sports and all of the latest movies and video games.”
Modern televisions typically use “motion smoothing,” which compensates for the mismatch between TV refresh rates and content frames, or “variable refresh rate,” which allows a display to match the speed of its updates to the number of frames received at any moment.
While the features are intended to create a sharper image, the frame calculation can be incorrectly applied to the content, creating what is known as the ‘soap opera effect,’ where movies look like they were shot on high-speed video rather than film.
The Perfect Picture technology automatically detects the content type and optimizes the picture settings by automatically enabling higher refresh rates when needed.
“AI will transform our lives for the better, bringing us closer to whatever we love and enhancing the human experience in profound ways,” Navin said. “AI-powered innovation at the edge, within the TV itself, ushers in a new era for Smart TVs and the living room experience. We’re excited about the capability to utilize AI in this industry-first technology to enhance picture quality as well as the many other features we are working to unlock with AI in the coming years.”