Samsung brings Filmmaker Mode to its 2020 QLED TVs in Europe

Mike Wheatley

Samsung Electronics has started rolling out a firmware upgrade in Europe that enables the new Filmmaker Mode on its 2020 QLED TVs, including its flagship Samsung Q950T 8K model that was reviewed by HDTVTest last month.


The new Filmmaker Mode was created by the UHD Alliance and announced in August 2019, before being launched amid great fanfare during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. The idea with Filmmaker Mode is to preserve the “creative intent” of content creators by disabling features such as motion smoothing. The preset mode also respects the creator’s chosen frame rate, colours and other choices to represent the content on screen just as he or she envisioned.

The UHD Alliance says Filmmaker Mode is useful as most modern TVs are unable to accurately recreate cinematic content. The problem is the difference in processing techniques, panel technologies and lighting arrays, which mean that no two TVs display exactly the same image. Even worse, the default settings on most TVs tend to change or distort the images presented on screen, which means owners never get to see the content as its original creator intended.

A number of famous directors, including James Cameron, Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan, have all backed Filmmaker Mode, which works with both SDR and HDR content.

Samsung said the preset is now available as an alternative picture mode via the picture menu on its Q950T, Q900T, Q850T, Q800T, Q90T, Q80T, Q70T TVs, as well as its luxury lifestyle TV “The Frame”, which doubles as a kind of art gallery when not in use. The upgrade had previously been rolled out in the U.S., in July.

Up until now, the only TV brands to enable Filmmaker Mode were LG and Panasonic. But reviews have been underwhelming though, with the general consensus being that it’s not really that different to the existing “Cinema” or “Professional” modes on those two company’s latest TVs. Other TV makers that have promised to add Filmmaker Mode, such as Philips and Vizio, have yet to enable it.

Samsung said it will be possible to enable Filmmaker Mode either manually, or automatically if its TV detects the corresponding signal in the content. At present, no discs or streaming services have enabled this “flag”, and so users will have to enable it manually until they do.

The firmware upgrade started rolling out on Samsung TVs in Europe on Friday, and users will be prompted to install it when it’s ready. However, they can also download the upgrade manually onto a USB drive from this link.