Roku Plus series TV 2023

(Image credit: Roku)

Roku TVs are seemingly stuck on motion smoothing in a recent update that won’t allow users to turn off the feature. 

First noted by The Verge, which highlights a variety of posts across Reddit and Roku community forums, the motion smoothing issue is contained primarily to the Roku OS 13 software running on some of the best TCL TVs

The update invites one key feature that might be the cause of the issue — “Roku Smart Picture.” This is a new optimization tool that boosts picture quality on content while being watched and it could be leading to some form of a bug with motion smoothing parameters on TVs. 

Not everyone with the Roku OS 13 update are affected, though, as several users that do already have access to “Expert” picture settings have the ability to enable and disable the motion smoothing functionality. The issue is seemingly common on Roku devices as some Reddit users do note of identical concerns cropping up throughout the years. 

Smoothing over motion smoothing issues

You might be wondering what exactly is motion smoothing? It’s a TV upscaling procedure that essentially boosts the performance, specifically the frames per second (fps) of a particular show or movie to match that of the TV’s set refresh rate. It will take a piece of content, like “House of the Dragon,” which is filmed in 24fps and ramps that up to either 60 or even 120 fps depending on the TV for, as the name implies, smoother motions — though it never looks quite ideal.

A slew of Roku TV users, primarily those running Roku OS 13 on TCL TVs, noted issues with the feature across community forums and Reddit threads over the past day following a new update. On Roku, motion smoothing is called Action Smoothing, which is typically found in the Advanced Picture settings on TVs and the best streaming devices.

Some users are even claiming that upon the new update, it’s the first time the TV allows access to Roku’s motion smoothing feature. This makes it even more confusing for those users, as there is no option within the settings to actually enable it or turn it off by any means.

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Sifting through the notes for Roku OS 13, a new “Roku Smart Picture” option could be the culprit behind the auto-enabled and always-on motion smoothing issue. The feature, according to Roku, dynamically adjusts picture quality across varied content types for improved optimization no matter what type of TV or picture you might be watching on.

Roku motion smoothing setting in menus on TV

(Image credit: HelloTech)

One Roku forum moderator noted a potential hotfix by way of pressing and holding the Star button on your Roku remote. Navigate to Advanced Picture Settings and click Action Smoothing, which should allow you to disable the feature. 

Roku administrators are looking into a fix, but for now your best option is to either try turning off the setting manually if possible, or changing to Filmmaker Mode if your TV supports it in order to disable motion smoothing. While these are certainly not the best and most fluid approach for combatting the issue, you’ll simply have to wait for Roku to address the problem on its end with another software update. 

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Ryan Epps is a Staff Writer under the TV/AV section at Tom’s Guide focusing on TVs and projectors. When not researching PHOLEDs and writing about the next major innovation in the projector space, he’s consuming random anime from the 90’s, playing Dark Souls 3 again, or reading yet another Haruki Murakami novel. 

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The post Roku TVs suffer always-on motion smoothing after recent update — here’s how to fix it first appeared on

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