Hi friends! My name is Sara and I am the new Administrative Wizard here at Ascend Studios!
I am going to share with you all the exciting things I have been learning in the Audio Visual world. While I don’t need to necessarily know all the ins and outs of the Audio/Visual world like our techs and engineers do, it’s still important to understand the larger components of the LED world.
Follow along so you can learn with me!
So, what exactly is Pixel Pitch, and why does it matter? Resolution is king, right?
Well… kinda. It’s not like the typical resolution on a TV or computer screen.
Pixel Pitch is measured in millimeters (mm) and refers to the physical distance between the center of each LED pixel. For example, a 10mm Pixel Pitch means that there is a 10mm (0.4 inches) distance between the center of each pixel. A 5 Pixel Pitch means that there is a 5mm (0.2 inches) distance between the center of each pixel. Makes sense, right? Now the question is, why is this important?
Well, when there are more pixels overall, it increases the resolution and image clarity. Pixel pitch ranges typically from less than 1mm to occasionally greater than 25mm. When you are looking at purchasing an LED screen, there are many variables that come into play. One thing you should think about is how far away the viewer is from the screen. You’ll also want to consider ambient conditions, total surface area, content detail, competition with other media, and many other considerations. But the biggest consideration is the viewing distance.
Pixel Pitch Formula for Optimal Viewing Distance
Generally, the rule of thumb for calculating the optimal viewing distance (in feet) is to multiply 10 times the pixel pitch. So we can calculate the Optimal Viewing Distance through a formulas that looks like this:
- 10mm pixel pitch x 10 = 100 feet
- 8mm pixel pitch x 10 = 80 feet
- 5mm pixel pitch x 10 = 50 feet
We come to the conclusion that a 5mm pixel pitch is best seen from about 50 feet away. This pixel pitch is probably best used on an outside screen that you might walk by at a theme park while you’re in line for a ride. Makes sense, right? Sweet!
We want to think of pixel pitch in terms of golf – a lower pixel pitch will result a clearer resolution, from seen up close. Not to say that a 10mm pixel pitch isn’t clear, but we have to consider the viewing distance in these situations. So, if we are thinking about an LED screen best viewed from a closer distance, a formula for a 3mm pixel pitch would look like this:
- 3mm pixel pitch x 10 = 30 feet
- 2mm pixel pitch x 10 = 20 feet
- 1mm pixel pitch x 10 = 10 feet
So in this example, a 1mm pixel pitch is best seen from about 10 feet away. This pixel pitch would probably be best used in a hotel lobby, showing local content or even perhaps movies in a general waiting area or lounge. You are closer to the screen here so we want the pixels to be closer together for a clearer image.
Can you tell on the image below has a lower pixel pitch, and which one has a higher pixel pitch?
Example A has the highest pixel pitch – that means the greatest distance between each pixel. When seen up close, you can see the lines and the dots. If you were in person, you would have to take quite a few steps back in order for this picture to look clear.
Example B has the lowest pixel pitch – that means there is a smaller distance between each pixel. Looking at this image from the same distance, since the pixels are closer together, you see the image more clearly.
Example C is in between pixel pitches from Example A and Example B. We can kind of see the lines and the pixels in this example, but it’s not that bad. If you were in person, you might want to take a step or two back to see this picture perfectly.
Look at you — knowing things!
Other ways to think about pixel pitch
Another way to think about the viewing distance is to think about that old toy you have tucked away in your parents’ basement; you remember Lite Brite, right!? Imagine the black background with the little holes that you would put the colored pegs in. Think of each one of those pegs as a pixel. When you stand up close to the Lite Brite, you clearly see each one of the pegs (pixels). Now, if you were to stand, let’s say, 10 feet away, all of those pegs (pixels) blur together to connect into a seamless line, making a clearer picture. This is how the pixel pitch works with varying degrees of viewing distance.