How To Choose The Right Pixel Pitch

Recommended Viewing Distance & Direct View LED

When selecting a Direct View LED video wall, the most fundamental decision a customer must make is what pixel pitch to choose. Pixel pitch (or just pitch) is a measure of the physical distance, in millimeters, between pixels in the LED video wall. A 2 millimeter (2mm) pitch LED video wall has 2mm distance between the centers of any two adjacent pixels.

Pixel pitch directly determines pixel density (the number of pixels in a given screen area) and pixel density, in turn, directly determines recommended viewing distance (the distance away from the video wall that a person must stand in order to have a satisfactory viewing experience). The finer (smaller) the pitch, the closer the acceptable viewing distance. The larger the pitch, the further away a viewer must stand in order to have a good viewing experience.

Today, fine pitch LED video walls are considered to be within the range from 0.7mm to approximately 2.9mm. Standard pitches are considered to be approximately 3mm and larger. Pitch also directly influences cost – as pitches and viewing distances decrease, pixel density and costs increase. For the best value, it’s important to know the average viewing distance for the application, then select the finest pitch required for that application and viewing distance.

Viewing Distance Calculation

In the end, acceptable viewing distance is whatever a customer perceives to be acceptable. There are, however, methodologies used in the industry to determine acceptable viewing distance in a more objective way:

Visual Acuity Distance

Visual Acuity Distance (sometimes referred to as “Retina Distance” as popularized by Apple Inc.) is a formulated calculation of the distance a person with 20/20 vision must move away from an LED video wall in order to no longer distinguish individual pixels.

10x Rule

The 10x Rule is a shorthand method for quickly calculating an approximate estimate of the Visual Acuity Distance.

Average Comfortable Viewing Distance

The Average Comfortable Viewing Distance is the estimated viewing distance that most people will find the video wall’s appearance acceptable. This estimation is based on a large number of real world installations. Average Comfortable Viewing Distance is subjective and can be impacted by a number of variables including a person’s eye sight, application, resolution of content and type of content (e.g. video vs spreadsheet).

Viewing Distance Chart

This Viewing Distance Chart lists the calculations for Visual Acuity Distance and Average Comfortable Viewing Distance related to pixel pitches from 0.7mm to 10mm.

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