Pixel pitch is a vital consideration when choosing an LED video wall. It affects the image quality and the ideal viewing distance for your display. After reading this guide, you’ll be able to confidently select a video wall model with an appropriate pitch for your space. Let’s dive in.
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What is pixel pitch?
Pixel pitch is the centre-to-centre measurement between individual pixels on an LED panel – essentially the distance between pixels. For example, a 1.89 pixel pitch means there is 1.89 mm between 2 pixels.
The higher the pitch is, the greater the spacing between the LEDs is, which will result in lower image quality. While a lower pitch distance will offer a higher image resolution.
The pitch rating on an LED screen is often signified with a P. For example, P2 would mean a pixel pitch rating of 2 mm. Screens with a low pitch, often referred to as fine-pitch LEDs, are usually designed for indoor environments. Screens with a higher pitch may be for indoor or outdoor environments and the pixel pitch can range from 4 mm to 16 mm on average.
Why is it important?
This factor directly impacts the clarity and quality of the displayed content.
The appropriate pixel pitch depends on the expected viewing distance.
If the video wall is intended for close viewing (normally indoor settings), such as a control room or a retail mall, a smaller pixel pitch is necessary to maintain image clarity. LED screens for indoor use are often referred to as fine-pitch LEDs and will typically have a pixel pitch of between 1 mm and 2 mm, like the one pictured below.
If an LED display with a high pixel pitch is used at a close viewing distance the image quality is compromised and viewers could potentially see individual pixels, like in the image below.
In applications where the audience is at a greater distance, such as in large event spaces or for outdoor installations, a larger pixel pitch will be ideally suited. For example, the LED billboards many think of in Times Square, New York City. LED screens for outdoor use will typically range between pixel pitches of 4mm and 16 mm.
Calculating the ideal pixel pitch for your needs involves considering the distance from which the content will be viewed. You can learn more about calculating the appropriate pixel pitch for your viewing distance in the section below.
How does the pitch affect cost?
The more pixels a display has the greater the cost will be. This means that the lower the pixel pitch is, the more expensive the display will be.
This is why it’s really important to consider your viewing distance. Based on your viewing distance you may not need a lower pixel pitch.
For example, if your display is placed high on a wall in a shopping mall where customers will view it from a distance, or if it is outdoors on a roadside, the viewing distance will be great enough that a lower pixel pitch isn’t required.
You can save money on your display by finding a display that meets your requirements rather than instantly choosing the smallest pixel pitch option because it would give the best possible image resolution.
When assessing the cost, it’s also important to consider the long-term operational expenses. Higher-resolution video walls may have a higher power consumption, adding to the total cost of ownership over time.
Check out our full video wall buying guide for more information on how to select the right video wall for your project.
How do I calculate the pixel pitch I need?
When determining the ideal pixel pitch for your display, it is best to discuss this with your video wall provider as they will be experts in understanding exactly what you need for your setup.
If you’d like to figure out an initial viewing distance and pixel pitch combination for your project, you can use the formulas below to understand roughly what will suit you best.
Minimum viewing distance
This calculation will give you the minimum distance in feet a viewer must be from the wall to be able to interpret the content.
Pixel pitch x 3 = Minimum viewing distance in feet
For example, 1.89 pp x 3 = 5.67 feet.
Optimum viewing distance
This calculation will give you the optimum viewing distance with the best image clarity.
Pixel pitch x 10 = Optimum viewing distance in feet
For example, 1.89 pp x 10 = 18.9 feet.
Ready to plan your video wall project?
LamasaTech is a market leader in video walls. We support customers across a range of industries including retail, military and defence, government and public sector, technology, hospitality and education.
We’d love to help with your project – get in touch below and we’ll help you find the ideal solution for your requirements.