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Fine Pixel Pitch LED Displays: Are they worth the hype?

Fine Pixel Displays

Fine pixel pitch LED displays might be the next big thing. And it’s not just about hype either. If you want high resolution screens for your digital signage with image quality that’s great up close and personal, it’s your best bet. Plus you get all the benefits of traditional LED screens. What’s not to love?

What’s fine pixel pitch LED anyway?

Well, it’s a direct view LED display, version 2.0. Like your trusty ole LED displays that you set up for big installations, fine pixel pitch LED screens rely on the same kind of tech, but better. Light emitting diodes create all the magic you need to show off your awesome content in fine pixel pitch LEDs, just like in direct view LED screens. You just get more of them.

What’s the tech all about? Specifically, LEDs are tiny semiconductors that convert electricity running through the screen and transform it into light. Also, each one has a specific chemical that produces the blue, red or green colors that make up images so clear and colorful they seem lifelike. Then there’s a cluster of one blue, one red and one green LED so that together they make up one full color pixel.

And therein lies the rub. Or the magic, if we’re talking fine pixel pitch LED displays. Because the more pixels you have that make up your screen, the better your digital signage content, like videos or images, looks when people get super close to your screens. However, if the pixels LEDs create aren’t placed extremely close together, you get that awful boxy looking effect where you see all the little squares that make up the images on your screen when you get up close to the displays.

Basically, pixel pitch is all about how close pixels are to each other, in millimeters. Fine pixel pitch LED displays have only a tiny space between pixels. Since pixels get placed really close together, you’ve got more of them, so the screen resolution is higher. Therefore image quality’s great even if someone’s standing nose to the screen. Which means your digital signage content rocks.

What’s the difference between a fine pixel pitch LED and traditional LED displays?

It’s all about your use case. Because you don’t need fine pixel pitch everywhere. Sometimes it’s fine to have a bigger distance between pixels. For instance in huge digital signage installations in places like stadiums or Times Square. There it’s perfectly acceptable to use traditional (and cheaper) LED screens where you don’t need such a high resolution.

Why? Because everyone watches those kinds of digital signage screens from a distance. So you don’t need pixels placed really close together because no one will get close enough to see how blocky content gets when you don’t have fine pixel pitch.

After all, fine pixel pitch LEDs do cost more than traditional LED screens. And you don’t need to have such stellar image quality in all situations. Big screens on a university campus that target students walking by don’t need fine pixel pitch. Basically it’s stupid to pay more if no one will even get close enough to see the individual pixels. So you’ve got to decide where people will be when they’re watching your screens before you spring for fine pixel pitch LED displays.

How do you calculate what pixel pitch you need?

Surprisingly, the numbers are all over the place. Each screen manufacturer comes up with their own way to calculate the pixel pitch you need based on viewing distance. And there’s a huge range, from a super fine pixel pitch LED of 0.8mm, to upwards of 16mm. Again, what you need depends on how far people will be from your screen in feet when they view your digital signage content. A popular way to calculate pixel pitch based on viewing distance is to multiply every 1 mm of pixel pitch by 10 to get the viewing distance in feet. So if your viewing distance amounts to about 20 feet, you need a pixel pitch of 2 mm (2mm times 10).

Of course other manufacturers claim you have to multiply each mm of pixel pitch by 8 to get viewing distance in feet. Additionally, some companies base the calculations on 3.5 feet for every mm of pixel pitch. Undoubtedly, methods vary. It’s best if you actually test it out yourself based on your use case by visiting a showroom.

Another better way of calculating the pixel pitch you need comes from basing it on retina viewing distance. If someone has 20/20 vision, you can calculate optimal pixel pitch by multiplying each mm by 10. So you get 10 feet for a pixel pitch of 1 mm. Most fine pixel pitch LED displays start at 1.5 mm, but you could go higher or lower, depending on how much you’re willing to spend.

Do fine pixel pitch LED displays have all the benefits of traditional LED screens?

You bet. With fine pixel pitch LED displays, you don’t only get higher resolutions and excellent picture quality without visible blocky pixels. You also get all the great tech stuff LED screens offer. What am I talking about? Only essential features like extra brightness, energy efficiency and seamless video walls without borders. Your images, videos, tickers and shows will look great, taking your digital signage content to the next level. Even when people stare up at your screen from a few feet away.

Remember, extra brightness and high-contrast images mean you can use these displays anywhere. Indoors and outdoors, whether or not the environment is well lit or not, you’ll find a screen that works. Additionally, fine pixel pitch LED displays come in all sizes, just like direct view displays. So you can deploy any kind of digital signage installation you want.

What do fine pixel pitch LED displays give you?

In a nutshell, if you want excellent image quality at a viewing distance of a few feet, such LED displays work like a dream. Just remember to check how small a pixel pitch you need for your viewing distance in feet, because you don’t want to pay for something you’ll never use. And you’ll get the additional benefits of direct view LED displays, including extra brightness, contrast, energy efficiency and a huge range of screen sizes.

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