Pixel Pitch Assistant

Apr 28. 2021
By: Ken Brueck

The Problem

Direct view LED video walls are a great way to create a high quality image of nearly any size. But not all LED video walls are well-suited for every environment. One guiding factor is a video wall’s pixel pitch, or the density of pixels (LED clusters) on the display.

The larger the pixel pitch, or the less densely packed the pixels are, the farther away viewers must be to have a good experience. If a viewer is too close, they’ll be able to see the gaps in between pixels and will have difficulty making out the content.

Unfortunately, smaller pixel pitches are typically associated with higher costs. Because of this, it’s often best to find the largest pixel pitch possible based on the viewing distance. This can be a challenge when other aspects of the project are still being decided on.

The Solution

The relationship between quality and distance is easily understood and visualized with Modus VR’s Pixel Pitch design assistant. Simply add a direct view LED wall, like the Barco XT Series, and at least one seat. Then, enable the Pixel Pitch assistant from the Global tab.

For the assistant to work, the primary screen must be a direct view LED wall. The assistant may appear to silently fail if a different type of screen is primary.
For the assistant to work, the primary screen must be a direct view LED wall. The assistant may appear to silently fail if a different type of screen is primary.

Once the assistant is enabled, each head will be given a green, yellow, or red status indicator. Green means the viewer is at an optimal distance from the screen and will not be able to see a gap in between the pixels. Yellow means the viewer is above the minimum distance, but may still see some gaps. Red indicates that the viewer is too close and will have a poor experience.

We’ve partnered with Barco to determine the optimal and minimum distances.

The visible gap in between pixels is also approximated by the distance between each colored stripe.

Left: The viewer is at an optimal distance. Middle: The viewer is at the minimum distance. Right: The viewer is below the minimum distance.
Left: The viewer is at an optimal distance. Middle: The viewer is at the minimum distance. Right: The viewer is below the minimum distance.

Finally, when calculating the viewing distance, it’s critical to measure distance to the closest pixel and not distance to the center of the screen. The closest pixel for each viewer is also indicated on the screen itself.

The closest point on the screen is marked for each viewer.
The closest point on the screen is marked for each viewer.

Like all other design assistants in Modus VR, the Pixel Pitch assistant is updated in real time. This lets you quickly adjust positions and parameters in the room to optimize the experience.

Finally, all direct view LED walls in Modus let you select from the manufacturer’s available pixel pitches. Simply select the screen and go to the properties tab to see which settings are available for a particular model.

All direct view LED video walls in Modus let you select from the manufacturer's supported pixel pitches. The Barco XT Series video walls support from 0.9mm all the way up to 2.5mm.
All direct view LED video walls in Modus let you select from the manufacturer's supported pixel pitches. The Barco XT Series video walls support from 0.9mm all the way up to 2.5mm.

As you can see below, going from a 0.9mm pixel pitch, to a 1.5mm, to a 2.5mm can have a significant impact on the viewing experience.

Left: A 1.2mm pixel pitch gives all viewers an optimal experience. Middle: A 1.9mm pixel pitch puts the front four seats out of the optimal experience. Right: A 2.5mm pixel pitch puts the front 2 viewers below the minimum distance.
Left: A 1.2mm pixel pitch gives all viewers an optimal experience. Middle: A 1.9mm pixel pitch puts the front four seats out of the optimal experience. Right: A 2.5mm pixel pitch puts the front 2 viewers below the minimum distance.

Summary

Modus VR’s Pixel Pitch design assistant helps system designers know exactly what pixel pitch is required for an optimal experience and rapidly communicates expected performance to the project stakeholders.

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