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Multimedia Pricing
ILLUSTRATION: MARK FISHER
Q.
We plan to add an LED curtain to our exhibit, and we've discovered significant price differences related to pixel pitch. What is pixel pitch, and how does it affect resolution?

A.
In general terms, pixel pitch is the distance (measured in millimeters) from the center of an LED cluster (aka pixel) to the center of the next LED cluster. The lower the pixel pitch, the greater the resolution – and the closer a viewer can stand to your display and still experience high-quality text and images. But as pixel pitch decreases, prices increase. For example, a 4 millimeter (mm), 20-square-foot curtain can cost several times as much as a 20 mm version with the same dimensions.

To give you some perspective as to what pixel pitch you might need, a general rule of thumb is that your pixel pitch (in millimeters) should be no higher than your viewing distance in meters. So if people are viewing the curtain from about 20 feet away (roughly 6 meters), then your pixel pitch should be 6 mm or less.

When you're viewing large outdoor LED displays, for example, such as billboards or theater signage, they usually range from 10 mm to 34 mm or more. The truss-suspended curtains you often find hung over trade show exhibits, which typically offer dynamic images, moving content, and maybe a brand name or two, usually have a pixel pitch of at least 6 mm. They provide limited resolution for close-up viewing but just enough to create wow factor from a distance.

Finally, for content viewed from 6 to 10 feet away, such as images in an in-booth theater, you're probably experiencing 2- to 3-mm pixel pitch. At this range, you can usually downsize your screen dimensions but upsize the pixel pitch to create even sharper resolution for words and images.


— Patrick Snee, executive creative director, Blue Telescope, New York
Help Wanted
Send your tough questions about exhibiting to Linda Armstrong, larmstrong@exhibitormagazine.com.

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