Earlier this week, a post went up about the giant 8K direct view LED display Leyard and Planar (former now owns latter) was showing off at the big National Association of Broadcasters trade show in Las Vegas this week.
One thing that stumped me, at least a bit, was its description as being 8K, since marketing of indoor LED has so far been almost exclusively focused on pixel pitch, the increasingly narrow gap between LED lights on the displays.
Colin James of NanoLumens – which also makes indoor LED – very kindly added a comment to that post that does a terrific job of explaining how resolution comes into play in LED screens. I’ve replicated his comments here:
In order to understand how large pixel pitch screen can be 8k when a tight pixel pitch screen is only 4k, it is important to understand how resolution works. For a screen to be HD, 4k, or 8k they MUST have the below listed pixel counts.
HD = 1920 pixels x 1080 pixels
4k = 3840 pixels x 2160 pixels
8k = 7680 pixels x 4320 pixels
Now, as long as a screen has 3840 pixels x 2160 pixels, then it is technically a 4k display. Same applies to the other screen types as well. The caveat here is that a larger pixel pitch screen is going to be pretty big in order to accommodate enough pixels to be technically 8k.
Look at the above pictured Leyard/Planar display. Is it 8k? Yes. Is it also 30 ft wide to accommodate so many pixels? Yes, as well.
The math behind it would be: 7680 X 1.2mm (the pixel pitch) = 9216mm = 30.23ft wide (so it checks out)
Now if the 0.9mm Pixel Pitch display was also 8k, it would be a smaller size than its 30ft brother shown above.
7680 x 0.9mm (pixel pitch) = 6912mm = 22.6ft wide (almost 8 feet smaller)
Summary: Any display of any pixel pitch can technically be HD, 4k, or 8k. All that matters is that there is enough room for a display to be the necessary size.
So … I’m still a little cross-eyed on this, but getting my head around it.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.