The Right Viewing Distance For LED Displays? There’s A (Free) App For That

October 2, 2017 by Dave Haynes

Lots of good, helpful comments were provided on the post last week about recommended viewing distances for LED displays – including some mathematical formulas that just put me in rapid eye-blink mode. Way over my head.

Phil Lenger of New York creative and services shop Show + Tell has been working with LCD displays forever, and kindly sent along a link to a free app his team developed and pushed out three years ago.

Called Retina Calc, it is a tool designed to help retail, architectural and environmental designers better understand the relationship between viewing distance, pixel pitch, and perceived image quality.

The term “Retina Display” was coined by Apple to describe a screen with a resolution high enough that the average eye cannot see the individual dots which make up the image. The calculation is a combination of pixel pitch (the closeness of the pixels which make the image) and distance of the viewer from the display.

Specifically, this calculator will help you determine the best viewing distance for a given pixel pitch, or conversely, the best pixel pitch for a given viewing distance.

With Retina Calc, you can also calculate:

– Minimum Character Height for a given viewing distance
– Enter a height and width and determine an overall screen resolution for a given pixel pitch display.
– Better understand other frequently asked questions when designing digital displays.

It’s free for iOS devices, but sadly there is not an Android version.

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