How to tell the difference between real and virtual pixel LEDs

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How to tell the difference between real and virtual pixel LEDs

For those who are unaware of the two terms, here is a brief description:

  • Real pixel LED display has one LED in each of the three colors: red, blue and green.
  • Virtual pixel LED display has two red LEDs, one blue, and one green. Therefore it has 4 LEDs per pixel. However, just these 4 LEDs are not enough for the virtual pixel LED screen to work. The driver IC chips need the necessary image processing software written onto them.

The difference

Placement of the LEDs

With real pixel LEDs, three LEDs are grouped into a cluster in the shape of a triangle. However, the configuration of virtual pixels involves an additional red LED to every cluster. As a result, LEDs are shared and this causes overlapping. Although the latter may seem to be a better option for increased image quality, in reality it may not produce the exact color of the image. Manufacturers focusing on premium quality LED displays prefer the physical arrangement of the real pixel technology because it results in a better image resolution.

Resolution perception

In measuring the quality of a virtual pixel screen, manufacturers often measure the distance between two LED bulbs rather than the distance between the centers of the pixels. By doing so they claim that virtual pixel LED screens present a higher quality as compared to real pixels.

Conflicts between the two

  • Because red LEDs consume more energy than the other two colors, the operating cost of a virtual pixel LED screen is argued to be more.
  • Virtual pixel displays have the 4 LED configurations and hence there is not enough black space between pixels. This reduced contrast produces faded images.

The type of LED screen you choose varies depending on each project. Some of the factors that come into consideration are the screen size, budget, viewing distance, and operating costs.


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