When shopping for a new display device, you may come across the terms “dot pitch” and “pixel density.” They are pixel-based metrics. Whether it’s a liquid-crystal display (LCD), organic light-emitting diode (OLED) or any other type of display, it will likely feature pixels. Pixels are essentially the building blocks of display devices. They are used to form the images projected by a display device. Some display devices, however, have a higher dot pitch and pixel density than others.

What Is Dot Pitch?

Dot pitch is the distance between a display device’s pixels. It’s typically measured as center-to-center spacing. All display devices have a grid-like arrangement of pixels. The distance from the center of a pixel to the center of an adjacent pixel is the dot pitch. A high dot pitch means the display device’s pixels are far apart from each other. A low dot pitch, on the other hand, means the display device’s pixels are close together.

Cathode-ray tube (CRT) display devices often have a dot pitch as well — just like LCD and OLED display devices. In CRT display devices, though, dot pitch is typically expressed as the distance between the subpixels of the same color.

What Is Pixel Density?

Pixel density is a measurement of the number of pixels per unit of area on a screen. It is usually expressed in pixels per inch (PPI) or dots per inch (DPI). Pixel density takes into account both the screen size of the display device and the total number of pixels on the screen. A higher pixel density means that the individual pixels are smaller and more tightly packed together, resulting in a crisper and more detailed image.

Differences Between Dot Pitch and Pixel Density

While they are both pixel-based metrics that are commonly used in conjunction with display devices, dot pitch and pixel density aren’t the same. Dot pitch is a unit of measurement. As previously mentioned, it represents the distance between a display device’s pixels. The farther the distance between the pixels, the higher the display device’s dot pitch will be.

In comparison, pixel density is the number of pixels a display device features relative to a given unique of measurement. Pixels per inch (PPI) is a pixel density measurement. PPI represents the number of pixels a display device features per inch. By understanding the differences between dot pitch and pixel density, you’ll have an easier time choosing the right display device for your needs.