Free Software And Apps Download

What Pixels Are and What They Mean for TV Viewing

As you immerse yourself in the captivating world of your beloved TV programs or movies, streamed through a television or projected onto a screen, a mesmerizing sequence of seemingly whole images unfolds before your eyes, reminiscent of cherished photographs or cinematic masterpieces. Yet, beneath this enchanting visual façade, a captivating secret awaits.

Drawing nearer to the TV or projection screen, you’ll discover a mesmerizing arrangement of tiny dots meticulously aligned in precise horizontal and vertical rows, stretching across and vertically along the screen’s surface. These unassuming dots are the building blocks that come together harmoniously to create the remarkable illusions that captivate us.

What Are Pixels?

The smallest unit in a digital display is a pixel. An image or video displayed on a device’s screen may have millions of pixels or more. Red, green, and blue (RGB) colors originate from each of a pixel’s subpixels and are shown as varying intensities. The spectrum of colors that can be seen on a display or computer monitor, laptop, TV, video projection screen or even tablet and smartphone screens, are referred to as pixels is made up of the RGB color components.



The inception of these predominantly square or rectangular units dates back to 1965 when an American engineer named Frederic C. Billingsley coined the term while working at CalTech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It was during this time that Billingsley encountered small pixels in images transmitted from NASA’s space probes, which were engaged in the exploration of the moon and Mars. However, the concept of pixels as a photographic element has a complex lineage that can be traced back to the visionary German inventor, Paul Nipkov. As early as 1884, Nipkov introduced the notion of the “Bildpunkt” or “picture point,” which laid the groundwork for his pioneering patent of the world’s premier mechanized television system.

Pixels and Resolution

The resolution of displayed images is directly determined by the number of pixels that a screen surface can accommodate. Achieving a specific screen resolution requires a precise arrangement of pixels, both horizontally and vertically, organized in rows and columns across the screen.

The number of horizontal pixels in a row multiplied by the number of vertical pixels in a column yields the total number of pixels that make up the entire screen surface. This cumulative value is commonly referred to as pixel density, representing the concentration of pixels within the display area.

Some examples of pixel density for commonly displayed resolutions in today’s TVs

Stated Resolution Horizontal Pixel Count Vertical Pixel Count Pixel Density (Total Pixel Count Displayed)
480i/p 720 480 345,600
720p 1,280 720 921,600
768p 1,366 768 1,049,088
1080i/p 1,920 1,080 2,073,600
4K (Consumer Standard) 3,840 2,160 8,294,400
4K (Cinema Standard) 4,096 2,160 8,847,360
8K 7,680 4,320 33,177,600


|More:- Difference:- 720p Vs. 1080p Vs. 1800p Vs. 2160p (4K) Vs. 4320p (8k) TV

Pixel Density and Screen Size

In addition to pixel density (resolution), there is another factor to take into consideration: the size of the screen displaying the pixels.

The horizontal and vertical pixel counts, as well as the pixel density, stay constant for a given resolution regardless of the screen’s actual size. For instance, 1,920 pixels will always run horizontally per row and 1,080 pixels will always run vertically per column on a 1080p TV. As a result, this setup produces a pixel density of about 2.1 million.

How Big is a pixel?

The size of a pixel is directly influenced by the chosen resolution for the display screen. When the display is set to its maximum resolution, the physical size of a pixel precisely matches the dot pitch or dot size of the display. However, if the resolution is configured to be lower than the maximum, a pixel will appear larger than the physical size of an individual dot on the screen. In such cases, a single pixel will span across multiple dots, effectively utilizing more than one dot to form the larger pixel.

What is a megapixel?

A megapixel (MP) is an abbreviation for one million pixels, and this term is commonly associated with photography. However, megapixels are also used to gauge screen resolutions. For instance, 4K resolution is roughly similar to 12 MP, while 1080p resolution is about 2.1 MP.

Specifically, megapixels in the context of photography refer to two things: the resolution of an image, and the quantity of image sensor components in digital cameras. As an example, the Sony A7 III camera can take pictures with a resolution of 24.2 MP, which is comparable to a mind-boggling 24,200,000 pixels.

Smartphones typically house cameras with 12 MP, while interchangeable-lens cameras usually offer a broader range, ranging from 20 MP to 60 MP. For smaller action cameras like Insta360 cameras, the megapixel count can vary from 12 MP to 48 MP, catering to various photography needs and preferences.

The Difference Between PPI and DPI

Term Definition Usage
Dots Per Inch (DPI) The number of printed dots within one inch of an image printed by a printer. Used to determine print size on paper. Increasing DPI reduces printed image size, while decreasing DPI increases the size.
Pixels Per Inch (PPI) The number of pixels within one inch of an image displayed on a computer monitor. Represents on-screen digital image quality. Also affects print quality if the image is printed.


What are pixels?

Pixels are the smallest units in a digital display and form the building blocks of images or videos. Each pixel consists of subpixels emitting red, green, and blue (RGB) colors, creating the diverse color spectrum seen on screens like TVs, monitors, and smartphones.

How are pixels related to resolution?

The resolution of displayed images is determined by the number of pixels on the screen. The more pixels there are, the higher the resolution, resulting in clearer and more detailed images.

What is pixel density?

Pixel density refers to the concentration of pixels within a given area of the screen. It is calculated by multiplying the number of horizontal pixels in a row with the number of vertical pixels in a column.

How do pixels contribute to the visual experience in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications?

In Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) applications, pixels contribute to the realism and immersive nature of the experience. Higher resolutions and pixel densities are critical for reducing the “screen door effect” and enhancing the sense of presence in virtual environments.

What does the future hold for pixel technology?

The future of pixel technology is promising, with ongoing research and development aimed at improving resolution, color accuracy, and power efficiency. Advancements in areas like microLED and OLED display technologies are likely to revolutionize the visual experience in various devices.

How do pixels contribute to the illusion of seamless images on screens?

Pixels work in harmony to create the illusion of seamless images on screens by arranging themselves precisely in horizontal and vertical rows. When viewed from a distance, these tiny dots merge together, giving the impression of complete images.


Pixels are the fundamental building blocks of digital displays and photography, crafting the mesmerizing visual experiences we enjoy daily. From intricate resolutions to evolving technologies, pixels continue to shape the way we perceive the world. As we delve into the future, we anticipate even more remarkable advancements that will immerse us further into the captivating world of pixels.


Comments are closed.