What MEVD and social distancing have in common – Bob’s Tech Talk Tuesday

Pixelization; there is no vaccine from this terrible phenomenon and no matter how many times you wash your hands, it will always be there! But you can easily solve this dreaded look on your digital display with the following tips and advice based on a notion that we all know very well now: Social distancing!



First, we need to understand the basic premise of the minimum effective viewing distance (MEVD). The MEVD stands for the minimum effective distance of a digital display. It is at the point where pixelization cannot be detected. It is the minimal distance that your audience has to be from the display device, in order to not be able to detect pixelization of a picture. This is a measurement* roughly 6 times for imperial measurement in feet or 1.8 times for metric distance in meters, of the pixel pitch.

This means a 10 mm pixel pitch has an MEVD of 60 feet or 18 meters from the display.

Now why is the MEVD a useful measurement to understand? There are three basic questions that need to be asked and answered in order to determine a proper display pixel pitch. One of which is the viewing distance of your audience. Where is 80% of your viewing audience going to be viewing the display from. Once we know that we can then work the formula backwards to determine the optimal pitch.


The MEVD Formula

Say for example 80% of your expected viewing audience is at 100 feet (30 meters), your optimal pixel pitch should be 16 mm.

100 feet ÷ 6 = 16.6 mm and/or metric would be 30 meters ÷ 1.8 = 16.6 mm

The proper science behind the MEVD must also be mentioned as it has a direct influence on the pixel pitch. In other words, testing these theories, one must have a display which is outdoors, under full sunlight, showing only daylight white at 5500 kelvin on the display (no other text or images) at full brightness, and one must be standing directly in front of the display.


The charts below show the standard distance in feet for a normal display at the specific pixel pitch.


The result of proper distancing and acquiring the proper pixel pitch, will give you the best return on investment for your display. No need to buy lower pixel pitches just because the display salesperson says it will have a better image. This is just not true and will be explained in an upcoming Bob Tech Talk Tuesday on Maximum effective technology distance or METD.

* The rule of thumb measurement usually pertains to display which are outdoor vs. indoor displays have a similar formula but slightly different constant.