A common method of customer deception in the LED signage industry is confusing customers with virtual and physical pixel pitch. To an uninformed buyer, these two terms may sound equally important or even interchangeable, however there is a significant difference.
Physical pixel pitch is the primary factor, and in our opinion, the only factor of the two that matters. It is the real/measured distance between the center of each diode/pixel to the center of the adjacent diode/pixel. Virtual pixel pitch, on the other hand, is basically a made up term to denote what sort of pixel pitch the display can “appear to function as” or “contain the information of”.
This is analogous to saying a particular vehicle has a physical V6 engine but virtually performs like a V12 because it has a louder exhaust. The fact of the matter is, the engine is 6 cylinders regardless of the sound. By that same token, when the physical distance between two diodes is 12MM, it’s a P12 display. If a sales person tries misrepresenting a virtual P6 as an alternative or substitute for physical P6 – BEWARE – avoid paying V12 prices for a V6 engine the same way you shouldn’t pay real P6 price for a real P12 display!
Below is an example from “Big Screen Video”, a company notorious for this dubious practice, quoting over $8,000AUD/SQM for a physical P12 (claiming “virtual P6”) LED display when in reality, a fair market price for physical P12 then was about $4,000AUD/SQM while even true physical P6 was about $7,000AUD/SQM (currently $5,950AUD/SQM wholesale by ELEDS).
Note that physical P12 has about 6,889 pixels per square meter while physical P6 has 27,556 pixels per square meter – they tried to deliver a fourth of the product while playing on customers lack of understanding 🙁