What is dot pitch?

The dot pitch rating of a monitor tells you just how sharp the displayed image will be. Dot pitch is measured in millimeters (mm), and a smaller number means a sharper image. How you measure the dot pitch depends on the technology used.

  • In most CRTs you measure dot pitch as the distance between holes in the shadow mask. The shadow mask is a metal screen filled with holes through which the three electron beams pass that focus to a single point on the tube's phosphor surface.
  • Monitors based on the Trinitron technology, developed by Sony, use an aperture grill instead of a shadow mask. The aperture grill consists of tiny vertical wires. The dot pitch of one of these monitors is measured by the horizontal distance between wires.
  • In LCDs and the majority of other display technologies, dot pitch refers to the distance between subpixels of the same color in pixel triads.

In computer displays, common dot pitches are .31mm, .28mm, .27mm, .26mm, and .25mm. Traditional televisions often use a larger dot pitch, about .51 mm, and large screen TVs or projection devices can go up to 1 millimeter in pitch.


The smaller and closer the dots are to one another, the more realistic and detailed the picture appears. When the dots are farther apart, they become noticeable and make the image look grainier. You will usually want a .28mm or finer. Anything larger than that on a typical monitor will begin to appear grainy.

The dot pitch translates directly to the resolution on the screen. If you were to put a ruler up to the glass and measure an inch, you would see a certain number of dots, depending on the dot pitch. See below for the number of dots per square centimeter and per square inch in each of these dot pitches:


Dot Pitch .25mm

  • 1,600 pixels/cm2
  • 10,000 pixels/pixels/in2


 Dot Pitch .26mm

  • 1,444 pixels/cm2
  • 9,025 pixels/pixels/in2


 Dot Pitch .27mm

  • 1,369 pixels/cm2
  • 8,556 pixels/pixels/in2


 Dot Pitch .28mm

  • 1,225 pixels/cm2
  • 7,656 pixels/pixels/in2


 Dot Pitch .31mm

  • 1,024 pixels/cm2
  • 6,400 pixels/pixels/in2


 Dot Pitch .51mm

  • 361 pixels/cm2
  • 2,256 pixels/pixels/in2


 Dot Pitch 1mm

  • 100 pixels/cm2
  • 625 pixels/pixels/in2

Here are several useful links:


Frequently Answered Questions

What is resolution and dot pitch?
Resolution is the number of pixels in an image. Dot pitch is the distance between the centers of two adjacent pixels.
What's a good dot pitch?
A good dot pitch is typically between 0.20 and 0.35 millimeters.
What is dot and pixel pitch?
The dot pitch is the distance between the centers of two adjacent dots of the same color on a computer display. The pixel pitch is the distance between the centers of two adjacent pixels.
What is dot pitch?
Dot pitch is a measure of the distance between pixels in a visual display technology.