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The Pixel Debate

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by fasteddy, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    As im starting to think about adding a word definition section in the ACL lighting for dummies manual, it struck me that the term pixel is a very cloudy definition which varies from person to person and can be a source of great confusion for anyone new in this hobby.

    The word pixel is associated with intelligent controllers as well as associated with both dumb strings and intelligent strings, but seems to not get mentioned when discussing intelligent strip or modules. This may make people believe that a pixel controller doesnt control intelligent strip or modules but will control both intelligent and dumb strings as the name association is the same.

    We had a quick discussion the other day in chat about this subject and there were at least 3 different interpretations of what a pixel is.

    So im now asking what do you think a pixel is and how would you define its meaning?

    Hopefully we can come up with an agreed definition
     
  2. Beacy

    Beacy It's so much better on the dark side

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    Personally I would consider pixels as intelligent strings or strips that run of e1.31. the the Dumb strips/strings to me a RGB strings or strips
     
  3. Bevo

    Bevo Let your Light Shine before men

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    I am with Beacy on this one.
     
  4. lithgowlights

    lithgowlights Senior Elf

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    Dont forget the original JEC Pixel - a DMX 18 LED item with seperate R G and B lights.

    Now my definition of a pixel is an LED or group of LED's which are in series on a string and are individually addressable by way of some type of controller sending Serial data along the lines. They can be the classic 8mm LED type with back or side entry and exit cable, small flat modules with 1 or more RGB LED's, as well as numerous other types and chapes. The individually addressable and chip on each module or LED is what makes them pixels IMHO

    I disagree with e1.31 though - There are some DMX to pixel controllers and the pixels are simply pixels the same as all others... It's basically just an SPI or otherwise encoded data string and power down 3 or 4 wires, stripping out the first address, using it for itself and passing the rest on to the next chip
     
  5. Superman

    Superman I Have C.L.A.P and its very infectious Global Moderator

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    Sort of agree: there are DMX controllers that can run intelligent striip as well, so its not just e131. I define a pixel as a single 2801 node like on the strings, a 3 led module or a 3 LED section on a digital strip.Basiacally anything that can be controlled as a single item. this wouldn't even exclude 3 RGB single LED's that could be controlled by a DC controller. I view a pixel as anything that can be 1 controllable dot in the big picture.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    So what you guys are saying is that a pixel is:

    An individually controlled section/light that has an embedded IC chip that uses communication data to control each section/light. i.e. intelligent strip, intelligent modules and intelligent strings.
     
  7. Beacy

    Beacy It's so much better on the dark side

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    Yep sounds good to me
     
  8. OP
    OP
    fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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  9. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

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    What is an embedded IC chip? You and I know what it is but .....

    How about,

    A pixel is an individually controllable RGB or RGB cluster on a string or strip or module. These are sometimes referred to as Intelligent strips, strings or modules.
     
  10. TimW

    TimW Full Time Elf

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    How about (in our context...)

    "Pixel: An individual RGB light/section that receives both power and data to determine its colour and level".

    - 'Dumb" lights just get power. (A 'conventional controller' controls the lights by switching power to them)

    - Pixels get data and power. (A 'pixel controller' sends data to control each pixel. The pixel intelligently interprets the data and glows accordingly )
     
  11. OP
    OP
    fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    I do like this definition as its simple and concise and in line with the same thinking that i have of what a pixel is.
     
  12. Slite

    Slite Full Time Elf

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    "A 'pixel controller' sends data to control each pixel. The pixel intelligently interprets the data and glows accordingly "

    I do have a bit of problem with the wording on that. If you read it as a noob=me, you can get the impression that the controller sends the data to each individual pixel, which it doesnt. I think it should be rephrased to reflect trhe fact that the controller just sends out the data and the pixel in itself handles the processing of the data.
     
  13. dropbear_luke

    dropbear_luke Full Time Elf

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    As a new comer to this hobby this definiton is really good. clear, concise and to the point.
    Cheers,
    Luke
     
  14. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    [SIZE=medium]I know the term Pixel has come to mean a LED with a local IC for control, but i think to cement that as the definition is wrong.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=medium]I believe we should adopt the a Pixel definition in line with Wikipedia.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=medium]Take the definition as is.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=medium]just stealing Tim's notes to make.[/SIZE]


    [SIZE=medium]Intelligent Lights:[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=medium]An individual RGB light/section/module that receives both power [/SIZE]and data to determine its colour and level". This would be inline with the commercial lighting industry as well.

    Dumb Lights:- 'Dumb" lights just get power. (A conventional controller' controls the lights by switching power to them)




    Once you define Intelligent and Dumb Lights either can be used to form a Pixel, To the viewer that sees a single 8mm RGB LED that
    independently changes colours to the one next to it, there is no difference if the Intelligence is built in or is located 30 feet away on a separate control board.I disagree with defining pixels as having the IC built in... that is just an Intelligent Node on the string.

    I remember Tim and I discussing this a couple years ago.... Pixel is so contentious that it may be easier to just drop the term as much as possible.

    cheers
    Phil
     
  15. cenote

    cenote Suburbs of Philadelphia

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    Not being a smart ass here..but what wrong in making a push to phrase it as a "node"? Or is there a difference between nodes and pixels?
     

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