Written by Laurence

What is the difference between rgb, rgbw and wrgb pixels?

The screen of a 4K (UHD) television features an RGB, RGBW, or WRGB pixel structure. Each screen has the same number of pixels, but produces color in different ways. An RGBW structure contains both colored and white pixels, for example. On this page, I'll explain the differences between these structures.


A TV screen is actually a grid that's made up of a fixed number of pixels per resolution. A 4K screen is 3,840 pixels high and 2,160 pixel wide, for example. In total, this numbers of 8 million pixels. An RGB television fills this grid with rows that consist of 3 pixel colors: red, green, and blue. These rows are repeated until the entire screen is filled. Because each pixel produces a color, the color representation is sharp and realistic.


With a RGBW screen, each row of 3 colored pixels is alternated with a white pixel. This means that 25% of the screen is made up of color, but of white light. If you exclude all of these white pixels, the television actually has a resolution of 2,880 by 2,160 pixels. This results in a less realistic color representation and less sharp screen, compared to an RGB television.


An OLED screen features its own pixel structure, called WRGB. Instead of utilizing rows of different pixels, like RGBW, each pixel is identical. These pixels can independently produce color and white light. This is possible because each pixel consists of red, green, blue, and white sub pixels stacked on top of each other. With help of a filter, only the desired colors are shown. This technology helps ensure an extra accurate color representation.

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