How is "16.7 million colors" in a display calculated?

Also, is it a software or a hardware thing (the 16.7 million colors)?


1 Answer 1


Each color red, green, blue that makes a pixel has a range of 0 to 255. So each of the colors has 256 possible settings. 256*256*256=16.77 million possible colors.

  • $\begingroup$ How do they know that each RGB sequence is an unique color? Or do they merely "guess" that "maybe it produces ~16.7 million distinct colors". $\endgroup$
    – mavavilj
    Nov 25, 2017 at 8:33
  • $\begingroup$ There are an infinite number of colours - the standard RGB division of 0 to 255 intensity increments is arbitrary and based on 8bit data architecture. We could just as well divide the colour intensities into 1024 shades in which case we would have 1024 * 1024 * 1024 = 1073 MILLION distinct colours. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2017 at 15:30

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