16-Bit Color

On a computer monitor, a color display in which each pixel (or smallest point of color) is described by 16 bits of information. (One bit is either a 1 or a 0; 16-Bit color can be thought of as one of these two numbers taken to the sixteenth power; thus 216 = 65,536 possible colors.) The color of a pixel on a computer display is commonly expressed as some amount of red, green, and blue. Greater numbers of combinations of these amounts require more processing power on the part of the computer. At 16 bits per pixel, a total of 65,536 colors (commonly referred to simply as "thousands of colors") can be described and displayed. This color depth is greater than the standard and/or required setting for many CD-ROMs and multimedia programs (which usually have difficulty handling greater than 8-Bit color), but it is usually insufficient for high-quality graphic arts reproduction. See also 8-Bit Color, 24-Bit Color, and 32-Bit Color. Computer monitors can also display 1-Bit color (black and white, or any two colors) and 4-Bit color (16 colors).

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