Commercial Display vs Consumer TV for Digital Signage – which is best?

Electronics store to show LG and Samsung screens

We are often asked why customers should spend the extra money to install a commercial display rather than use a consumer TV that can be bought at a fraction of the price from the high street.
There is a saying that fits very well in this scenario – “Buy cheap, buy twice”.

The key reason for using a commercial display, such as the supported models from Samsung, LG and Philips is that TVs are designed for the home environment.

Here are a few key features that commercial displays offer:

  • Higher Brightness options
  • Longer operating hours – up to 24/7 usage
  • More comprehensive warranty
  • Portrait orientation
  • Video wall options
  • Built in media player

Why are these important?

The key reason for installing a digital signage system is to communicate information, so it makes sense to ensure that the investment made in this technology is being delivered clearly, and at all times. Commercial displays are more likely to be easier to read due to higher brightness, last longer and perform better, provide different options for content types and can be quickly swapped out should there be any technical issues.

So, what seemed like a good commercial decision to buy a cheaper consumer TV, can work out more expensive in the longer term.

What makes a commercial display more expensive?

If you have investigated the cost of a commercial display vs a consumer TV of the same size you will have seen a significant price difference, but why is this?

The main reason for the higher price tag is due to the components, but this seems a little generalist, so lets drill down further on this.

Panel – commercial displays use a much higher grade of LCD panel, which provides some of the benefits listed above, longer usage, better brightness, and the ability to rotate the display into portrait mode.

Internal components – again these are designed for long term use, but also provide key features, such as video wall processing, built in media player, and better cooling.

Chassis – TVs tend to be made with a low grade plastic chassis, and can be easily damaged during installation or over the life of the display. Commercial displays will be much more robust and better suited to public areas.

Another key area of cost is the warranty. As mentioned previously, the warranty that normally comes with a consumer TV is for 1 year, and would require you to remove the display and return to the store it was purchased from. Commercial displays will come with a comprehensive warranty, generally for 3 years, and will include a swap out of the hardware to ensure you are not left with a blank space on the wall. Some manufacturers even offer a complete service where they will replace the unit on location.

Corporate reception showing many different examples of how screens can be used in the workplace

How do I choose the right commercial display?

OK, so hopefully you can now see the benefits of a commercial display, so the next question will be which one do you choose.

Here are a few things to consider when selecting a display:

There are many more things that can influence your decision when selecting the right display for your requirements, and we are happy to advise on these.

Below is an example of how we supported a customer to ensure they got the best solution possible:

Charlie Craigs, Collaboration Sales Specialist, Softcat Plc

When our customer informed me of their intention to purchase standard TVs from Amazon to facilitate their digital signage requirement I thought right away it was worth checking whether they were on Signagelive’s compatibility list and I’m glad I did.

 With their guidance we were able to outline the pitfalls of utilising consumer grade technology in place of commercial grade to the customer as well as present a cost saving overview of Signagelive compatible displays vs standard TVs with Media Players being added in.

 Overall the customer was very pleased about being able to present a cost saving whilst implementing a digital signage solution that would allow seamless and efficient updates/information to be displayed throughout the customers physical site and that was still supported under warranty.