Last month, we discussed many of the features and benefits of a “TV,” or consumer model display. This is part two, where we will delve into the features and benefits of a commercial display.

Getting this out of the way, yes, a commercial display costs more, sometimes a lot more. Are they worth the additional cost? In most cases, yes!

The first and foremost benefit is the warranty. Hands down, if you are using the display for, say a lobby and it will be on seven days a week, 14 hours a day…that’s a lot of on time! Some commercial displays are even rated for 24-hour use (great for 24-hour eateries). A consumer TV used for a commercial purpose will actually have no warranty, voiding out the basic 90-day labor and one-year parts warranty.

A commercial display will typically have a three-year parts and labor warranty, and no, you do not have to have that 70-inch display removed and sent in for service (leaving an unsightly space on your wall). Service will come to you! In fact, some manufacturers even offer advance replacement.

Probably the second-most beneficial aspect of a commercial display is control. Whether RS-232 (serial) or network (LAN), these displays can be remotely controlled by a control system. Having the ability to turn the display on and off remotely is an important factor with so many new construction projects looking for the tax advantages of LEED certification. There are even room sensors that will turn the display off if it is left on after everyone has left the space. The sensor sends a signal to the control system, and the control system shuts the display off after a pre-programmed period of time.

Orientation is a big necessity as well. While consumer displays can only be used in landscape mode, a commercial display can be rotated 90 degrees and used in portrait mode as well. This is common for a courthouse to display records outside the courtroom, restaurants to display a menu, and retail stores to display advertising, to name a few applications. All of these are categorized as “digital signage.” Many commercial models that are targeted for digital signage even have a built-in digital signage player or a space for you to add one.

There are other more conventional applications, such as for video conferencing in a meeting room, or collaborating teams in a huddle space. While these uses are typically not as demanding as digital signage applications, they too benefit from using a commercial model.

Some of the other benefits of a commercial display over a consumer TV are:

  • Commercial displays are brighter, which adds up to higher ease of viewing in well-lit or bright spaces.
  • Commercial displays that are targeted for the hospitality industry have advanced capabilities of control, locking out many functions you would not want the user to have access to.
  • Commercial displays also offer more flexible connectivity. DisplayPort and DVI are often still used in addition to HDMI. Some models designed for a video wall application even have a looped output, so you can chain displays together.
  • Some commercial displays have advanced windowing capability. You can input as many as four discrete signals and choose (via control) whether to show any two in a split screen, all four, a picture-in-picture, or any one image without adding an expensive windowing
  • The actual glass itself is thicker to prevent damage. Many even offer touch-screen capability where, just like on a cell phone or tablet, you can interact with the display. (This is often used in classroom and other collaborative spaces.)
  • Many commercial displays offer a built-in amplifier that can power ceiling or wall mounted loudspeakers and/or an audio output that can feed a dedicated power amplifier for more robust sound than the built-in loudspeakers.

As you can see, commercial displays offer quite a lot of features and benefits, which means a great return on your investment. Let us know if you have any additional questions on what type of display you need. Please e-mail us at engineering@exhibitone.com.