When people talk about digital signage displays, they’re really talking about TVs. Many people assume that when they’re ready to create digital signage, they can just walk into Costco or Best Buy and pick out the cheapest TV that they see. They’re not entirely wrong. But consider this: let’s say your boss tells you that you need to pick out a work phone, so you can reply to email on the go; so you go to Target and you pick the cheapest phone you can find--it’s a flip phone; as it turns out, the phone does let you check email, but it does so in the most bare-bones way that it really doesn’t suit your purpose--unless you happen to be the person who enjoys replying to emails with a numeric keypad. That’s kind of what it’s like to just pick up the cheapest TV you can find for digital signage.
So how do you pick the right display? This short guide will help you.
A lot of people don’t know that there are actually two types of TVs on the market: commercial and consumer. If you saw them side-by-side, you might not even notice a difference. The commercial display would be more expensive, but on the surface, that might be the only noticeable difference.
If they look the same, then what is the difference?
It really comes down to the wear and tear. Consumer displays are built for home use where they aren’t left on all day. Commercial displays are built to be left on for long periods of time, the picture is typically brighter, and they will often come with a warranty more friendly to the how you are using it. While any display can be used 24/7, commercial grade TVs are built for it--that means they have a cooling system in place to help increase the lifespan. You can get a very thin frame (i.e. the black border case that goes around your TV) on both consumer and commercial displays, but you are more likely to see it on consumer TVs than commercial ones. Commercial grade displays also have multiple inputs you do not normally see on consumer displays (such as VGA). Finally, if portrait mode is important to you, then remember that while this is usually a standard feature on commercial displays, you aren’t likely to see it on consumer ones.
You also aren’t likely to see a commercial display in your brick and mortar; if your heart is set on buying a commercial display, then the best place to look is online retailers like Newegg or Amazon, or directly from the manufacturer.
At the end of the day, the best display for you is really based on your budget and needs. It’s not uncommon to see 40 inch HDTVs on sale for under $200. For that price, you obviously aren’t going to get the most high-end features, but that doesn’t mean the TV is a lemon. Will it work for digital signage? Absolutely! Will it work well? That’s a different story. It will likely have 1080p picture, so that’s good; but if you are using the TV in a brightly lit hallway, then that beautifully sharp picture will be very hard to see. And if you are just using a few images that rotate periodically, then you might start experiencing screen burn-in--when this happens, part of the image burns into the screen.
Regardless of if you decide to get a consumer or commercial grade display, there are things that should go into your buying decision:
You have a TV, but what about a Media Player? Here’s a post that addresses some of the common questions we see about that.
Once you have your display and your digital signage software is set up, here are a few things you can do with your presentation:
If you still are on the fence about what display to get for your digital signage, feel free to reach out to our team.