The biggest reason to use commercial grade lcd digital signage displays is that they are designed specifically for the demands and usage of digital signage. Commercial lcd displays are designed specifically for long hours of use. Commercial screens include additional hardware inside to allow them to operate effectively in commercial environments. These components include heat dissipation plates, electronics and cooling fans that allow them to be used for long hours with economical power consumption. Commercial lcd displays are rated for over 50,000 hours of use and can be used in businesses that run for between 16 and 24 hours a day. The expected life of these displays has been steadily growing over the past several year. Consumer models are rated to last approximately half this amount of time in total hours, and should not be used for more than 8 hours at a time.
Commercial displays provide the flexibility to be hung either horizontal (landscape) or vertical (portrait). This flexibility allows businesses to use displays in a way that fits the space requirements and desired look and feel of the environment. Consumer displays are not designed to hang vertically, both form a visual design as well as an engineering point of view. The bezel (frame) on a consumer display is usually not even all the way around and will look odd when turned vertical. The bezel on commercial displays are uniform all the way around, and manufacturers are now focusing on having the smallest bezel possible. This makes the bezel less of a focus, and allows the display and content to be the focus. Not only is the look of the display odd (with large and odd shaped bezels), but the electronics inside are not designed to be tipped on their side and operated. Commercial displays have small, uniform bezels and are designed to be used either portrait or landscape.
The warranty on a commercial display is 3 years (some manufacturers are expanding this to 5 years) on-site parts and labor, and have no restrictions for the environment that you are using the display. Consumer models vary in length of warranty, and typically require you to pack up the monitor and send/bring it someplace for repair. Consumer warranties are also sometime voided if the display is used in a commercial environment.
The overall quality between commercial and consumer displays is different as well. Consider the fact that a commercial display does not include components for tuning a television or playing audio. Instead, all of the components inside are specifically geared toward quality use in a commercial environment. One of the new trends in displays is modification of image signal (particularly on the HDMI) input in order to make broadcast playback look better. While these “enhancements” of the picture may make your football game look great, they will do terrible things to the look of your digital signage content.
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