Consumer vs. Commercial Displays: What’s the Difference?

Posted in: Corporate , Digital Signage , Education , Healthcare , Hospitality and Entertainment , Houses of Worship , Transportation , UC&C

By Lianna Russell on Jun 20, 2019

When someone walks into a department store, conference room or lobby area that contains a monitor to convey information, they may not think much past how the display looks. But choosing the right display is critical to an organization’s goals to provide clarity in messaging and content dissemination.

While many decision makers are drawn to the cost-saving consumer displays that can be bought off the shelf, there are a number of considerations that must be taken into account. So what’s the difference between consumer and commercial displays? We break it down for you:

The Look

Consumer displays often have buttons that can be seen and manually touched by passersby, as well as a design that is more clunky in nature. In many cases, manufacturer’s logos can also be seen, taking away from the cleanliness of aesthetics. Commercial displays, on the other hand, are intentionally designed to not detract from the messaging.

The Display

Commercial products have the capability to project both broadcast television and promotional content, seamlessly able to transition between the two. Consumer products are geared more toward home use and traditionally only for entertainment purposes. Additionally, the brightness on consumer products isn’t ideal for facilities that typically have high-ambient lighting with a potential for a significant amount of glare.

The Functionality

Consumer TVs are limited for inputs, focusing primarily on HDMI, while commercial TVs include a wide variety of ports, such as VGA, DVI, HDMI, Display Port, and video-loop out. Consumer displays are also equipped with RS232 and RJ45 control, making it easier to enable the control panel or remote display management. In contrast, consumer displays don’t generally include RS232 and are limited to on/off switching. In an environment where there are numerous displays throughout a location, ease of use and functionality makes using a consumer-level display problematic to control.

The Security

Commercial displays are equipped with IR and remote lock out in an effort to prevent tampering, while consumer displays can be vulnerable to potential attacks. Additionally, commercial-grade products are often designed with security in mind, especially when connected via a network or to other smart, interconnected devices.

The Longevity

While consumer TVs are built to only withstand between six and eight hours of use, more commercial displays are equipped with better cooling functionality in an effort to support near 24 hours of run time. Commercial TVs are also built with longevity in mind, maintaining longer lifecycles in line with industrial design needs. From a warranty standpoint, commercial-grade displays often have longer warranties to protect a facility in case of malfunction. Consumer displays have shorter warranty windows, which can make it more difficult (and less cost-effective in the long run) in the event of equipment failure.

Displays play an important role in disseminating information to customers and passersby, which can result in a large amount of strain on technology deployed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Taking consumer-driven products and implementing them in a commercial environment can be problematic, so it’s important to know how each works and in what capacity. Vistacom can recommend cost-effective options for achieving dynamic displays no matter how big the project.

Contact us today with all of your questions.

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