Widgets Magazine

Commercial versus Consumer Displays

Know the Difference Between Commercial and Consumer Displays

Need to install a few displays in your building or campus? Stuck deciding between commercial and consumer displays? Once you’ve determined the size, content to be displayed, and location of the displays, you are ready to price out your options. Here is where it gets tricky as the less expensive display might not be the best option for you. There are a few key differences between commercial and consumer displays that can impact your decision.
Definition of commercial and consumer displays
Commercial displays are available via the professional audio visual industry from a trusted integrator or distributor. They typically do not include a TV tuner or built-in speakers, but some models do include an integrated tuner and/or speakers. Table stands are usually not included with commercial displays.
Consumer displays are typically found in the big box houses or departments stores. Some models may also be available from a distributor as well. Consumer displays typically include a tuner and have built-in speakers, as these are intended for home use. Consumer displays usually include a table stand. Many consumer displays are also Smart TVs which allow you to access a variety of apps and streaming options.
All Warranties Are Not Created Equal
Commercial displays typically have a 3-year warranty. Many manufacturers offer extended warranties for purchase on top of that. Commercial displays provide models that can operate 24/7 for digital signage or for command and control centers.
Consumer displays have warranties that range from 90 days to 1 year. Consumer displays are not rated for 24/7 operation, and most manufacturers will void the warranty if the displays have been used that way.
Inputs and Outputs
Some purchasers assume all displays include the digital inputs and outputs they need. Often it’s not until after they purchase consumer displays that they realize it doesn’t have the correct inputs and outputs.
Consumer displays will typically have HDMI, USB, component video, and composite video inputs (although component and composite are quickly becoming obsolete). Most include a couple of HDMI outputs as well as an integrated learning remote control. Commercial displays will typically have all of those connections plus VGA for legacy use. The commercial displays  typically have a simpler remote if any as well as having less connections available.
One of the major differences between commercial and consumer displays is being able to control it beyond the remote control. Commercial displays usually include a RS-232C, Ethernet, or IR Remote connection, while consumer displays typically only include IR. This difference is important when you are integrating multiple displays throughout a building and need to control content distribution as well as when the displays should be on or off. Additionally there are more options for Commercial displays, such as having an integrated computer to make digital signage easier to deploy. Also typically the color is more consistent between units in a Commercial product.
Next Steps
What does the AVNation team thinks are the best AV displays? Listen to AVWeek Episode 255 to learn about the new WiFi Alliance certification that promotes 4K streaming. The team discusses their ideas about the best displays for different AV applications in this episode.

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