There have been a number of blogs and articles recently considering the differences between consumer TV’s and commercial monitors for use in digital signage. Many interesting points have been raised and argued but to jump to the conclusion it seems very clear that for a lot of professionals there remain important differences despite the relentless pace of development in consumer products.
So what are these differences:
- Reliability was a significant issue with some commentators questioning how this was validated. Also in this context it was pointed out repeatedly that the warranty on consumer models does not support commercial use.
- Power supplies were identified as a primary issue affecting reliability. Indeed in the Integre we use over spec’d high quality power supplies with the option of dual supplies with power balancing and fail-over protection.
- Inputs & connectors: There is no question that many consumer models have a reduced number of video signal inputs, this is the sort of restriction that affects complete system design so it is quite understandable that a good choice of signal inputs was identified as important.
- Temperature and Air-flow management: Consumer TV’s are designed to be used in landscape mode for a limited number of hours a day at ‘room temperature’. The expectations of commercial display systems usually go well beyond this.
- RS-232: It was interesting to note that this was raised as an issue, see our earlier blog re RS-232 lives on.
- Remote monitoring and control: This is not a possibility with consumer models that stop a long way short of what is possible with commercial units, for example control and monitoring of fans, backlight, runtime, on/off and a myriad of other diagnostics.
- Panel options: Many commercial applications require high bright panels, something that is simply not an option on consumer models.
- Quality of electronics in the sub-assemblies: We can vouch for the fact that components vary greatly in their specification which in turn will affect their reliability and longevity.
Furthermore with the introduction of 3D (with glasses) and connectivity increasingly focused on other consumer devices the chances are that the differences between consumer and commercial models may grow rather than reduce.