Shopping for digital signage displays is vastly different than shopping for flat-screen televisions for one’s home. When looking into purchasing displays for digital signage, the primary driver needs to be quality, not cost.
Consumer-grade displays Consumer-grade LCDs are inexpensive and usually easily available. However, they do not come with extended warranties, usually only having warranty periods of a few months to a year. The screen performance and brightness are limited and do not last long in the scheme of things. Consumer-grade displays usually do not have a screen saver capability in case the video signal is lost, nor is an automatic on/off switch feature available.
Commercial-grade displays In contrast, commercial-grade LCDs are designed specifically for the rigors of commercial digital signage applications and, as such, cost more. Digital signage usage differs significantly from consumer display usage, with displays needing to be on for longer hours. The hardware in commercial-grade displays enables more effective operation in commercial environments. Heat dissipation plates, cooling fans, and other electronics are components that enable these displays to be on for long hours with economical power consumption.
Other features in commercial grade LCDs may include video-wall processors, scheduling options, and lockable control panels. Commercial displays can be rotated, meaning they can be hung horizontally (landscape) or vertically (portrait). This flexibility enables businesses to use displays in a way that fits space requirements and desired look and feel of the environment. The bezel on commercial signage displays is uniform, unlike on consumer-grade TV screens, and usually much thinner than consumer-grade bezels. This enables creative layouts with more than one display.
Commercial displays also usually have warranties of several years. The industry standard warranty starts at three years, and some manufacturers are starting to offer standard five-year warranties.
Other video display options Projected A front or rear LCD/DLP projector is a compact device that projects an image on a screen. These devices are handy for trade shows, meetings, or anywhere it would be impractical to bring along a full-sized monitor.
OLED Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays are the displays of the future. They’re lightweight, thin, and energy-saving but not yet available at a price that makes them practical for general use.
Video-wall specific displays These can be LED video cubes or rear-projection cubes that are designed to be stacked on one another for a virtually seamless video wall display.
Additional Resources: 5 Things to consider when choosing a video display Buying tips: Plasma v. LCD screens