When you decide to invest in a television as a substitute for a Digital Signage display you are on a countdown to failure. The screens we all have in our homes and the screens we see in commercial applications may look similar but they serve two very different purposes. A television is built as an entertainment unit for the home while Digital Signage displays are crafted to meet the tough demands of commercial environments. In this article I am going to tell you why you shouldn’t use a television as a Digital Signage display.
One of the main reasons why you shouldn’t use a television as a Digital Signage display is that it simply does not have the functions to do effectively. In its most basic form a Digital Signage display uses an integrated Media Player that can run specialised Digital Signage software that once a USB is inserted can allow images and videos to be played in a constant loop. At its most advanced stage it can allow for webpages to be displayed as well as RSS feeds, live television feeds and multiple images and videos all in one display on screen. Whether by uploading content via a USB or via a cloud CMS system, the user is always in control of what is displaying on screen with Digital Signage. A television is built to be accessible by multiple people and that is why they have user friendly buttons and controls on the display. Televisions will always have an internal TV tuner to receive a signal, while more modern ‘Smart TV’s’ may have some form of basic media player, these only usually amount to showing landscape locked slideshows of media and have unrestricted access to web browsers. When using ‘Smart TV’s’ in public there is always a risk of an external force changing the content on the display taking control away from the owner. In a commercial environment only a Digital Signage display provides the security to keep the display running as it should.
One of the most important points to consider is that commercial Digital Signage displays come with an extended warranty period of around 3 years. Whatever warranty you have for a domestic television will not cover for use within a commercial environment. According to Thomas Fraser-Bacon of digital signage company Allsee Technologies Ltd “So for example if a television used in a shop as a Digital Signage display were to cause a fire, this could potentially invalidate your business insurance leaving your investment in tatters.”
Digital Signage displays and televisions may look similar but the way they are manufacturer is very different; Digital Signage displays are built with commercial grade components that allow for them to be in constant usage for 24/7. Based on the higher quality mechanisms found in a Digital Signage display we expect that you should get over 50,000 hours of usage from a Digital Signage display. That is over 5 and half years of a screen being in constant use, a television by comparison cannot do this. They are designed to be more in use for on average 8 hours a day. If in constant use, a the LCD panel in a television will eventually burn out in a matter of months with image retention and major colour issues. A commercial grade Digital Signage display should have temperature control systems in place such as discrete internal fans to keep the display from overheating.
Only a Digital Signage display should be used in a commercial environment. A television is purpose built to meet all the needs in a domestic environment and does so very well. Take it out of that environment though and it is not fit for purpose. Digital Signage displays have been robustly manufactured for commercial needs from their functions, to their warranty to their components. In every single way they outclass a television. While you may save a little bit of money to begin with by choosing to use a television a Digital Signage way, you will most likely have to spend more money replacing that display when it breaks sooner than later. Investing in a commercial grade Digital Signage display is a sure fire way of success.