- October 11, 2023
Expert advice: what to look for when choosing a smart display for business?
What you look at first when choosing a TV for your living room will be very different from what you should look at when choosing a screen for a business where you want to actively and efficiently control content from a distance. The differences are determined by the nature of the use of the screen, the intensity of use and, of course, the purpose of the screen: will it be used in an office or a shop, or maybe in a factory or a hotel? Aleksandr Jakovlev, Brand Manager at ACC Distribution, talks about the specifics of business displays.
Will you use it to display photo or video content, or maybe TV broadcasts? How will you control the display and the content – simply by USB or remotely with far more control options from your PC? Or do you want to make the display interactive and control it with a single touch? And of course, the intensity of use: how many hours a day will your display be working continuously and how bright a picture do you need?
According to an ACC Distribution expert, displays can look identical visually and cost radically different: it’s all in the characteristics of the display – the matrix, the processor, the functionality and many other features that are invisible at first glance, but which are crucial for the life-time of the display.
By the way, manufacturers often encode a lot of important information in the display model names themselves: for example, in LG’s 43UH5J-H, the first two numbers indicate the diagonal size – 43″, the middle two indicate the resolution (UHD), while the 5J indicates the brightness – 500 Nit. Among commercial displays, the TOP brands that have been in the top for years are Samsung, LG, Sony, Philips and Panasonic.
It is true that the coding is different for each manufacturer and there is no need to learn it. It is much more important that you work out what your needs are – what you will use the display for and what it will be used for – as this will determine its specifications.
How do I choose a commercial display?
“My most important advice to anyone planning to buy a commercial display: if you don’t know something, don’t hesitate to ask the experts. Don’t think that they will try to offer you the most expensive solution – on the contrary, it is in the highest interest of an experienced professional to sell you the most suitable solution so that you could be successful, satisfied, and would come back when you need other devices or advice,” says Aleksandr Jakovlev, Business Display Expert at “ACC Distribution“.
He identifies a number of parameters to consider when choosing a commercial display for your business:
– Up- time: whether you need a display that will run 24/7 or whether for shorter time (16/7) will be sufficient – the difference between these options will be reflected in the price of the display;
– Brightness: yes, you might have dismissed this when choosing a TV for your living room, but if you’re going to hang commercial screens in sunlit shop windows, brightness will be the decisive criteria.
Brightness is measured in identical values of cd/m2 or Nit – it’s up to the manufacturers to choose which value to use in their product descriptions. By comparison, even the simplest commercial displays have a brightness of 300 cd/m2, i.e. brighter than ordinary TV sets. However, they are designed for environments without direct sunlight. In contrast, screens that will have to compete with intense sunlight needs to be extremely bright, with a brightness factor of at least 2 500 cd/m2 or even 4 000 cd/m2;
– the hanging direction: commercial screens can be hung not only in the usual horizontal Landscape direction but also in the vertical Portrait direction. So if you plan to use your display in a vertical position, you need to make sure that your display is designed for it: otherwise, hanging a display in a vertical position for horizontal use will significantly shorten its lifetime – over time, the matrix will begin to exhibit “wear” in various areas, leading to a decline in image quality.
– size: although, unlike a conventional TV, diagonal size is not a top priority, it is a decision that will have to be made, especially as “ACC Distribution“ can offer a very wide range of commercial screen sizes, from 7″ to 110″;
– resolution: although this parameter sounds similar to brightness, it means something very different. And fortunately, you won’t have to worry too much about this parameter – virtually all commercial displays on the market have the highest resolution – 4K. The exception is 32″ and smaller: because the human eye can’t detect the difference in resolution between 4K and FHD (Full HD) on displays of this size, they support FHD resolution;
– bezel thickness: this will be important if you want to install a full video wall – where several smaller displays are combined into one large one. In this case, you will be concerned about the so-called bezel – the thickness of the frame in millimeters. The smaller the bezel, the more seamless your video wall will be. The narrowest bezel currently available is just 0.44 mm thick!
– Interactivity: these are the touchscreens without which modern schools, factories, self-service checkouts and various devices are no longer imaginable.
Mistakes that cost money
In the experience of electronics repair shops, the more common household TVs can sometimes have faulty screens, motherboards or power supplies. Similar problems can sometimes occur with commercial displays, but when they do, it is very rare – simply because they are built for hard work, are more resilient and longer lasting.
According to an expert at ACC Distribution, this is why one of the most common and costly mistakes is the purchase of a household TV for company use: not only because the device is not designed for heavy use, but also because it is not covered by the technical warranty in case of failure. So in this case, a “frugal solution” can turn into a costly mistake.
Another common mistake is buying a screen with a diagonal that is too small, which eventually turns into an unpleasant compromise: it is not comfortable to use, the functions are insufficient – but it is not enough to make the investment to buy the right sized device again. Unlike in the case of a household TV, where the diagonal size can be calculated according to the expected viewing distance in the room, in business there are often many more nuances and important details to consider and where experienced professionals can help you to make the right decision.
LED or LCD?
LCD, LED, OLED, dvLED displays differ in their principle of operation and each has its own advantages:
– LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display and refers to a liquid crystal display that uses fluorescent lamps at the back of the screen as the light source. Compared to the others mentioned, this technology was the first to appear, is older but cheaper, and is therefore still popular.
– LED (Light-Emitting Diodes) displays work on a similar principle to LCDs, but the light source is a diode – essentially an improved version of LCDs, which are currently the biggest sellers in the market.
– OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) is a solution in which each light-emitting diode (LED) shines independently. It is technologically far superior, thinner and lighter – but also more expensive.
– Another fast-growing technological solution, dvLED (Direct View LED), is distinguished by the fact that the LEDs are mounted directly in the panel, so that the display does not need a housing at all.
The technology you choose will depend on both your business needs and your capabilities: LCD displays have high detail but lower brightness than LEDs, which are also more energy efficient and can help reduce energy costs in businesses that need a large display system. On the other hand, LED technology is more expensive – so for indoor applications where high brightness is not required, a lower cost LCD will be a good fit.