Consumer vs. Commercial Displays: How to Choose

by Nicole Weaver, FH Digital Signage Marketing


How do I chose whether to go with a consumer or commercial display for my digital signage? Why is this important?  Judging from the outward appearance, consumer and commercial displays appear similar. However, not all displays are created equal. The displays are designed differently for each environment they’ll be used in.

Commercial displays offer many features consumer displays don’t have, including internal parts differentiating the two.

Typically, commercial environments (i.e. hospitals, restaurants, retail complexes, etc.) are much more demanding than an in-home environment. Businesses likely require displays to run during open hours or longer,  inside as well as outdoors. Commercial displays come with durable components, able to withstand 24-hours a day, 365-days a year usage.

Some important things to consider when selecting a display are:

  • Commercial grade displays have components that are designed for the commercial environment, which include better power supplies, superior cooling, longer panel life, operating ability designed to perform 24/7/365.
  • Commercial displays will typically come with a two to three year warranty versus the one year warranty  for a consumer grade display.
  • Manufacturers of the commercial display offer an extended warranty options for one- or two-years.
  • Commercial displays typically come with onsite warranty service, saving the need for the hardware expertise, time to repair and cost for shipping defective product back to the manufacturer.
  • Commercial displays are designed to have longer life spans, approximately 50,000 to 60,000 hours of lifetime use, equivalent to using the display 24/7, for seven years.
  • A consumer grade display warranty can be negated or invalid from the manufacturer if used for commercial purposes.
  • Consumer displays are designed to run typically four to five hours a day.

A major feature of commercial displays are that they are designed specifically for compatibility with PCs and AV standards. Benefits include:

  1. VESA compliant standard mounting connections to complement standard industry mounting devices.
  2. Extensive advanced features such as anti burn-in and image-retention.
  3. Operation is twice as bright as a consumer grade display
  4. Non-glare features so reflections don’t wash out colors or impede viewing of the content on the display. This feature makes the screen easy to view in an extremely high and/or bright environment.
  5. Shine-out deflects ambient light, helping to avoid color wash out. This is important if the display is placed in the front window of a storefront, near entrances, outside courtyards, and/or other outdoor conditions.
  6. Lock-out the control panel of the display. This prevents unauthorized parties from changing the display, volume, etc.

An article in the Digital Signage Connection said it best:

Ask yourself how would you [like to] take down a 60-inch display and deliver or ship it to a service center for repair, then re-install it. It would be costly and time consuming to get warranty service with a consumer display. Just for the onsite service (vs. consumer) alone, it’s worth the small difference in cost for the commercial displays.

Put our years of expertise to the test, and find out how the Federal Heath’s full suite of visual communications solutions can help you connect and engage with your customers.

One call to Federal Heath Digital Signage takes care of all service issues, when the display is purchased through FH Digital Signage. Call us at 877.620.SIGN or email

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