Before diving into computers (a.k.a. playback devices), let's first look at some points that you should pay attention to when choosing a TV Screen (or better: a display).
Pro Or Consumer-grade?
There is always the question whether you should choose an (often cheaper) consumer-grade screen or a professional signage screen. In general we think that you should look at buying a professional screens when any of the following situations apply to you:
- You're hanging the screen in a very bright environment (e.g. in a shopping window or even outside): you're much better off with a high-brightness screen.
- You want a video wall or other configuration of screens that are close to each other; professional screens usually have the smallest bezels (without brand names printed on them)
- You're hanging the screen in a public, unguarded environment: you'll might want a "vandal-proof" screen.
- You're hanging multiple of the same screens in a row: professional screens can be post-ordered for many years, making it much easier to replace a single screen should one of them break.
- You want to manage the screens remotely: professional screens often provide a platform for that, which let's you configure the screens remotely, install apps on them, etc.
- You want a screen with a built-in powerful player: a Smart TV is a TV screen with a built-in player, but that's generally very underpowered. If you want a screen with a capable computer built in then a professional screen is your best bet.
When buying a TV you should also consider its energy usage. An older model might be cheaper to buy but if it uses more electricity it will cost you more in the end. Most signage screens run for more than 8 hours a day at least 5 days a week. Electricity usage of comparable TV models varies more than 50W, what can easily save you $50 per year.
Configuring Your TV Screen
Here are a few tips for when you are connecting a TV Screen for signage purposes:
- Especially consumer-grade TVs come with special purpose color modes that might yield very different colors than what you're seeing in your designer. Be sure to choose a color setting that matches the colors you've set in your designer.
- TVs often have an energy-saving mode, which automatically turns off the TV after some time of seemingly inactivity. Be sure to deactivate such a feature.