Consumer LED Screens in a Sports Bar? Bad Idea
published onMarch 11, 2016

Samsung Consumer LED

Back about 5 years ago, just as consumer HDTV screens started dropping in price and growing in size, manufacturers decided it was okay to put a 3-year commercial warranty on some of their higher-quality consumer model screens and sell them for commercial use. Most of the major manufacturers, including LG, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony, did it, and they sold a lot of screens.

Integrators took advantage, as the best integrators are always looking at products that save our customers money. We knew, in our hearts, the difference between consumer and commercial models, but it’s hard to educate the customers on why this 65-inch Samsung screen is so vastly difference from that 65″ Samsung LED.

Samsung Hospitality Series LED TV

Samsung Hospitality Series LED TV

So we spec’ed the screens and for many years, everyone was happy. And then things changed. These screens started going, one by one. This recently happened to one of our customers, and we’ve been rolling trucks to replace the screens with Samsung 690 Hospitality Series commercial screens. We’re on number 17 and, at some point, we may just replace all the existing screens in the venue at once without waiting for the others to go.

We should add that commercial LG screens we spec’ed in a similar venue, owned by the same people, are on year eight and still going strong. It has nothing to do with the brand, and everything to do with the fact that the commercial screens are rated for long hours of long-term use.

So what’s the difference between a consumer and a commercial flat screen? There are several differences we’ll outline below, so you can make an educated decision on which screens you want in your sports bar, restaurant, night club or hotel.

Mount Them Any Way You Like

JD Systems sometimes get creative in our layout of HDTV screens and video walls. Commercial screens are typically known for an ultra-thin (read: invisible) bezel for video wall applications. Additionally, with some screens, you can hang them in a portrait, landscape, even diagonal configuration to help create a visually appealing environment above the bar or anyplace else you want to draw attention.

If you mount a consumer screen in any other configuration beyond landscape – or if you use them more than 4 to 6 hours a day — you will void the warranty. ‘Nuff said.

Commercial Screens Don’t Mind a Bit of Grease

Commercial screens are designed to withstand dust, corrosion, heat, and grease, says Samsung in this white paper explaining why you want pro quality screens hanging in your venue. The matte finish on the glass, also, reduces glare. If you’re hanging screens for outdoor patio use or on a rooftop bar in Manhattan, you need commercial screens in a waterproof enclosure.

Multiple Inputs Keep It Interesting

Yes, we’re still talking about HDTV screens – we promise. While your consumer screen offers a few RCA, cable, and HDMI inputs, commercial screens offer endless variations, making it easy to feed digital signage applications, cable and satellite feeds, and more. Most commercial screens will have

PC inputs, serial ports, VGA, RCA, and cable inputs, plus RS-232 connectivity for two-way communications between the screen and a Crestron or AMX control system. These screens are also IP-addressable which means – yes, you, too, can have the Internet of Things (IoT) right in your sports bar or restaurant.

Commercial Screens Keep Going All Night

You can’t beat the quality of commercial screens from top brands like Sharp, Samsung and LG. From encasements and hardware that is of a higher quality, to cooling components and bezels designed to permit commercial screens to run for extended hours (without voiding the warranty), the quality in a commercial screen is discernible in the long-term.

You Get What You Pay For

It’s like the difference between Skyy and Smirnoff. Not everyone will notice the difference in quality right away, but many people will. In the case of consumer LED screens, your hangover won’t hit for several years. And then your cheap screens, tired of all the abuse, will quit on you the night before the big game.

This is why JD Systems will only spec quality commercial screens in sports bars and restaurants across the New York Tri-state area. You deserve the best. Your customers deserve the best. And this is one situation where cutting corners just doesn’t pay, especially as screens up to 70 inches have become incredibly affordable in the past few years. These screens won’t burn out, burn-in, or become obsolete before your venue is ready for a new design, anyway.

Are your screens going? Are you ready for an audio video upgrade?

See what JD Systems can do for you…