Professional displays display professional results

Consumer displays specifications are sometimes clouded with specifications like dynamic contrast instead of listing real usable specifications for initial product reviewing, leading to irresponsible technical conclusions to be created.

This can lead to a misrepresented final obtainable picture quality level. Whether you are considering a seamless flat panel LCD or LED display wall, fine pitch LED display systems or individual large venue LCD or LED monitors be aware that there are many things to consider before you settle on a design.

There is a process in making display choices with many facets and requirements to consider. Some of the requirements carry more weight than others in determining the final choice.

The weighted evaluation scale includes some of the following:

  • Overall space to be visualized with display technology
  • Environmental conditions(is the display rated for outdoor use and bright enough if this is a requirement?)
  • How will the content to be displayed (are you in aspect ratio?)
  • Picture quality, color temp and controls to optimize to camera
  • Ease of control and operation
  • Durability/Life expectancy
  • Reusable, reconfigurable
  • Warranty terms, length and execution ease
  • Length of expandability or replace ability (how long will this version of product be available; consumer grade displays typically change form factor once every 6 months.)
  • Initial purchase cost

Notice that the factor of the initial purchase cost is at the end of this list, not the beginning.

It is not at the end of the list because it is the least important or has the lowest weighting in the choice, it is at the end because the items before it need to be compared and weighed first.

Then, based on the final results, the items that pass the minimum project requirements should then be compared to one another by their initial purchase cost in the choice equation.

When consumer grade displays are chosen over professional grade displays it moves almost all the weighting to the economic column.

The other requirements that impact the choice of display to a greatly diminished level or eliminated completely from the weighted list. If you really need to start the other way with the list, bottom to top, then the real first question that needs answered before going through the display choice process is if visual displays are really needed in the first place.

The design of the professional commercial display system is primarily based on durability and quality of image and those specifications are developed with the professional customer’s applications in mind. These displays are made to operate for a longer periods of time, power cycled more often, and have longer expected lifespans in commercial use applications.

This includes the higher grade of components used within the display, where the mean time between failures data of components in the professional displays is much longer than the consumer displays.

This minimizes service interventions not only for repairs or replacement but also for color and brightness drift that occur much more frequently with consumer displays than the professional units.

This is where that initial cost savings turns into a money pit over the long haul and a constant drag on your day to day have “to do’s” and negatively affects your operating budget. Professional commercial display features also include more variety of mounting options with tiling and portrait modes designed within the panel, minimizing the amount of external processing required, which leads to higher initial costs spent on the front end, which is a higher cost overall than would have been spent on the professional display side.

Also, with tiling such a key requirement of many broadcasters, keep in mind that consumer grade displays cannot tile without an external image control processor to feed each consumer model independently. The additional cost per output channel of a video processor would push the cost of the consumer set up to the cost level of a commercial grade display that is specifically designed to tiel.

Also, most consumer rated displays are rated for landscape use only and placing it in the oft-requested portrait orientation with not only void the manufacturer’s warranty but the heat buildup inside the “TV” will make that display fail very quickly. Plus, when it’s time to  replace it with another you will find that the model you own has been discontinued for the more recent model with a different form factor.

Professional commercial grade displays also offer industry leading warranties usually lasting three or more times as long as the average consumer grade display offering, not to mention the fact that consumer warranties become void if used in commercial applications.

Manufacturers also offer easily administered warranty processes through authorized integrators, with items like advanced replacement in case of operational warranty issues. This is a must in today’s professional broadcast market to ensure the display can be replaced quickly and efficiently and is replaced with a same item for the entire warranty duration of the display.

There are real differences between professional commercial grade and consumer grade displays, which reveal the professional commercial grade displays as having real substantial advantages over consumer grade displays, most manufacturers that produce commercial grade displays offer various different versions.

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These versions offer different levels of quality choices for professional commercial grade displays…the “economy” version typically edge lit LED backlight versus full direct lit LED backlight among other feature sets.

Typically the mullions will get larger as the price goes down as well as whether or not the display is IPS rated or UVA rated.

There is a huge difference between the two technologies with IPS offering a consistent wide angle view maintaining consistent color and brightness off angle.

IPS displays were designed to improve on the flaws of TN technology, an entry-level technology that can be identified by its poor vertical viewing angles, primarily in regard to the poor viewing angles and color reproduction.

They do this by simply altering the direction of the pixels within the display to be parallel instead of perpendicular. The result is much improved off-axis wide gamut viewing angles in landscape or portrait mode.

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