January 17, 2019
2 min read
Consumer smart TVs aren't just trendy, they're ubiquitous-- you even likely have one at home. But are smart televisions appropriate for commercial signage installations?
In general, consumer televisions face multiple drawbacks compared to commercial digital displays in professional applications. One of the most important specifications to consider is the operating environment: smart TVs are designed for use in the home and are not typically designed to run 24- or even 18- hours a day. Additionally, the brightness of consumer displays is optimized for home viewing as opposed to public spaces, which tend to have higher levels of ambient lighting.
This article, however, more specifically examines the pros and cons for smart TVs in particular in professional simple signage installations. Read on to learn two reasons why smart TVs may not be a good fit for your organization, and two reasons why they might, so you can better determine the best technology for your application.
- Smart TVs are NOT secure
Consumer Reports has found that millions of smart TVs can be controlled by hackers exploiting easy-to-find security flaws. A relatively unsophisticated hacker could change channels, play offensive content, or crank up the volume, to name a few examples. This could lead to user experiences that aren't just flawed, but in fact deeply unsettling.
Just as importantly, hackers can potentially tap into data being sent over the displays. If you’re considering smart televisions for corporate conference room applications, be aware that industrial espionage is a real possibility with far-reaching consequences.
Lastly, Consumer Reports testing also found that all smart TVs raised privacy concerns by collecting very detailed information on their users- an important fact to weigh against your organization’s information security policies.
- The hardware doesn’t fit the application
Smart TVs are built to stream content and provide simple interfaces, but most digital signage applications don’t stream, and truly effective installations require custom interfaces. Thus, smart TVs are generally impractical for commercial applications. These limitations are likely to become headaches as organizations (and their installations) expand.
- The price is right
In general, commercial displays like smart TVs are more price-friendly than commercial displays. However, when one considers the many useful features built into commercial displays not available in consumer displays, including higher brightness specs for fluorescent and windowed spaces, unbranded designs, 24-hour operation ratings, multiple inputs, and more, the reason for this price difference becomes obvious. Ultimately, your company must weigh the importance of these features against your available budget.
- They’re on-trend
If being on-trend is important to your organization, smart TVs may make sense for you. Thanks to their trendiness, smart TVs can be easily purchased at any local electronics store. However, if your organization places higher esteem on proven technologies, and values series-based designs for easy swapping, system expansion, and maintenance, professional digital displays are likely a better fit.
While Smart TVs may be a good entry-point to digital signage for budget-limited, small organizations not particularly concerned with information security, the overwhelming evidence points to skipping Smart TVs in favor of professional displays for even simple signage applications.
Learn more about Panasonic’s digital signage display offerings here.