Choosing the right TV can be daunting. There are so many things to take into consideration when it comes to picking a TV and it's easy to get lost in all the technical jargon. We're here to help. In this article, we've aggregated the professional opinions of dozens of online reviewers and pinpointed the best options for your digital signage needs, in different price ranges.
Table of contents:
1. Consumer vs Professional Displays
Before we get started though, let's take a look at one key thing to consider when getting a TV or display for digital signage - should you get a consumer TV or a professional display?
To answer this question, let's first look at what the differences are.
There's one key difference that stands out first, and that is display time. Simply put, consumer TVs are displays designed for personal use, meaning they are designed for less display time, more or less 8 hours per day at most, as you probably won't be watching TV for more time than that in 1 day. Professional displays, on the other hand, are specifically designed for digital signage and are designed for longer display times, usually 16 hours a day 7 days a week, or 24 hours a day 7 days a week (you'll often see a 16/7 or 24/7 display time rating on professional displays' spec sheets).
This is a really key difference and it's all about durability, if you use a consumer TV for 24/7 digital signage usage you will find that the TV will lose quality over time, with things like edge burn-in, color distortion - among other issues - becoming a problem over time. A pretty easy rule of thumb here, if you need to display content 16-24 hours a day, you might need to get a professional display. A bit of counter advice though, you will find that professional displays are often significantly more expensive than consumer TVs, and as such we find it common for users who need to display content 16-24 hours a day still getting a consumer TV and just replacing it after a few years when it begins to lose quality instead of going for the more expensive option. In the end, the choice is up to you.
There are other areas as well though where professional displays can have advantages over consumer TVs - for example, build quality and durability, brightness, warranty, outdoor use, viewing angles, device control, touch screen capabilities, and more - so we recommend looking at your options closely and choosing what's important to you.
2. Our Recommendations
In this article, we will be covering consumer TV recommendations only, not professional display recommendations, and we will specifically be covering what we feel are the best options in 4 different price ranges - Entry-Level (0-$300), Budget ($300-$500), Mid-Range ($500-$1000) and High-End ($1000-$1500).
We also won't be given preference based on any TVs operating system or platform (we'll assume you will use the TV you choose with a digital signage media device that suits your needs) - this is just about the best image quality for your money - but we will let you know if the TV comes with an operating system that works with ScreenCloud.
Let's dig in.
2.1. The Best Entry-Level (0-$300) Consumer TVs
(Best choice) Toshiba Fire TV Edition smart 2020 TV or Insignia Fire TV Edition smart 2020 TV
Image Credit: Toshiba Fire TV Edition TV
Both the Toshiba Fire TV Edition Smart TVs and Insignia Fire TV Edition Smart TVs (which are very similar) may not have the best specs, but they sure are affordable and a great option for getting started. Being Fire TV Editions TVs they also come with the Fire OS operating system, where it's easy to install the ScreenCloud app via the app store to get started with ScreenCloud.
(Note) Insignia also has 55", 65", and 70" TVs available in this series, but they are outside this price range.
(Alternative Choice) Hisense H65 Series 2020 TV
If the Toshiba Fire TV Edition Smart TVs and Insignia Fire TV Edition Smart TVs are not available in your region, or if you prefer a more complete Android operating, then our next best pick is the Hisense H65 series.
The Hisense H65 series released in 2020 comes out on top for being one of the best budget displays for under $300. It is important to keep in mind though that this display is on the lower end of the entry-level spectrum, so it lacks some features found on higher-end Hisense TVs such as local dimming and a wide color gamut. However, be that as it may, this series does contain more than enough to support your digital signage needs.
The H65 comes in a vast number of sizes from 43”, 50”, 55”, 60”, 70”, 75”, and 80 inches. It also supports 4K content and has the ability to upscale lower quality videos which is not commonly found on low-end TVs. This series also has great input lag due to its motion enhancing technology, and has a motion rate of 120 Hz and a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
This Hisense H65 comes with a VA type panel and uses direct backlighting to display good black levels making details pop while viewing in the dark, but the lack of local dimming leads to some blacks appearing gray. Due to its VA type panel, we recommend placing this display directly in front of the viewing and in a well-lit room.
(Note) Hisense also has 50”, 55”, 60”, 70”, 75”, and 80 inches TVs available in this series, but they are outside this price range.
2.2. The Best Budget ($300-$500) Consumer TVs
(Best choice) Hisense H8G Quantum Series 2020 TV
Image Credit: Hisense
The Hisense H8G is a very good budget friendly TV. It performs very well due to its ULED technology and Hi-View chipset that work intuitively to boost performance and picture quality. The Hisense's H8G Series TVs are very similar in specs to the LG UN7300 Series TVs, but are more than twice as bright at 700 cd/m2 and have great reflection handling, so glare shouldn't be an issue in a bright room. They have VA panels so viewing angles are worse than on the LG UM7300 equivalents, but are still a really good option for specific use cases.
More importantly, the Hisense H8G Series comes with Quantum technology which is the future of TVs. QLEDs is essentially just improved backlighting. With current LED displays, they simply use a pure “white light” but this white light contains shades of blue, green, red, and some yellows, which gets filtered out to display the color desired. With that, some clarity and light are decreased in the process. With QLEDS, it works by not needing a filtering system but directly shining pure colors resulting in a much brighter and crisp image. These nanotechnology dots tune and precisely produce vibrant accurate colors making images “pop”.
Hisense's H8 Series TVs also come with the Android TV operating system, where it's easy to install the ScreenCloud app via the app store to get started with ScreenCloud.
(Note) Hisense also has 65" and 75" TVs available in this series, but they are outside this price range. If you are willing to spend more, we recommend purchasing the Hisense H9G.
(Alternative Choice) LG UN7000 Series 2020 TV
The LG UN7000 2020 edition is an upgrade from last year’s and our previously recommended UM7300 2019 series. The UN7000 series is a great entry-level 4K TV that offers a wide selection of sizes from 43 inches to 65 inches. This series comes with a Quad-Core Processor that automatically upscales lower quality videos and performs scene-by-scene picture adjustments using HDR10 and HLG to elevate the images, action, and color of your content.
Unfortunately, the LG UN7000 Series TVs come with LG's Web OS operating system which currently doesn't support ScreenCloud's app but support will be added very soon. For now, it's easy to get a digital signage media device like an Amazon Fire TV Stick to make it compatible with ScreenCloud.
It is also important to note that the 50 and 65-inch displays are equipped with a VA-type panel which has greater contrast levels, allowing HDR content to appear brighter and blacks to appear darker and more accurate as opposed to appearing grey.
Though the one trade-off of having a VA panel is that images decrease in quality when being viewed from the side due to the narrow viewing angles. VA panels also do not have the greatest response time compared to other panel types and may cause motion blur in fast-moving pictures. So if you tend to watch movies in the dark or plan to display content in dimly lit areas, you’ll likely want to get a TV with a VA panel.
On the other hand IPS, panels are superior when it comes to viewing angles. IPS panels offer a wide 178/178 viewing angle, High color accuracy, and less color shift when changing viewing angles which leads to IPS panels looking less “washed out”. IPS panels have better color accuracy but do not display black details well, which means worse contrast in dark images. Minor issues with black levels aside, IPS panels are great for wide viewing angles and displaying images and videos in brightly lit rooms.
(Note) LG also has 65 inch TVs available in this series, but they are outside this price range.
2.3. The Best Mid-Range ($500-$1000) Consumer TVs
(Best choice) Sony X800H Series 2020 TV
Image Credit: Sony
If you are looking for a slightly more premium TV, the 2020 Sony X800H powered by Android 9 offers great performance at a reasonable price point. Although the $1,000 TV market is quite crowded, the Sony X800H stands out due to its amazing picture quality. This 4K LED TV comes with HDR support and Dolby Vision, optimizing your color accuracy on a scene-by-scene basis. Its features also include a 4K HDR X1-processor which has the ability to upscale 2K and even HD content to 4K resolution, by using a unique X-reality PRO technology.
With that being said, there are some noticeable cost-saving features that might be a deal-breaker for some. This TV does lack a variable refresh rate and auto latency mode, so it’s not the best choice out there for a gaming TV. However, this TV does redeem itself by having great motion handling. We recommend turning ‘Game Mode’ on for this TV as it reduces input lag by under 10 ms, although there is no noticeable difference if used outside of ‘Game Mode’.
On the downside, the Sony X800H has only a decent contrast ratio so you might struggle to see more details in darker scenes. Its IPS-type panel and no local dimming may also cause some blacks to have a grey overtone which can be more prominent when also watching in a dark room. However, Sony included object-based remaster technology which analyzes individual objects and adjusts its contrast to combat this.
It is also important to keep in mind that the 49-inch and lower displays come with an external power supply which may be seen as bulky to some and be difficult to hide, but not entirely impossible. If this is important to you we suggest purchasing the 55 inches and up displays.
Overall, if you don’t mind not having variable refresh rate and auto latency mode, as well as choose to place this TV in a well-light room, this is the TV that could well suit your digital signage needs.
(Note) Sony also has 85" TVs available in this series, but they are outside this price range.
(Alternative Choice) LG SM8600 Series 2019 TV
However, if you prefer a display with an IPS panel type with local dimming as a feature, we suggest purchasing the LG SM8600 Series. This Series comes with a peak brightness level at 450 cd/m2 that can handle a wide range of environments compared to other displays in the same price range, which is important for a display being used specifically for digital signage.
LG SM8600 Series TVs come with LG's Web OS operating system which doesn't support ScreenCloud's app, but will very soon, in the meantime it's easy to get a digital signage media device like an Amazon Fire TV Stick to make it compatible with ScreenCloud.
2.4. The Best High-End ($1000-$2000) Consumer TVs
(Best choice) LG OLED CX Series 2020 TV
Image Credit: LG
The LG CX OLED display was rated one of the best TVs of CES 2020. If you're looking to buy a high-end TV it's likely that you'll want to get an OLED TV. OLED TVs represent the pinnacle of image quality these days with many advantages in terms of image quality over your typical LEDs and LCDs.
The CX series contains about 8.3 million pixels that emit their own light, and unlike LCD or LED technology, OLED displays are self-lit pixels that can turn completely off creating depth. Its contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity are in no competition with your standard TVs, making it a perfect choice for watching movies in the dark. In addition, these pixels are paired with the latest gaming features having a near-instant response time making for incredibly smooth video content.
LG’s CX OLED display also uses the latest α9 Gen 3 AI Processor 4K which uses AI for improved learning and enhancements of content as you watch. Now you might be thinking what are the downsides to what seems a perfect TV? Well, when it comes to digital signage it's important to remember that there are some risks of permanent burn-in, which can occur if the TV displays exactly the same content (for example static content like an image or information) for a long period of time. As such, OLED TVs are best for use cases where you are not displaying static content but instead displaying dynamic content that is constantly changing (like videos or regularly rotated content).
Although we recommend the LG CX as it is the best of the best of LG’s displays, the LG OLED B9 Series and C9 series will work just fine. They're a bit older than the newer LG OLED CX Series TVs but more affordable with basically all the same benefits, including excellent picture quality, a wide color gamut, good brightness levels, and fantastic viewing angles.
LG OLED B9 Series TVs come with LG's Web OS operating system which doesn't support ScreenCloud's app but it's easy to get a digital signage media device like an Amazon Fire TV Stick to make it compatible with ScreenCloud.
(Note) LG also has 65" and 77" TVs available in this series, but they are outside this price range.
(Alternative Choice) Sony X950H Series 2020 TV
If you prefer an Android Pie operating system over webOS, then you should turn your attention towards the Sony X950H Series. It has everything that makes the Sony X800H a front-runner along with some very exciting added upgrades.
The Sony X950H TV ticks all the boxes for a high-end display by having fully array dimming, a very powerful X1 ultimate processor, as well a significant upgrade in image rendering. Its X-reality processing technology is able to upscale and sharpen any content up to 4K. It also uses object-based resolution and object-based HDR remaster technology to detect and analyzes individual objects on screen to enhance its detail and adjust its color contrast to produce even greater depth of texture, color, and overall giving outstanding picture accuracy.
On the downside, the X950H series lacks a 2.0 HDMI port meaning certain gaming focused features such as auto low latency mode are missing. If this is important to you we recommend purchasing the X900H series.
When comparing the Sony X950H and the X900H series, there is only a $200-$300 difference between sizes. So you may be wondering, what are you getting when you pay a bit more? Well for starters, the backlighting technology is better on the X950H than on the X900H. As a result, you get better black levels and higher brightness with the X950H, producing up to 1000 nits when using HDR content, whereas the X900H only has about 750 nits. Although this is expected with a lower-priced TV.
If you enjoy watching good content and motion handling over gaming or similar use cases, the X950H is an exceptional choice as it almost has a cinematic feel.
(Note) Sony also has 75" and 85" TVs available in this series, but they are outside this price range.
3. In Conclusion
When it comes to picking a TV for your digital signage needs, you will find that there are great options at all price ranges.
We recommend starting with planning your budget and then picking the best TV in that price range, keeping in mind that you may need an additional digital signage media device if that TV does not run on any operating system that supports ScreenCloud, or if you need a more powerful operating system that has features that a TVs operating system does not have.
If you have any additional questions about which consumer TVs to use for digital signage, or any other questions or feedback about ScreenCloud, feel free to reach out to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at our toll-free support line at +18885575335.