Which Professional Displays Do You Recommend for Digital Signage?

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by Jennifer Hardegen
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The commercial televisions you see in public places look fairly similar to your domestic televisions at home, and without the technical know-how, trying to set up your first professional display for your business can be difficult. We understand the biggest barriers to entry users face is largely based on the complexity of the equipment. Knowing the difference between consumer and professional displays can save you a lot of time and money down the road.

This article will explain the key differences between consumer and professional (commercial) displays, how to set up your professional display, then recommend the best displays and media players to use that fits your needs. We hope this information will help you make feel more confident with hardware and as well as help you make an informed decision when purchasing a professional display for your business, or at least give you a better idea if you are planning to upgrade your existing consumer displays.

 

Table of contents:

Section I: Introduction to Professional Displays

Section II. Why Should You Choose a Professional Display Over a Standard Consumer Display?

Section III: Expandable Features

Section VI: Top Recommended Professional Display for Digital Signage

4.1. Low Functioning Professional Displays (16/7 hours)

4.2. Medium Functioning Professional Displays (18/7 hours)

4.3. High Functioning Professional Displays (24/7)

 

 

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Section I: Introduction to Professional Displays

Digital Signage is one of the most customizable forms of advertising and can be used to communicate information quickly. If you are considering using digital signage for your business, school, or even as a silent ad display in a store, a display can offer that eye-catching content needed to grab the attention of your audience.

That being said, let's dive into the two types of screens in the digital signage world - Professional displays and consumer displays. Professional displays have a much wider range of uses than consumer displays as they can operate three times as long and are far more durable. Whereas consumer displays are designed for home use, for instance watching a movie or playing video games. These professional displays are mainly used in business environments such as a menu board in a restaurant, wayfinding kiosks, retail stores, and most commonly flight information boards in Airports. 

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As display technology evolves, viewers are setting higher expectations. Therefore it is essential for businesses to deliver exceptional picture quality for their customers. So keep reading below to see why you should purchase a professional display for your business, the important features a professional display has, and which hardware and display combos we recommended for you to purchase.

 

 

Section II: Why Should You Choose a Professional Display Over a Standard Consumer Display?

 

There are a handful of benefits when choosing to use a professional display for your digital signage. Below we've highlighted some of the key insights during your search for a hardware option:

I) Hour of Operation
Professional displays are designed to operate for long periods of time without damaging any components within the display or dropping image quality. They are far more robust and can stand extensive use in the toughest conditions, whereas the average consumer TV you’d purchase at your local electronic store is designed for minimal use in residential environments. While consumer TVs are great for watching movies they are not designed for continuous use and should typically stop using them after 8 hours as they are at risk of severe internal damage or overheating.

These commercial displays are built with an internal fan or components that allow for heat dissipation. This means that your displays can run for 16/7 hours or even up to 24/7 hours 365 days a year. Professional displays are great for digital signage as they provide peace of mind that your display will last long and won’t fail while you are in the process of using it. So the rule of thumb, first makes sure to check the operational hours of your display (this should be listed in the specifications).

ii) Brightness
Brightness is a very important feature to consider when choosing a display for your digital signage. Professional displays are equipped with very high brightness such as 400-3000 nits, mainly to account for outdoor or inconsistent lighting caused by uncontrolled environments. In addition, most professional displays come with anti-glare and local dimming capabilities. This allows for these displays to adapt to various locations and still produce consistent picture quality. Whereas consumer TVs operate best in controlled lighting and usually have about 150-300 nits.

iii) Cost of Ownership
Some businesses may favor the use of a consumer display for their digital signage as they are much cheaper, but this may present many issues down the road. Buying a consumer display rather than a professional display may seem like the best choice for your wallet, but professional displays offer a significantly better return on investment.

Cost plays an important role in the decision-making process. Oftentimes, many businesses would purchase consumer displays under the assumption that professional displays would cost them an arm and a leg, or simply because they just aren't aware of their options. But with a bit of information, they would come to learn that even though these displays have a high initial investment, they come with an array of features that consumer TVs do not have. If you are planning to purchase a display for long-term investment, a commercial display is most likely to outlast a consumer display and save you more money in the long term. Using standard televisions for professional signage applications will result in constant maintenance and adjustments.

iv) Anti-Theft Precautions (Vandalism)
It is very important to secure your displays and take anti-theft precautions to prevent unauthorized personnel from making adjustments to your screens as this could be detrimental to the messages you are trying to get across.

With consumer displays, it is easy for someone to change a channel or connect via HDMI and upload an inappropriate piece of content. And accidents do happen. Many professional displays already provide these protective measures that block individuals from tampering with the power, volume, or any other controls that are easily accessible to the public.

v) Durability
Professional signage displays are designed to meet the needs of a wide range of business applications such as advertisement displays, menu information, wayfinding kiosks, or even to display company messages. Regardless of your digital signage purpose, professional displays are built for demanding environments.

The physical chassis are designed much stronger to withstand any environment that has vibrations, dust, smoke, or even grease. Environments with high pollutants such as fast-food restaurants, bus terminals, factories, ski resorts, hot weather, cold weather, you name it these displays can handle it. For example, menu boards can get really hot but can also get very greasy and dusty so you need that extra coat of protection that professional displays provide. Even the display panels are commercial-grade screens to reduce the possibility of burn-in and image retention.

vi) Warranty 
Not all screens are made equal, so what may be good for your restaurant isn't necessarily good for your lobby. If you use a display in a scenario it is not built for, for example, exceeding the daily operational hour limit or exceeding the temperature limit, the manufacturer may no longer honor the warranty. 

 

 

Section III: Expandable Features

 

There are also a number of expandable features that you can use or benefit from with a professional display for your digital signage. Some of the notable features are:

 

i) Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) 
The key dividing feature between professional displays and consumer displays is their variety of expandable features. Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) is an industry-wide standard for commuting system solutions, in simpler words, it is a set of criteria for external PCs allowing these modules to easily be inserted, serviced, or replaced with any display having this capability. Having this standardized slot in your professional display allows users to constantly keep up to date with the latest technology. Users can upgrade their processing power whenever a new and faster software enters the market. No need to go out and purchase a whole new display just simply purchase an OPS module with the latest software and plug it in! 

Appearance is so important these days, especially in retail shops. Have you ever been in a shop and was immediately turned off by the lack of organization? Purchasing a professional display with an OPS slot can give viewers a good impression and sets the tone of the store or any application of your choice. 

These pluggable media players allow for easy installation and maintenance. These OPS modules can push rigors video formats, ideal for the digital signage market. This solution makes it possible to integrate digital signage media players into commercial displays seamlessly, effectively turning your display into an All-in-One PC solution.

 

ii) Touch Screen Capability 
Not only that but Professional displays also have the ability to add touch screen overlays, allowing for any professional display to gain the ability of touch screen. This can dramatically enhance the way customers look for information at information kiosks.

 

 

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Section VI: Top Recommended Professional Display for Digital Signage

 

We have done the heavy lifting for you and listed below our top recommended display options for different use cases. We have categorized displays into different hourly usages, such as 16/7 hours, 18/7 hours, and 24/7 hours to try and help narrow down the best option for you as much as possible. Within those categories, we have sectioned different price points; We have budget choice options for entry users, medium choice options, and premium options for those looking for the best possible digital signage set up regardless of price.

Let's dig in.

 

4.1. Low Functioning Professional Displays (16/7 hours)

4.2 Medium Functioning Professional Displays (18/7 hours)

4.3 High Functioning Professional Displays (24/7)

 

4.1. Low Functioning Professional Displays (16/7 hours)

If you're looking for a professional setup but don't necessarily need all of the fancy features that some of our 24-hour displays have, a 16-hour display will give you just what you need to get your digital signage set up. Displays that run 16 hours a day, seven days a week are perfect for the corporate or educational sectors where you may not need a display to run constantly. In this section, we will walk you through our recommendations for the best low-functioning displays running 16/7 hours at every price point.

 

Low Functioning Displays: Budget Option (16/7) 

(Best Choice) LG UT640S Series

1566784256204_11420.jpegImage Credit: LG

Best for: corporate environments, education, retail stores, restaurants. 

Good news - you won't have to spend a fortune to get a great professional display for your digital signage set up. With technology advancing so rapidly these days, TVs are becoming cheaper and what you would have normally bought 5 years ago equates to half the price today. Our first recommendation if you are looking for a budget professional display operating 16/7 hours is LG's UT640S Series. If you're in need of a beginner's display, the LG UT640S Series is very affordable and a great entry point for new professional display users.

The LG UT640S Series comes in six different sizes 43”, 49", 55”, 60", 65", 70", and a whopping 75-inches. Although this display does sit in the lower tier of the market, you can fully enjoy 4K content. The display has 4K upscaling capabilities that automatically upgrade full HD content to Ultra HD to ensure your images and videos are always looking crisp. This series also comes pre-calibrated so there is no need to fuss over picture settings, just start showing content and you are guaranteed to have accurate grayscales and vivid pictures due to its coloring adjusting features. 

This professional display is equipped with an IPS panel type which produces great viewing angles for larger set rooms, so even if you have viewers sitting at a distance they will still be able to see the smallest details. This display has a peak brightness of 300 to 400 nits (depending on which model you purchase), which is quite low but this is expected for a lower-tier professional display.

It is important to note that the LG UT640S does not come with an operating system pre-installed so we suggest purchasing an external media player for digital signage usage. We recommend getting a commercial-grade Android-powered box such as the Ugoos AM6. If you lean more towards Windows, we suggest purchasing the lowest grade Windows-powered media player like the Intel NUC 8 Celeron. If that's too expensive, you can always downgrade to the Intel NUC 7 Celeron. If either of those options doesn't appeal to your style of preference, then perhaps a Chrome operating system will work for you. In that case, we recommend the AOpen Chromebox Mini.

See our help page here for a full list of our recommended and supported devices.

LG 43UT640S 43" 4K UHD Professional Display - 43"

LG 49UT640S 49" 4K UHD Professional Display - 49"

LG 55UT640S 55" 4K UHD Professional Display - 55"

LG 60UT640S 60" 4K UHU Professional Display - 60"

LG 65UT640S 65" 4K UHD Professional Display - 65"

LG 70UT640S 70" 4K UHD Professional Display - 70"

LG 75UT640S 75" 4K UHD Professional Display - 75"

 

 

Low functioning Displays: Medium Option (16/7)

(Best choice) Sharp PN-HW Series

img_mainphoto.jpegImage Credit: Sharp Global

Best for: retail stores, conference rooms, shopping malls. 

In this category, this is where you start to notice the jump from budget to mid-range displays. Our recommendation for medium functioning displays running 16-hours is the Sharp PN-HW Series and Sharp PN-HB Series. If you are looking for a display that supports a higher resolution and has a significant jump in processing power, Sharp is a great brand for this category.

The Sharp PN-HW series comes in a very wide range of 43”, 50” 55”, 65”, 75”, and 86". It has a decent brightness of 350 nits and 400 nits for sizes 75-inches and up. This series supports 4K resolution and has a contrast ratio of 4000: 1, which is quite impressive considering even some premium TVs don't have ratios that high. Just to make things clear, the contrast ratio is the difference between the brightest a TV can get and the darkest. 

Here's something you probably don't know about the Sharp PN-HW Series - should the temperature inside the TV rise, a built-in sensor will detect it and make quick adjustments to the brightness to keep the temperature at a good operational level. Now, that's a safety precaution you didn't even know you needed.

The Sharps PN-HW doesn't come with a built-in system-on-chip so for digital signage purposes we recommend pairing this display with the powerful Ugoos AM6 media player, or a more powerful Windows-powered PC such as the Intel NUC 8 Core i5 vPro or any similar devices. We also recommend the AOpen Chromebox Commercial 2 Celeron for those who favor Chrome OS-powered media players.

See our help page here for a full list of our recommended and supported devices.

Sharp PN-HW431 4K UHD Display - 43"

Sharp PN-HW501 4K UHD Display - 50" 

Sharp PN-HW551 4K UHD Display - 55" 

Sharp PN-HW651 4K UHD Display - 65" 

Sharp PN-HW751 4K UHD Display - 75" 

Sharp PN-HW861 4K UHD Display - 86" 


(Alternative Choice) Sharp PN-HB Series

As an alternative option, the Sharp PN-HB series does come with a System-On-Chip that runs Android 7.1 except it comes in fewer sizes ranging between 65”, 75”, and 85 inches. Like its sister display, it also supports 4K content and has an even greater color contrast of 5000: 1. This display has a lower brightness of 350 nits which is okay, this just means it's suited for more indoor locations as it is more prone to glaring. Plus it's designed for easy installation and can be placed in landscape, portrait, or even face up. 

For those looking to upgrade their digital signage set up even further, the PN-HB series has 'Daisy Chain' capabilities allowing up to 4 displays to be connected together. The PN-HB series is also future-proof and comes standard-equipped with an OPS expansion slot so you're never out of luck when new and more powerful technology emerges.

We would also like to shout out that this display does come with nice built-in 10W+10W rear speakers very suitable for playing some ambiance to liven up the atmosphere in your retail store or office workplaces. Research from Cornell University actually found that employees who listen to happy music - like "Yellow Submarine" by the Beatles - are more cooperative and make decisions better than employees working without music. 

If you're planning on purchasing this display for digital signage, we recommend getting a separate media player like the Android powered Ugoos AM6, the AOpen Chromebox Commercial 2 Celeron powered, or a Windows powered PC such as the Intel NUC 8 Core i5 vPro or any similar devices.

See our help page here for a full list of our recommended and supported devices.

Sharp PN-HB651 4K UHD Professional Display - 65"

Sharp PN-HB751 4K UHD Professional Display - 75"

Sharp PN-HB851 4K UHD Professional Display - 85"

 

 

Low functioning Displays: Premium Option (16/7) 

(Best Choice) Sharp NEC MultiSync E-Series 

ESeries-DetailImage0.jpeg

Best for: demanding digital signage environments such as airports or expositions.

NEC and Sharp have been at the forefront of cutting-edge technology for nearly 100 years, with Sharp Technologies founded in 1912 and NEC Display Solutions founded in 1899. Their excellent global track record and superior technology easily position them securely in our premium choice categories. Not too long ago in 2020, tech giants NEC and Sharp formed a joint venture with NEC starting business operations as a subsidiary of Sharp, creating a new organization with a single point of contact for users now known as “Sharp NEC Display Solutions”. Both companies recognized their leading position in the display market, and to our benefit, combined forces to equip you with the best solutions for any display needs.

For this premium option, we recommend the Sharp/NEC E-Series. The E-series has two model types running 16/7 hours and comes in a variety of sizes such as 32", 43”, 49", 55”, and 65-inch displays for displays with IPS type panels, and sizes 32", 43", 50", 55", and 65-inch displays with VA type panels. Both have 24-hour On/Off timers allowing you to schedule when you would like your displays to turn off or on.

The E-Series is a reliable display that can only support landscape orientations, so if you would like to display your content in portrait mode, we suggest taking a look at some of our other recommendations. This professional display is equipped with a full metal chassis, so you can rest assured that your display is capable of commercial applications in public areas with high traffic. Its sleek design not only looks aesthetically pleasing but simplifies installations and allows for clean and easy set-up. 

This series is naturally a great option as it has stunning picture quality and is able to deliver rich life-like images thanks to its support for ultra-high-definition 4K resolution, its peak brightness of 350 nits, and displays over one billion colors. Although it's important to take note that the 32-inch display only supports HD resolution, but this should be fine if you are displaying simple content to an audience. 

NEC/Sharp also did a wonderful job at reducing operating costs with this display as it uses high energy efficient LED backlights that reduce power consumption and ensures a longer backlight lifetime. 

It is important to note that the E series have IPS panel types that allow for wider viewing angles, whereas the MEQ Series contains a VA type panel which is more suited for direct viewing as the image quality can change when viewing from the size. If you prefer a display with a high contrast ratio and uses a VA-type panel, you can check out the other MEQ-Series here.

For digital signage purposes, we recommend purchasing a powerful Android media player such as the Ugpps AM6 or a Windows Powered Intel Nuc. With this in mind, NEC suggests the ideal digital signage applications are grocery stores, airports, or retail stores.

NEC MultiSync E327 Essential Large Format Display - 32"

NEC MultiSync E438 Essential Large Format Display - 43"

NEC MultiSync E498 Essential Large Format Display - 49"

NEC MultiSync E558 Essential Large Format Display - 55"

NEC MultiSync E658 Essential Large Format Display - 65" 

 

(Alternative Choice) Samsungs QBR Series 

If NEC's low peak brightness doesn't seem like the right fit for you, an alternative choice is the Samsung QBR and QHH series. These two displays are very similar in that they display lifelike quality and showcases more than one billion colors, but the QHH Series is slightly more attractive as it has a much higher peak brightness of 600 nits, whereas the QBR series 350 nits. Now that's a winner.

Throw in some quantum dot technology, and the QHH Series produces the deepest blacks and pristine whites to deliver realism that other TV brands frankly can't compare. Its 'frameless' design also adds a level of sophistication to any space and ensures the viewer's eyes are always watching the screen. It kinda gives the illusion of a video wall if you think about it.

Over the past couple of years, Samsung has developed intelligent upscaling technology that gives your average customer the ability to elevate even the most basic content to impeccable picture quality. Businesses can save money and time as they can produce lower-cost content and still display it at a much higher resolution.

The QBR series comes in all shapes and sizes to choose from such as 43”, 49”, 55”, 65”, and 75-inch displays. Its equipped with a dynamic crystal coloring processor displaying an array of up to a billion different shades, this is its secret to capturing the subtle differences on screen and really giving you that wow factor. Colors are more than just a way to make your signs look pretty, research has shown that colors influence how customers view the "personality" of the brand as our brains make associations with certain colors. Now that's just the tip of the iceberg of the many ways we can use professional displays for our and digital signage strategy.

Like most Samsung displays, it runs on a Tizen 4.0, but for digital signage purposes, we recommend pairing this display with a Windows-powered media player such as the Intel NUC 8 Home Mini PC Core i3 or i5 to support demanding content and to give you more control over what you show, and how they show it. If you prefer to use Android, we recommend purchasing an Ugoos AM6 device.

Samsung QB43R 4K UHD LCD Display - 43”

Samsung QB50R 4K UHD LCD Display - 50”

Samsung QB55R 4K UHD LCD Display - 55”

Samsung QB65R 4K UHD LCD Display - 65”

Samsung QB75R 4K UHD LCD Display - 75”

Samsung QH55H 4K UHD Professional Display - 55" 

Samsung QH65H 4K UHD Professional Display - 65"

 

 

4.2 Medium Functioning Professional Displays (18/7 hours)

Perhaps a display that runs 16/7 hours doesn't meet the requirements of your digital signage needs and a 24/7 display is a bit overkill. Luckily there is a sweet spot right in the middle! 18/7 hour displays offer that perfect balance. It is important to note when looking through this section, to keep in mind that it is rare to find professional displays running 18/7 hours therefore there are limited options to choose from. In this section, we'll walk you through our top choices for the medium-functioning displays running 18/7 hours.

 

Medium Functioning Displays: Budget Option (18/7)

(Best Choice) Philips Q-Line 2020 Series

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Image Credit: Philips 

Best for: retail shops, hospitality, lobbies, and other corporate meeting areas. 

Having a professional display running 18/7 hours for digital signage is not entirely out of reach with a limited budget. While still being contained by a limited budget, we can still achieve extremely high levels of success with digital signage. Philips is a Dutch company that specializes in electronics and was once one of the world's largest consumer electronics companies before switching business models to instead focus on health care technology. Philips supplies many professional displays and one being the Q-line series running 18/7 hours. 

The Phillips Q-Line 2020 series comes in a variety of sizes from 32-inches all the way to a grand 86-inches. The reason why we love the Q-line series is that it's sturdy, reliable, and has a smooth performance due to its impressive 8 millisecond response time. Secondly, it has a peak brightness of 400 nits, ideally, you'll want to look for a slightly higher brightness but with such a wide color gamut of over a billion colors and impressing backlight control, this is a great display to go for.  

We have to let you know that although this display runs for 18/7 hours in landscape mode, this display can only run for 12/7 hours in portrait mode. Just something to consider when taking a look at this model. With that said, the Philips Q-line is ideal for digital menu boards (mainly seen in restaurants) or digital signage wayfinding screens to direct customs or display static signs. 

To end of a high note, this display runs on Android 8.0 although you can purchase the BDL3510Q/00 model that does not have a System-on-chip. We recommend combining this screen with a powerful Intel NUC 8 Mini PC Core i3 or i5. If you prefer an Android media player, we suggest purchasing an Ugoos AM6 or Ugoos AM6 Pro.

See our help page here for a full list of our recommended and supported devices.

Philips 32BDL4550Q/00 Signage Solutions Q-Line Display - 32"

Philips 43BDL4550Q/00 Signage Solutions Q-Line Display - 43"

Philips 50BDL4550Q/00 Signage Solutions Q-Line Display - 50"

Philips 55BDL4550Q/00 Signage Solutions Q-Line Display - 55"

Philips 65BDL4550Q/00 Signage Solutions Q-Line Display - 65"

Philips 75BDL4550Q/00 Signage Solutions Q-Line Display - 75"

Philips 86BDL4550Q/00 Signage Solutions Q-Line Display - 86"

 

 

Medium Functioning Displays: Medium Option (18/7)

(Best Choice) LG UM3DG Series 

Screen_Shot_2564-05-05_at_01.32.15.png

Image Credit: LG 

Best for: retail shops, hospitality areas, Lobbies, and other corporate meeting areas.

The LG UM3DG-B Series is in the mid-high range, price, and feature-wise. This model comes with fewer sizes to choose from compared to its predecessor and is only sold in sizes 43", 49", 55", and 65-inches, although with digital signage, that's all you really need. The UM3DG-B has a peak brightness of about 350 nits which is good enough for indoor use. If you're planning to place this display outside we suggest purchasing a brighter display as this will help combat glare. So why is this TV worth it? First-up, this display supports 4K content and uses HEVC video technology that efficiently compresses demanding UHD content, and plays it smoothly with less effort compared to the existing H.264 codec. The user experience may also be improved with the help of built-in speakers which is rarely seen with professional displays.

In addition, the LG UM3DG-B comes with an IPS panel so picture quality will not degrade even when being viewed from an angle. This is ideal for retail shops, hospitality areas, lobbies, and other corporate meeting areas. Its narrow bezel provides a great foundation if you decide to place two screens side by side. With a smaller bezel size, you can seamlessly incorporate digital screens into public places giving the space an overall sophisticated design. Rather than just placing a bulky screen in the middle of the wall you're improving the decor. Super sleek-looking displays and it's a space saver? Kill two birds with one stone! 

What makes this series a medium functioning display compared to low functioning displays is its industrial build. This display looks rather normal on the outside, but under the hood, it contains a coating on all circuit boards to minimize component damage by protecting against humidity and dust. This may be important to you if you're placing your display in an area where you don't have access to frequently (and may be dusty) or you're placing your display in a high foot traffic area. 

When looking for a media player to combine with the LG UM3DG-B series, we recommend selecting the Ugoos AM6 as it has many customizable features and will support an 18-hour operation. The AM6 has several interesting features perfectly suited for digital signage, among them we highlight the OTA update feature or “over-the-air” updates, allowing users to upgrade firmware or push changes remotely. Other settings include ROOT, Hardware Monitor, Playback Settings, Debug settings, User scripts and so much more. For Windows, we recommend a powerful Intel NUC 8 Mini PC Core i3 or i5.

See our help page here for a full list of our recommended and supported devices.

LG 43UM3DG-B UHD Signage Display - 43"

LG 49UM3DG-B UHD Signage Display - 49"

LG 55UM3DG-B UHD Signage Display - 55"

LG 65UM3DG-B UHD Signage Display - 65" 

 

 

Medium Functioning Displays: Premium Option (18/7)

(Best Choice) Sharp NEC ME-Series

ProductMessageSeriesLFD.jpeg

Image Credit: Sharp NEC Display Solutions

Best for: corporate, educational, and retail stores.

As already mentioned, Sharp and NEC formed a new joint venture called Sharp NEC Display Solutions, where they combined strengths and expertise of high quality professional displays to up the digital signage game and bring even greater value to customers. And so, they created the “MESSAGE” line-up that features large format displays that maintain proven NEC display quality at a bargain price. The main focus of the MultiSync ME Series is to provide a powerful technology for corporate, educational, and retail stores to help them display their messages clearly.

The ME-series is currently the only display in the Sharp NEC venture that operates for 18/7 hours, but it has more than enough to support your digital signage needs. One of our favorite features is the option to schedule an On/Off timer in case you would like to start up or turn off your display during certain hours. This is quite a useful feature to have if you want your displays up and running before anyone comes to the office.

This display comes in a variety of sizes from 43”, 50”, 55”, and 65-inch displays but a 43-inch should do just fine. The ME-series has a full metal frame, like all NEC professional displays, to help regulate thermals and protect the display from dust or destruction. So feel free to place them in high traffic areas like hallways or education spaces (where you don't have to worry about kids destroying a screen) and if they do, that's ok! You get some peace of mind as there is an automatic 3-year warranty when you purchase this display.

Another key feature of the ME series is its superb picture quality. Its peak brightness of 400 nits really brings out over 1 billion colors and impressively deep blacks thanks to the whooping 8,000:1 contrast ratio. On top of this, the ME series comes equipped with expansion options and accepts the Intel SDM slot, large and small, to give your display all-in-one smart capabilities.

For this model, we recommend purchasing a powerful Intel NUC 8 Hades Canyon click here. Or, If you prefer to use an Android-powered media player we suggest purchasing an Ugoos AM6 or Ugoos AM6 Pro.

See our help page here for a full list of our recommended and supported devices.

Sharp NEC ME431 UHD Commerical Display - 43"

Sharp NEC ME501 UHD Commerical Display - 50"

Sharp NEC ME551 UHD Commerical Display - 55" 

Sharp NEC ME651 UHD Commerical Display - 65" 

 

(Alternative Choice) Sony FWD-43X80H/T Series

Best for: corporate presentation, video conferencing, education sectors.

Sony as a brand has given birth to some of the most iconic electronics and has consistently dominated the market. In 2019 Sony released its very first line of BRAVIA professional displays and has been releasing quality displays ever since.

As a premium brand, we have the confidence to say the Sony Bravia X80H/T Series will be the perfect addition to your digital signage strategy. It runs on Android 9.0 and comes in 4 different sizes such as the 43", 49", 55", and 65-inch displays but a 43-inch display should do the trick. 

With Sony displays, everything you watch is sharpened. Their new line of X80H/T professional displays is equipped with innovative HDR features and X1 processors that use object-based rendering and 4K X-reality Pro unscaling in real-time. This intelligent technology analyzes objects on screen and fine-tunes the color contrast so that the resemblance to real images is uncanny. 

The Sony X80H/T has a good peak brightness of 440 nits and has a contrast ratio of 1000:1, defiantly not as high as the NEC display but it meets the minimum requirement. Its local dimming features can also accurately balance the light input across the screen so darker scenes get darker and brighter scenes get brighter. There is no way viewers will miss your content with this display.

If the Sony X80H/T is a bit too out of your budget but appeals to this premium range standard, we recommend downgrading to the Sony W66F/T Series. You may also use the Sony XG85/XG80 or Sony A9G/T series. If money isn't a problem, Sony's new flagship models also include their very first 8K BRAVIA professional display available in sizes 85" and 98 inches. 

Sony FWD-43X80H/T BRAVIA 4K UHD HDR Professional Display - 43" 

Sony FWD-49X80H/T BRAVIA 4K UHD HDR Professional Display - 49" 

Sony FWD-55X80H/T BRAVIA 4K UHD HDR Professional Display - 55" 

Sony FWD-65X80H/T BRAVIA 4K UHD HDR Professional Display - 65"

 

 

4.3 High Functioning Professional Displays (24/7 hours)

Purchasing a high-functioning professional display can be daunting as they are quite expensive. We categorize all professional displays running 24/7 as high functioning because they are designed to run none stop. These displays are designed to go through the most rigorous condition. You would most commonly find these displays in areas that operate throughout the night, for example, control rooms that require around-the-clock observations, airport schedule boards, even the drive-through menu at your 24/7 Mcdonald's down the street. Any type of screen that provides information to customers all day, every day. Hardware errors can result in many wasted man-hours and can cause damage to your brand, therefore you will need to purchase a display that you can rely on. In this section, we'll walk you through our top choices for the high-functioning displays running 24/7 hours.

 

High Functioning Displays: Budget Option (24/7)

(Best Choice) Philips D-Line Series 

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Image Credit: Philips

Best for: fast-food restaurants, conveniences stores, control rooms, airport terminals

Getting the right display for your needs is crucial if you want to spare yourself some trouble down the road. High-functioning displays running 24/7 are industrial displays that are usually heavier than your average consumer display because they come with more commercial-built exteriors and interior cooling systems. If you think you are going to use your displays continuously and expect high performance time after time, we recommend purchasing a display that is capable of running 24/7. But what if you can't afford to spend hundreds of dollars? Not to worry, we have done the hard graft and researched the best recommendations to help you create your digital signage set up. 

Up first in the high functioning category, is our budget-friendly Philips D-Line professional display. If you're looking for a display that puts out a higher resolution but is still within your budget range, we recommend purchasing one of Philips D-Line's professional displays. The D-Line displays come in a variety of sizes ranging from 32 inches all the way to 98 inches. However, for digital signage, we recommend only purchasing from 43 inches up as these larger displays support 4K content and anything smaller only supports 1080p content.

Like every other display in this high-end category, this display can operate for 24/7 hours and within a 20%-80% humidity range with no fear of condensation. The D-line BDL4550D/00 displays have an IPS panel type which produces a more accurate picture and color reproduction when viewed from an angle. Plus a wide range of color ratios from 1100:1 to 1200:1 depending on which specific size you purchase.

What's unique about this display and why we recommend it as a budget option is because of its Android 8.0 operating system. There is no requirement for an external media player as you can install ScreenCloud's Android player directly onto the display. The benefit of this is that you're cutting hardware costs by only purchasing a display, as well as cutting down installation time.

Though, media players do provide much more advanced features and customization options that you cannot get with the built-in Android setup. So if you prefer using an external player, purchase our first option with an Android-powered Ugoos AM6 device, or if you prefer windows we recommend purchasing a powerful Intel NUC 8 Mini PC Core i5 or higher. If you would like to use a Chome OS, we suggest getting an ASUS Chromebox 4 Core i3 or i7.

See our help page here for a full list of our recommended and supported devices.

Philips 32BDL4550D/00 Signage Solutions D-Line Display - 32"

Philips 43BDL4550D/00 Signage Solutions D-Line Display - 43"

Philips 50BDL4550D/00 Signage Solutions D-Line Display - 50"

Philips 55BDL4550D/00 Signage Solutions D-Line Display - 55"

Philips 65BDL4550D/00 Signage Solutions D-Line Display - 65"

Philips 75BDL4550D/00 Signage Solutions D-Line Display - 75"

Philips 86BDL4550D/00 Signage Solutions D-Line Display - 86"

Philips 98BDL4550D/00 Signage Solutions D-Line Display - 98"

 

 

High Functioning Displays: Medium Option (24/7)

(Best Choice) Samsung QHR Series 

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Image Credit: Samsung

Best for: airport arrival and departure schedules, control rooms, expositions.

Our medium Choice displays running 24/7 hour operation is the Samsung QHR or series. This display honestly belongs to the absolute top class of 4K TVs simply for its brilliant imaging. This series comes in a wide range of 43", 49", 55", 65", and 75" so don't worry, there is a size for everyone. Its intelligent upscaling technology and HDR+ features convert standard content to the highest quality. 

We highly recommend this display for its high brightness of 700 nits and color contrast of 4000: 1. Not only that, but this series features Dynamic Crystal coloring which expresses up to 10 billion different shades. The Samsung QHR's slim and symmetrical design creates seamless video walls as seen in the photo above. Its smart cable management also allows for the power supply and all cables to be neatly organized and redesigned to fit within the display to sit flush against the wall. 

We recommend purchasing an external media player such as the Android-powered Ugoos AM6 device, or if you prefer windows we recommend purchasing a powerful Intel NUC 8 Core i5 or higher. If you would like to use a Chome OS, we suggest getting an ASUS Chromebox 4 Core i3 or i7.

See our help page here for a full list of our recommended and supported devices.

Samsung QH43R 4K UHD Display - 43”

Samsung QH50R 4K UHD Display - 50”

Samsung QH55R 4K UHD Display - 55”

Samsung QH65R 4K UHD Display - 65”

Samsung QH75R 4K UHD Display - 75”

 

(Alternative Choice) Samsung OHF Series

This series is perfectly fit for digital signage as it comes with numerous features that allow you to fit this display in any environment. 

If you prefer a higher brightness we recommend purchasing the Samsung OHF series. This series has an extremely high peak brightness of 2,500 nits! The OHF also comes with anti-reflection technology, suited for brightly lit rooms such as expositions or airports. 

Most importantly for outdoor digital signage, this series comes with an advanced protective layer of 5mm tempered magic glass, protecting the LCD panel in the event the glass is broken, which is highly unlikely as this display is IK10-certified! 

But wait, there's more. The Samsung OHF comes with a complete cooling system and thermal control functionality, allowing the display to function at -30 Celsius (-22 F) and up to 50 degrees Celsius (122 F). In addition, if you are worried about dust, moisture, or even water, the OHF series comes with IP56 level protection, which is the highest standard of ingress protection. This display is completely revolutionizing the way digital signage is used outdoors. Gone are the days when we purchased those thick, clunky display enclosures. 

See our help page here for a full list of our recommended and supported devices.

Samsung QH46F 4K UHD Display - 46”

Samsung QH55F 4K UHD Display - 55”

Samsung QH75F 4K UHD Display - 75”

Samsung QH85F 4K UHD Display - 85”

 

 

High Functioning Displays: Premium Option (24/7)

(Best Choice) Sharp NEC Multi Sync P-Series 

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Image Credit: NEC

Best for: Airport Arrival and departure schedules, control rooms, expositions.

NEC and Sharp are two of the most established and leading manufacturers for professional-grade displays. Their consistency in producing high-quality screens with advanced technologies is the main reason why they fall into our premium category.

Sharp NEC’s professional displays are designed to give an impeccable performance for uninterrupted periods of time. Perhaps you have even seen these in your local airport, most commonly used as a schedule board for incoming flight times. Regardless of their already established use cases, these displays can be applied to lots of different business contexts like shopping malls or restaurants, or anything you like because quite frankly, they are prepared for any environment and their thin bezel makes for an even easier application. 

The P-Series is capable of providing long-term 24/7 reliability use due to its industrial metal chassis and commercial-grade components. But even if you don't want your displays running 24/7, there is a scheduling feature that allows you to program when you want your display to turn off and on. 

The MultiSync P-Series created by Sharp and NEC comes with a high peak brightness of 700 nits, making it the perfect choice as it has more than enough to support your digital signage needs. Please note that the NEC P-series (independent from NEC) only supports 1080p content. However, the MultiSync created by the Sharp NEC partnership has 4K resolution support. If you do not need an SDM or OPS slot then we highly suggest you go with the Sharp NEC Multisync P-Series.

The MultiSync P-Series also comes with an automatic thermal system and ambient light sensors that sense the amount of ambient light in a room, and appropriately adjust the screen's backlight to match the environment helping you conserve more energy.  

Most importantly, this display is future proof! The P-Series maintains the OPS slot from previous generation products, giving users the option to integrate fully functioning PCs and allowing for more complex computing options. If you would like to use an SDM slot, you have the option to purchase that too with the MultiSync displays. Please note that this screen does NOT ship with any speakers; If you would like to use external speakers, you can purchase NEC’s optional stereo speakers here. To Purchase the Intel NUC 8 Hades Canyon click here.

See our help page here for a full list of our recommended and supported devices.

NEC P40P LCD Professional Large Format Display - 40" (OPS slot option)

NEC P48P LCD Professional Large Format Display - 48" (OPS slot option) 

NEC P55P LCD Professional Large Format Display - 55" (OPS slot option)

Sharp NEC MultiSync P435 LCD Professional Large Format Displays - 43" (SDM slot option)

Sharp NEC MultiSync P495 LCD Professional Large Format Displays - 49" (SDM slot option)

Sharp NEC MultiSync P555 LCD Professional Large Format Displays - 55" (SDM slot option)

 

(Alternative Choice) Sharp NEC MultiSync M-Series or MA-Series

A good alternative choice to the P-Series is the MultiSync M-Series or MA-Series. Both these displays can be used for digital signage, the only slight difference is that the MA-Series is a more advanced version of the M-Series.

The Sharp NEC M-series is designed for challenging applications one would normally see in situational control rooms, airports, or other transportation hubs. Whereas the M-Series is suited more for applications such as corporate, retail, and education.

Both series are enclosed with a metal covering to helps ensure the display is safe during the installation and for public spaces. It is also equipped with localized heat sensors that allow for real-time reading to help regulate thermals ensuring your display is always read to handle demanding content, for extensive periods of time. If high temperatures are detected, an automatic cooling system will engage to prevent overheating and maintain consistent brightness. 

Like the P-Series, both M-Series and MA-Series have automatic ambient light-adjusting features that have been carefully designed to sense the lighting in an environment and adjust accordingly to improve the viewing experience. This is a great feature to have if you place this display in a space with inconsistent lighting. Normally with traditional panels, they reflect light which takes away clarity from the content, but with the MA/M-Series anti haze feature, images remain crystal clear guaranteeing superb video performance.

If you are looking for a display that has a peak brightness of 500 nits, a high contrast ratio of 8.000:1, supports 4K resolution, is equipped with commercial-grade features like SDM compatibility, this may be the display for you. 

Sharp NEC MultiSync M431 LCD Professional Large Format Displays - 43" (SDM slot option)

Sharp NEC MultiSync M491 LCD Professional Large Format Displays - 49" (SDM slot option)

Sharp NEC MultiSync M551 LCD Professional Large Format Displays - 55" (SDM slot option)

Sharp NEC MultiSync M651 LCD Professional Large Format Displays - 65" (SDM slot option)

Sharp NEC MultiSync MA431 LCD Professional Large Format Displays - 43" (SDM slot option)

Sharp NEC MultiSync MA491 LCD Professional Large Format Displays - 49" (SDM slot option)

Sharp NEC MultiSync MA551 LCD Professional Large Format Displays - 55" (SDM slot option)

 

 

 

If you have any additional questions on which professional displays to purchase for Digital Signage, or any other questions or feedback about ScreenCloud, feel free to reach out to our support team at support@screencloud.com or give us a call at our toll-free support line at +18885575335.

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