Consumer TVs in a Pro World

If you are a fan of technology and gadgets, and I imagine most of us in this industry are, then you have probably “overbought” your needs or specs at some point. Maybe you went with the step-up model cell phone; or bought a bigger, more expensive TV than you need; or splurged on extra wattage for your stereo. I know I have and will again in the future. It is fun to dive into the settings and check out all the features on a new “toy.” While this may be great for techies and personal use, it is not a solid approach in the Pro A/V world. The current industry climate has customers being cost conscious due to tighter budgets and credit lines, so any savings or value you provide can swing a project or deal in your favor.

So, what better time to take an updated look at using consumer TVs in a commercial setting, than now? There has been a historical reluctance to use consumer TVs in commercial spaces due to many factors and rightly so in some applications. Displays that require long run times, will be used in harsh environments, or for digital signage projects are best suited for commercial displays designed for those use cases. However, there are applications and situations where you would be doing your customers and end-users a disservice by not considering consumer TVs for your projects. The cost and ease of use can save significant money and time. Odds are that the users will have some level of familiarity with the remote and user interface, especially when compared to a commercial display.

What markets should you focus on?

 Education Market – Focus models: Samsung Crystal UHD Series

The Education market has been one of the strongest verticals for consumer TV sales the past few years. Not all schools are looking for auto tracking PTZs or elaborate projection and audio systems. The lower cost and built-in streaming apps on Samsung TVs make them a natural fit in schools and classrooms. Work within your client’s budget and provide value beyond the price. Samsung consumer TVs come packed with features and extras. Samsung TV Plus provides free TV channels with no sign-up, fees, or cables. Choose from 350+ live TV channels and 1000s of movies and shows on demand, all for free. Streaming apps such as Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video can be downloaded to the user interface and utilized for streaming in the classroom. You will not find these in commercial displays. Samsung Gaming Hub features cloud gaming with Xbox Online Game Pass as well as other big names in game streaming. You can play many of your favorite titles from Xbox and others without having to purchase a console. Simply connect a Bluetooth game controller to your TV and you are in the game. While educators may not be thrilled about gaming in the classroom, the rise of esports and gaming in general make this a valuable addition and can provide entertainment beyond the usual. With all these features coming stock in Samsung consumer TVs, customers are getting more than “just a TV.”

Corporate and Hotel Lobbies – Focus models: Samsung The Frame

Another area of focus and success has been corporate and hotel lobbies, specifically with Samsung’s The Frame series. This line of TVs was introduced in 2017 and has been wildly popular in both residential and commercial applications. During regular usage, The Frame is a 4K QLED TV with all the same features as Samsung’s other QLED models. In Art Mode, the set transforms into a showcase for pre-loaded or purchased works of art, or you can display your personal art or pictures. The matte display film on the screen adds texture and life to the screen while the customizable bezels help blend the TV in with the décor of its domain. The adaptability to toggle from a standard TV to a gallery for art, makes The Frame ideal for settings where a TV or shiny black rectangle may not be what is wanted all the time. The included slim fit wall mount positions the display practically flush against the wall, furthering the illusion of it being an art piece, and providing an added value. The Frame TVs have also been popular with doctor’s and dentist’s offices. We have seen several projects where the TVs were mounted on the wall or ceiling for dental patients to watch as they receive services and can then be disguised as art when not being watched.

Sell them only what they need.

If the RFQ calls for a TV rated for 8 hours and 7 days a week, there is no need to sell a display that is rated to run all day or even 16/7. If the end-user is only open 8 hours per day or closed on weekends, a consumer panel rated at 8/7 will suit them quite well.  Speaking of needs, you will want to offer an extended warranty with the TV. The manufacturer’s warranty is reduced to 90 days when used in a commercial space. This provides a nice segue to talking about accessories and your customer’s other potential needs for their project.

How to recognize a consumer TV opportunity.

One easy way to identify an opportunity to use consumer TVs is to look for the buzzwords and phrases below:

Consumer TVFor Crystal UHD

  • “Low cost”
  • “Cheapest you have.”
  • “Doesn’t have to run all day.”
  • “Won’t be used all the time.”
  • “Doesn’t need to be fancy.”
  • “Most bang for their buck.”
  • “Limited run time”
  • “Smart TV”

Frame TVFor The Frame

  • “Looking for something different.”
  • “Comes in different colors.”
  • “Want something to match the room.”
  • “They want the TV to blend in or hide.”


While consumer TVs may not be the right tool for every job, they certainly have their place in the commercial audio-visual industry and should be considered when applicable.

Contact your Exertis Almo representative for assistance in designing your next AV system or selecting the ideal audiovisual equipment for your project.

Gerry Aubrey
About the Author

Gerry Aubrey | DSCE

Business Development Manager

Supported Manufacturers: Samsung CE

Ingress Protection: the other IP of AV

When you hear the letters “IP“, most people probably think of Internet Protocol, Intellectual Property, or maybe even Innings Pitched.  Here, we are going to be referring to Ingress Protection, or how well an electrical enclosure can protect from the penetration of dust and moisture. Even if you have never heard the term before, you have most certainly thought about ingress protection at some time. Have you ever spilled water on your phone, tablet, or laptop?  That instant panic (and possible profanities) is caused by your lack of trust in the ability of your device to keep out moisture.

Most new cellphones are marketed as waterproof or water-resistant. What do those terms mean? Are they marketing buzzwords, or are they meant to be taken at face value? This video by CNBC does a good job explaining them. I have personally taken the term waterproof too literally myself. On my oldest daughter’s 1st birthday, we took her swimming and I wanted to document as much as I could with my “waterproof” phone. We had a great time, but the documentation did not go as planned. In fact, I learned a new notification that day. A water droplet icon meant that moisture had made its way into my phone, and it was no longer functioning properly.

How did these standards come to be? In 1976, the International Electrotechnical Commission, or IEC, published IEC 60529, with the goal of standardizing the requirements regarding protection by enclosures. Prior to that time, there were separate standards for motors and low-voltage switchgear and controlgear.

The IP rating consists of two digits:

  1. The first rates protection against solid objects and works on a scale of 0-6.
  2. The second rates protection against liquids and works on a scale of 0-9.

The guide below lists details of what level of protection each number represents.

IP ratings chart

Outdoor displays should have a rating of no less than IP55, to be reasonably safe from both dust and water. Using the above guide tells us that the first numeral of 5 means that the enclosure is considered “dust-protected”. Since we are fully in pollen season in much of the country, strong protection against solid foreign objects is necessary. A first numeral rating of 4 would not supply the necessary protection against pollen grains as they are smaller than the 1.0mm size listed in the description. The second numeral of 5 means that the device is “protected against water jets”.  Who is going to be blasting an outdoor display with water jets?  Well, a landscaping sprinkler system or someone using a hose are both water jets you would want to be safe from.

Samsung Terrace Outdoor qn65lst7tafOutdoor installations have progressed from your run-of-the-mill bank clocks with time and temperature to complex direct view LED displays that are truly immersive.  Keeping the viewer immersed, and not the hardware, is a key to the success and longevity of any outdoor AV project.  When your electronics are exposed to the elements, you will always have some degree of risk involved.  Using the IP ratings, along with the manufacturer’s suggested usage and accessories, will allow you to minimize risk for your projects and customers.  Be certain to read the warranty as well to ensure you are not doing anything that might void or shorten your warranty period.

Samsung Terrace Outdoor SoundbarOutdoor displays can range from a standard TV in an enclosure designed to be outdoors, all the way up to massive dvLEDs that you might see in Las Vegas or Times Square. Whatever your needs, Exertis Almo can provide solutions that run the gamut, including multiple dvLED vendors. The Samsung Terrace Series (consumer) provides options for outdoor displays, a soundbar offering, as well as accessories that can help protect and prolong the life of the hardware.  These have become quite popular in commercial settings such as bars, restaurants, hotels, and even corporate patio areas. 

Visit today to learn more about our outdoor displays and other products.

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Gerry Aubrey

About the Author

Gerry Aubrey | DSCE

Business Development Manager

Supported Manufacturers: Samsung CE

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