faq

TV Q & A

Ok, first let’s take a look at some general application differences. Typically, a consumer TV is designed just for viewing TV so that you can take it home and watch consumer video formats such as TV, Blu-ray, streaming services, etc. and they are normally used a few hours a day, and that’s about it. The uses for a display in a commercial setting vary widely. Examples include a display in a lobby or waiting area displaying TV programs, digital signage, way-finding kiosk, menu board at a restaurant where there can be higher temperatures, more exposure to dust, grease, etc., or perhaps a large-screen touch enabled display for use in a conference room. The amount of time they are typically on vary anywhere from a couple hours a day to 24/7 and 365 days a year. Because of this, there a wide variety of commercial displays built for different types of applications; most professional displays have quite a few differences, so let’s take a look at some of the key differences.
Consumer displays are warrantied for just that: consumer use. That means it is warrantied for a period of time, (usually one year) for use in your home. If you look closely at consumer warranties, you will almost always find somewhere that specifies the warranty is only valid for consumer use. Some will say that the, “warranty is void if used in a commercial space,” while there are one or two that will say something like, “For commercial use, the warranty is 90 Days parts and labor.” In any case, if you are looking for a display for your business, the warranty is something to take into consideration. Most commercial displays typically carry a 3 years parts and labor warranty – with some extending to 5 years, and a few light commercial displays only covering 2 years. Often times, businesses may use consumer displays simply because they weren’t aware that commercial options exist, or, they didn’t know where to find them. Another difference between a consumer and commercial warranty is that a consumer warranty is typically warranted to carry-in-service, whereas a commercial warranty likely covers on-site service. Who wants to have to bring in an 80” or 90” display for repairs, right? With a commercial set, they come to you and take care of it if it needs to go in for service and can’t be fixed on site.
Cost is a big part of a purchase decision. Often times consumer displays get used in a business because people are under the assumption that a commercial display will cost significantly more, or they don’t even know commercial options exist. While it is true that typically commercial models tend to cost more than the same size consumer TV, there is a wide price range of commercial displays, with some coming very close to the price of similarly-sized consumer TVs and offering better warranties, while others with specific features may cost significantly more. Additionally, something to think about when considering displays is the cost of ownership over time. If the display is planned to be in place for a long time a commercial display will likely outlast a consumer TV and, in the long run, cost less than a consumer TV (due to the build quality, durability, and other features).
Here’s an example of a Sony consumer TV and an ultra-thin bezel display from Sharp. One of the benefits of commercial displays is that they will maintain the same cosmetic look for years (which is desirable when adding panels over time), whereas consumer models change on at least a yearly basis. If you are adding displays in your facility year after year, you can maintain the same look and feel by going with a commercial display. Another difference found in commercial monitors are the size and shape of the bezel. “A display’s enclosure is comprised of a bezel which goes around the viewable area of the screen and a casing that covers the back. Commercial screen enclosures have been toughened to withstand the “elements” involved in deployments. For example, digital menu boards in restaurants have to withstand high heat and even grease, while screens in rail stations have to be resistant to dust.” Commercial displays come in varying sizes of bezel, from standard to ultra-narrow bezel designed for video wall applications. The thinner the bezel, the more expensive the display. Consumer chassis are designed more for aesthetics and generally aren’t appropriate for business settings, while industrial designed commercial displays are designed with clean, symmetrical lines and often don’t include the manufacturer’s logo.
Consumer displays generally are designed to work well for lighting conditions that are controlled or somewhat controlled. Brightness is rated for displays in terms of Nits or Candelas squared (cd/m2.) Consumer Televisions usually fall in the range of 150-250 Nits, which is fine for most viewing at home. However, in brightly lit conditions often found in commercial or retail spaces, higher brightness is desired. Commercial displays range in brightness depending on the series, ranging anywhere from 300-2000 Nits for outdoor, full sunlight applications.
What is the difference between a TV and a monitor? In a nutshell, a television will have a tuner to pick up broadcast, or cable stations, as well as have built-in speakers. Technically speaking, a monitor alone does not contain a tuner – it simply displays the signal from one or more inputs. However, many professional displays may have a built-in tuner, or come as an option. Similarly, some professional displays will not have speakers, while others may have them built in, or also come as an optional add on accessory.
There are many other additional features that are found in professional displays: • Control – RS232 or Ethernet (Lan control) are designed for control and monitoring, and is usually not found in consumer displays, but allows for greater flexibility and more precise control of a display’s features and functions without having to use a remote. Designed for easier integration into a controlled or automated system. • Orientation – Consumer TVs are designed only to be used in landscape orientation – the way you would watch TV at home. However, portrait orientation is often desirable for applications in commercial settings. Some commercial displays are designed to be used in either orientation – meaning they will cool properly regardless of which orientation they are used in. Most consumer warranties are voided if the TV is used in a portrait orientation. • Built in scheduling – Besides having more control options than a consumer TV, commercial displays often have built-in or externally managed ways of scheduling them to turn on and off on a schedule. • Connectivity – Consumer displays are usually limited to HDMI, and perhaps legacy composite and/or component video. Professional displays will usually have more types of inputs including HDMI, display port, DVI, VGA, as well as component and composite video. Often times they will also include video loop-output. • PC Sync – Consumer displays are usually designed to handle consumer video formats and limited PC resolutions, making image scaling and screen fit difficult or often impossible. Professional displays are designed to handle a wide range of multi-sync supported resolutions making it possible to properly size and fit the screen. • Hospitality – displays designed for hospitality have specific functions making them especially good for use in hotels, motels, hospitals, or other applications where consumer-like features are needed, but more control is desired – such as being able to lock out certain features, menus, etc. • Finish – Consumer displays typically have a glossy finish to the glass, which is usually fine for use in a home where there are not a lot of lights, windows, and other possible points of reflection and glare. However glare in a commercial setting can be not only distracting, but prevent important information from being seen. Commercial models have varying types of matte, and anti-glare coatings to provide the best readability and visibility. • Slot based, or on-board PC or media players – Commercial displays often offer slots for options for PC modules or come with built-in digital signage media players. • Screen/Glass – The screen itself is also a factor. Commercial grade screens often tout having enhanced glass modules designed for long hours of operation and that are less sensitive to image retention issues. “True commercial models use a commercial grade glass that has multiple layers allowing for 7/24/365 operation cycles.” • Handles – often times commercial panels will have detachable handles that help with installation, and mounting • Built-in Amplifier/speaker output – step up commercial displays often have built-in amplifiers with speaker terminals that work great to add some external or in-ceiling speakers, a great example for a use like this is a small conference room, with a commercial display on the wall, having a built-in amplifier saves on cost and adding additional equipment but allows for improved sound quality and coverage.
If you are in need of displays for your business, school, or other commercial setting, knowing the difference between consumer and commercial panels can save you money in the long run. The more robust build, glass, greater control ability, and extended warranty will provide peace of mind that your message will be both seen and heard for years.
  • Pro:Idiom TV is a digital protection system and encryption technology used in the hospitality industry to securely deliver HDTV programming and video on demand to guests in hotel rooms.
  • Pro:Idiom encryption technology eliminates the need for a cable box or cable card within the hotel room, eliminating equipment that guests may tamper with.
  • Certain content providers like HBO, Showtime and other TV and movie channels require hotels to have signal encryption like Pro:Idiom TV present in each room to protect their content from being pirated.
Pro:Idiom is a common feature of hospitality TV, enabling hotels to protect HD signals carrying video from content providers. But what is Pro:Idiom TV exactly, and what is its benefit for the hospitality industry? Here’s a brief primer on “What is Pro:Idiom TV” that provides an introduction to this subject.
What is Pro:Idiom TV? Pro:Idiom TV refers to a TV display or hospitality TV system that uses Pro:Idiom technology to protect digital content through encryption.
What is Pro:Idiom TV technology? Pro:Idiom TV was developed by LG specifically for use in the hospitality industry. Encrypted digital HD signals are sent to hotels where they pass through a central decoder, before being re-encoded for secure delivery to TVs in each room where the signal is once again decoded by Pro:Idiom technology within the TV.
What is Pro:Idiom TV vs. consumer technology? Pro:Idiom TV technology requires TV sets equipped with a Pro:Idiom chip to decode encrypted signals. These TV displays, often called hospitality TV sets, are readily available from major manufacturers. Ordinary consumer televisions are not equipped to handle Pro:Idiom technology.
What is Pro:Idiom TV’s greatest benefit? Pro:Idiom TV enables hotels to eliminate set-top boxes in guestrooms, providing a cleaner visual aesthetic and removing a piece of equipment to that is often stolen or tampered with.
What is Pro:Idiom TV’s impact on security? Without encryption technology like Pro:Idiom, digital signals sent to a TV in a guestroom can easily be pirated by an outside source. This is why major providers like HBO require businesses to have an encryption solution like Pro:Idiom TV.
Before the introduction of flat screen TVs, hotels using LodgeNet services were required to have a ‘box’ strapped to the back of the TV or nearby furniture enabling the decryption of video content and act as a gateway to restrict unauthorized access to pay per view movies. The ‘set-back box’ is about the size of a pack of playing cards and typically has three cables coming from it: power cable, coaxial TV cable, and bLAN (looks like the hardwire internet plug on your laptop.) Basically bLAN is just an abbreviated name for LodgeNet’s/Sonifi set-back box. When you see bLAN on a flatscreen TV description, it implies that LodgeNet’s/Sonifi set-back box is built into the TV’s housing. Only customers subscribing to LodgeNet’s/Sonifi services or similar services i.e. ‘On Command’ (was acquired by LodgeNet/Sonifi) require bLAN TVs. bLAN TVs are equipped with the Pro:idiom chipset. bLAN and Pro:idiom goes hand in hand.

PTAC Q & A

A PTAC (Package Terminal Air Conditioner) is a through the wall Hotel type Heating and Cooling unit. They are available in Cooling only, Cooling with electric heat and Heat Pump with electric heat. The units are all electric and some units can be operated on 115 volts while most are 240 volt. All new installations require the use of a Wall Sleeve, Aluminum Grille and a Drain Kit.
PTAC units can be used for small additions, sunrooms, attic and or garage conversions. They have to be installed through an outside wall and power needs to be near the unit in the form of an outlet. There is no ductwork required to use a PTAC unit although there are duct pieces that can be special ordered through the manufacturer. They are very DIY friendly as there are no refrigerant connections to be done.
A heat pump is basically an air conditioner that runs in a reverse cycle. So instead of absorbing heat from inside the home and releasing it to the outside like a standard A/C unit would do, the heat pump absorbs heat from outside and releases it to the inside of the home. This is done by way of a four way reversing valve and piping in the unit. The heat pump unit has to go through a defrost cycle because the “condenser” coil will frost up under normal operation. The electric heat is mainly a back up to the heat pump. When temperatures are too low for the heat pump to keep up the electric heat will take over and satisfy the heating demand.

Factors that affect heating and cooling include:

Room Size: Sq. Ft. x 30 = Rough Estimate of BTU Output needed Usage: Number of people that typically occupy the room

Room Design: The ceiling height and insulation factors

Room Location: The direction the room faces; amount of sunlight and whether it receives afternoon or morning sun.

Should you not find a PTAC unit with a BTU Output to meet your heating and cooling needs, you will need to decide whether to use an undersized or oversized unit for the area.

Slightly undersized PTACs operate continuously to provide more comfort and savings in a smaller room than oversized units operating intermittently. In larger rooms, two smaller units will cool more efficiently than one large unit, and in milder weather you can run a single unit to save money.

Significantly undersized PTACs cannot cool the room down, nor remove moisture from the air. As a result, the room will feel warm and possibly humid.

Oversized PTACs will cool the space quickly, but not remove moisture to lower the humidity. As a result, the room will feel cool and humid.

SQ. FT. BTU
100–150 5000
150–250 6000
250–300 7000
300–350 8000
350–400 9000
400–450 10000
450–550 12000
550–700 15000
700–1000 18000
1000–1200 21000
1200–1400 23000
1400–1600 25000
1600–1900 28000
1900–2700 36000