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Commercial Versus Consumer Grade: Pay Close Attention to Display Specs

Apr 28, 2009 12:00 PM, By John W. DeWitt

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What are some of the differences that matter when selecting display panels?

Some of the differences are that commercial-grade panels would be sealed so that dust and contaminants can't get in there. They would have a different backlight structure so it can be used in either portrait or landscape mode. Many larger than 46in. panels have issues if you simply turn them on their side to use in portrait mode. Sharp, for example, offers a landscape-only and portrait-only model. If a VAR takes a 55in. TV and turns it on its side, he or she will run into problems later.

Each of these panel manufacturers has a little something different about what makes theirs commercial grade versus another company's commercial grade. You have to understand from a panel standpoint, not just from the name that's on the bezel.

A good easy way to quickly tell is warranty. Usually consumer-grade products have a one-year warranty. Any commercial-grade product will have at least a three-year warranty, and it will have a three-year warranty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

So does the brand on the outside still matter?

The name that's on the bezel is another thing. That's who the VAR will be interfacing with, so it matters too. But an educated VAR will ask what type of panel is being used in the solution.

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