JD Pro recently turned down a job in a Catholic church because the church leaders had some ideas that didn’t fit our values and mission. We pledge to provide long-lasting, reliable audio video systems that will meet our customer’s needs and budget.

They listened to our ideas for an audio upgrade and were happy with the bid, but when we discussed hanging LEDs in the lobby for digital signage… Let’s just say we came to a disagreement. They wanted us to mount inexpensive, consumer LEDs not rated for long hours of use, in a portrait (that is, vertical) configuration.

In the interests of consumer education – and maybe saving you some hassles if you’re looking at church video upgrades — we want to show you exactly why this is a bad idea. There are several reasons.

Some Commercial LEDs Can Be Mounted Safely in Any Configuration

While it is physically possible to hang a consumer LED vertically and program it to display content that way, it’s not recommended. They don’t have the proper cooling systems to handle it, and they will burn out faster.

A commercial LED from a manufacturer like Sharp, Samsung or LG is built to last and some can even be mounted in any configuration: portrait, landscape, even diagonally. It might require custom mounting hardware and creative design to make it happen and you should definitely speak to an audio video professional to ensure your screen of choice can be mounted in a non-traditional way.

If you are going to be mounting screens vertically, as many digital signage applications require, you need commercial screens that are designed for it.

Commercial LEDs Offer Better Pictures and Wider Viewing Angles in High Ambient Light

Commercial LED screens are designed with a matte finish that offers better viewing angles in sanctuaries and classrooms – high ambient light situations. While it’s easy, at home, to turn off the lights when you want to enjoy a movie, that’s not practical in a lecture hall, boardroom, or in a church lobby or sanctuary.

They also offer more processing power, enhanced colors, and a host of other features that you don’t get with low-cost, consumer screens.

Commercial LEDs Provide Multiple Functions and Inputs

For digital signage applications, especially, multiple input sources are important. While consumer screens have HDMI and cable inputs and maybe USB ports, commercial grade screens offer PC inputs, serial ports, VGA, RCA, and cable inputs, plus RS-232 connectivity allowing two-way communications between the screen and commercial controllers. Additionally, many of today’s commercial screens are IP-addressable, meaning you can set your device up to live on your facility’s network for remote control, monitoring and management, and even program and schedule digital signage from any Internet-connected device.

Commercial LEDs Last Longer, even with Prolonged Use

If we had hung the consumer screens the church wanted, we’d be back in 5 years or so to replace them – that’s a guarantee. What isn’t guaranteed – or warranteed, for that matter, are the screens themselves. In the interests of saving money, the church would have wasted thousands of dollars in product plus the labor for us to hang them, when they needed replacing in just a few years.

We have commercial monitors hanging in other locations that are approaching their 10th anniversary and still going strong. And even if you’re running those screens for 15 to 24 hours at a time, they won’t burn out.

Commercial LEDs Are Warranted to Withstand Commercial Conditions – And They Do

Commercial screens are designed with a more sturdy enclosure – often with an ultra-slim bezel to give it even more visual appeal. Commercial screens have enhanced cooling mechanisms, heavy duty components, and higher quality parts than consumer screens. http://www.samsung.com/us/pdf/knowledgectr/Why_Buy_Pro_WhitePaper.pdf?INT=us:pdf:knowledgectrpd_whitepapers:pos3:whybuycommercialscreens

The screens are also warranteed for three to five years. If one breaks, JD Pro stands by our work, with free service as part of your screen warranty. This means those commercial LEDs provide you with peace-of-mind you won’t get from big box stores. If the screen stops working, we’ll have a truck on-site with a new one before your next church service in most cases.

You Get What You Pay For

When it comes to screens for digital signage, house-of-worship, educational and corporate applications, you definitely get what you pay for, and you’re not saving money if you try to cut corners today. Your commercial screen is built to last – and if it doesn’t, you’re covered for a replacement of parts and labor. We can’t make that promise if you buy consumer screens and expect them to work the same way as their well-engineered commercial counterparts.

Changing Minds, Creating Happy Customers

We are happy to say that the church we mentioned at the beginning of this post did some of their own research, realized we’re a trusted local integrator that isn’t looking to steal their money or inflate costs on the project, and called us back. We’re looking forward to sharing the details of a new JD Pro church installation using 70-inch Sharp commercial LEDs for digital signage in the coming months.

Did your consumer HDTVs burn out before their time? Are you ready for a video upgrade with the right components for our facility? Give us a call and see what JD Systems can do for you.