Why using a domestic TV in a commercial environment is a bad idea?

Hotel Bedroom showing a Samsung TV on a wall above a fireplace

Often choosing the right TV for your business can be a confusing task due to the large variety and availability of screens. However, when purchasing large number of screens for a hotel, it is very important to make the right decision before investing in TVs that won’t fit your establishment. In fact, one of the most common mistakes hoteliers do when purchasing TVs is getting attracted by the low price point of domestic TVs and end up facing key issues that can be eradicated by choosing Commercial TVs instead.  

As hotel mode (commercial) TVs are specifically built to run from 16/7 to 24/7 hours per day and are packed with a range of hospitality-specific features, they are much more suited for use in a professional setting. These TVs are built eradicate some of the most common issues with domestic TVs used in a commercial environment.   

Data Privacy

With the growing demand for more secure data storing and customer data protection, making sure guests are safely using the TV in your business is crucial to any business. For instance, imagine that a guest is staying at your hotel and, while using your smart TVs, they decide to access their private emails, log into their personal social media accounts or even add their credit card details to purchase on-demand content.

All this information is put on the TV and, if using a domestic screen, is stored until the user has logged out. Now image the guest checks out and another guest arrives in the same room – all data from the previous guest (his/her email, social media accounts logged in and credit card set up) are still stored on the TV.

When used at home, consumer TVs are designed to keep all this information stored, understandably, to make the user’s experience quicker and more seamless. However, when multiple users are involved as would be the case in a hotel, keeping such personal data becomes a major risk for the guest, which the hotel is liable for.

Therefore, commercial-grade TVs have built-in security settings, ensuring the safety of anyone using the TV’s features. The main use for this feature is to reset the TV and log out of all accounts after the TV has been turned off for a certain amount of time. This data wipe can be set to certain intervals if time or every time the TV is off by default. This will protect your guests’ personal data and give them the confidence to use all TV features.

Warranty

One of the most prominent issues with using a domestic TV in hotels is its warranty. Often, hoteliers are drawn by the cheap price of a domestic TV, not realising that these TVs’ warranty is void when used in a commercial environment. As domestic TVs are not fit for the extensive use in a business, TV manufacturers would simply not accept any warranty repairs.

In fact, many domestic TV brands would clearly state in their warranty conditions that the “warranty is void if used in a commercial space…” Furthermore, if the TV is for domestic use, and you have used it in a commercial environment but claim that you have not, this can be seen as committing fraud.

In most cases, businesses are buying anything from 20 to 200+ screens, which is simply too big of an investment to put in TVs without appropriate warranty cover. In fact, the little saving that can be made on the price of a domestic TV can rarely justify the costs associated with any replacement or/and repairs in the long run. Commercial TVs, however, and specifically built for prolonged use in hospitality, retail or healthcare. Most commercial displays typically offer a minimum of 2 year warranty – with some extending to 3 or 5 years. Furthermore, unlike domestic service where you usually have to send the unit for repairs, the commercial warranty usually also covers on-site visits, making it quicker, easier and more cost effective for businesses to replace a commercial screen.

Commercial Settings

Another reason to scrap the idea of building domestic TVs for your business is the exclusive range of hospitality-specific settings and features that a commercial TV offers. In contrast to consumer TVs, these hotel grade displays offer much more control to the hotelier over how the TV behaves and what the guest can and cannot do. For instance, some of the main commercial-specific features include:

  • Volume settings: This configuration allows the hotelier to set a maximum volume on the in-room TVs. This feature helps prevent guests disturbing others around them by playing the TV too loud.
  • Power-On settings: This feature allows hoteliers to configure what happens when the TV turns on. For instance, the TV can be set to always start on a specific channel, or it could start on a different input source, like a HDMI etc.
  • Channel settings: This setting offers hotel owners to lock the channels on the TV. This, in turn, eliminates any issues with guests removing channels off the TV while browsing through.
  • Security settings: The main use for this feature is to reset the TV and log out of all accounts after the TV has been turned off for a certain amount of time. This will protect your guests’ personal data and give them the confidence to use all TV features
  • Hospitality Logo/Message: This setting allows hoteliers to add a welcome logo(image) or video and a short message to be displayed for up to 7 seconds when the TV is turned on
  • Menu OSD: Smart Hotel TVs allow for a welcome menu to be set up on the TV with an image, logo, welcome message and 8 interactive buttons (TV channels, source, Bluetooth, Screen Mirroring, Wi-Fi, Display Settings, Alarm Clock, etc.)
  • TV Systems: commercial TVs also have the ability to run different hotel TV systems,  from brand-specific information systems, such as Samsung Lynk Reach, Philips CMND, LG Pro:Centric, etc., to advanced interactive systems allowing for buying directly via the TV

Furthermore, Smart Hospitality Displays include internal players which replace the use of set top boxes, keeping costs down for the hotelier.

Price

Finally, as cost is a major factor in decision making for businesses, often hoteliers are tempted by the low price of domestic screens when choosing their TVs.  In most cases, consumer TVs end up being used in commercial environments because of the assumption that they are more cost effective or because of the lack of knowledge about commercial displays.

While in most cases commercial TVs are slightly more expensive than domestics, the price difference is usually not major and offers much more control and functionality to the hotelier than a consumer TV will. In fact, many leading TV brands, such as Samsung, Philips, LG, etc., invest in extensive Research & Development to ensure their commercial TVs are better fit and offer all needed features for use in a hospitality setting.

Furthermore, commercial TVs offer better warranties and can come very close to domestic TV prices in large quantities as TV resellers offer discounts on larger orders. With longer warranties and better durability, these TVs are much more cost effective long term than domestics.

All in all, while consumer TVs can seem like a cheap and easy solution for a hotel, they are in fact much less secure and can incur much higher costs than commercial TVs. The choice is in your hands.

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