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Ultimate PID vs. TV Showdown: Unmask the Value and Save

25 Sep 2016

Let us tell you a little about Public Information Displays (PID)—the professional-grade display products built for outstanding performance and reducing costs for your business. Most products either help you earn more by increasing your sales OR help you save more by reducing your cost. Today, we would like to share information on digital signage products designed to help you increase sales AND reduce your total cost.

The advantages of public information display (PID) over a consumer television (TV) are abundant. From design flexibility, to longer product lifespan, to easier integrations, there is no comparison between the value proposition of a PID versus a TV.

PIDs: digital signage designed with ROI in mind

Displays play a critical role in helping you view, read and interpret information that allows you to take appropriate action. But why should your business invest in a professional grade PID display when you might be able to get a similarly sized commercial TV with ‘similar benefits’ for 50% to 70% cheaper?

Germany’s leading engineering professional’s publication,, held a survey of LCD technicians and leading retailers. They concluded, “The average LCD TV from any major brand…is built to last ‘just about three to four years’ when used for about five hours per day.” This sounds great if you use a TV for entertainment and media consumption at home.

Quote source

But if you are a business that is open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, how would a consumer TV perform for you? Here is an example calculation of how long that TV might truly last.

  • TV’s capabilities: Consider the three-year average lifespan and daily usage of five hours, but now increase your usage to 12 hours per day
  • Your needs: 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, that is, 12 hours or 12/5 = 2.4X more operational time per day
  • Result: The TV you installed in your retail or business location to “save” on price breaks down after around 15 months (3/2.4= 1.25 years or 15 months).

What’s more, what if your digital signage need is 24/7 like at a gas stop or airport? You would need to replace the TV every seven months!

Price and cost analysis of a PID over a TV

Price is what you pay on day zero, when you make your purchase. Cost is what you pay over the life of the product. Let us help you compare the price and cost of a Samsung Display PID versus a commercial TV.

Let’s say you have $3,000 and need a 46” digital display solution. Your requirements are:

  • The display will be on every day for 12 hours (4,380 hours in a year)
  • You depreciate the investment over three years
  • Expected replacement is after 36 months

PID vs TV Reliability Comparison

Because your TV will likely last only one year, you may need to replace the TV three times, and a fourth time at the end of your 36 months. The PID will still have about half its life available. You would have invested only $2,000 in the PID, compared to spending $4,000 on TVs, and other loss during downtime and replacement efforts.

Some assumptions included in this basic example could make your choice of a PID even more beneficial.

  • Most commercial signage installations run for 18 ~ 24 hours and not 12 hours
  • Additional cost of hours spent shopping and installing the new TV is omitted
  • We have assumed that when you run something for 12 hours that was built to only run for six hours a day, it will not break down (i.e., commercial TV)
  • We have assumed that if you display still images, you will have no image burn (we are still referring to the commercial TV)
  • Also, we are not implying that PID is the only choice, but if your professional digital signage needs are similar to our assumption, then you can save money, time and effort by choosing a PID product:

PID vs TV Cost Over Time Comparison

This example should have you convinced at this point, but for completeness, below are some additional reasons why a PID trumps a commercial TV for digital signage:

1. Design flexibility

  • While TVs are built to be viewed in only the landscape mode, PID panels can be used in landscape or portrait mode for maximum viewability
  • PIDs can be conjoined to produce a virtually seamless content experience—video walls
  • Consumer displays typically measure around 250 nit while PIDs offer anywhere from 500 to 5,000 nit, and can be easily read even in bright sunlight

PID vs TV - Flexbility Comparison

2. Durability and longevity

  • PIDs are designed to meet the highest professional grade standards
  • The high TNI liquid crystal can perform at temperatures as high as 60°C
  • PID panels are built and tested to perform in a broad range of environmental weather conditions —heat, cold, moisture and dust
  • The special Thin Film Transistors in Samsung Display PID panels are designed to prevent image burn. TVs simply do not offer this sort of technology

PID vs TV - Black Mura Comparison

PID vs TV - Glare Comparison

PID vs TV - Image Sticking Comparison

3. Integration capabilities

  • Modern-day PID solutions do not require an external content source in most cases, and if they do, content can be run from a single source

While price is a crucial consideration, it’s important to consider the purchase as an investment, one that could prove more cost-effective when including the total life-time expenses.

If you want to know more about how PID can help reach your audience, see how Samsung Display can help.