TVs VS DISPLAYS - What’s the difference?

TVs VS DISPLAYS - What’s the difference?

July 15, 2021   /  Knitec Enterprises, Kayla Gephart

They have screens and plugs, and at first glance, look almost identical. So what really are the differences between TVs and Displays? And which one is right for your next Hospitality or Professional Audio-Visual project?


Tuners: Televisions are typically equipped with a TV-tuner - sometimes called an HDTV receiver - which allows you to tune in and receive HDTV and DVT (Digital TV) broadcasts. But there’s an exception to every rule: in response to the popularity of internet streaming services, television manufacturers are choosing to forgo tuners in some of their newer models. This could pose an issue for consumers who are considering moving away from cable and connecting to an antenna instead, so confirm before purchasing.

All-In-One: Televisions are also considered to be all-in-one, out-of-the-box solutions as they typically include remotes, a stand, and speakers (although we can’t fault you for wanting to add a sleek aftermarket soundbar). 

Consumer vs. Hospitality Vs. Healthcare: To add another layer to the television discussion, consider the difference between consumer, hospitality, and healthcare televisions. Whole articles have been written on this topic, but suffice it to say here that Consumer TVs are typically less expensive than their Commercial counterparts, but also have shorter, less robust warranties and fewer encryption and security capabilities - features that are critical in Commercial environments. Additionally, Commercial TVs are compatible with technology solutions that deliver content across dozens or hundreds of TVs that are managed from one centralized location - a setup that is typically used in Hotels, Hospitals, and Senior Living Facilities. 

Common Uses: Hotel Guest Rooms, Hospital Patient Rooms, Senior Living Facilities, Consumer Environments

Feature Recap: TV Tuners, speakers, considered “all-in-one” systems

Top Hospitality Models: Check out Samsung’s NT678U series or the comparable LG UT570H series. These Pro:Idiom, b-LAN displays might be perfect for your next hospitality project.


Display-Only: Displays, sometimes called “Commercial Displays,” are often one part of a larger digital signage system or an announcement system with separate, commercial-grade speakers. As such, Commercial Displays are typically not equipped with speakers. And because they’re often controlled with a centralized Content Management System, they also don’t often have built-in TV tuners.

Quality Components: So, with fewer features, why can Commercial Displays cost up to twice as much as TVs of similar size? The quality of the components in Commercial Displays equip them for the rigors of business use. When Displays are used as Digital Signage in a hotel lobby, restaurant, or retail environment, for instance, they often need to run 12-24 hours every day without fail, compared to 4 hours with a typical consumer TV. They are typically installed in high traffic areas and sport strong metal housing - unlike the plastic housing of a TV.

Common Uses: Hotel Lobbies, Restaurants, Retail Stores, Airports, and other Commercial Environments

Feature Recap: High-quality components, longer run-times, increased connectivity options, one piece of a larger system

Top Commercial Displays: Check out LG’s UT640S or the comparable Samsung QB-R series. These 4K Commercial Smart Displays are equipped with built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a host of other features.

Use the above as a general guide, but be aware of exceptions to the rules. Always double check the Specification Sheet before you purchase, or talk with a trusted expert. KniTec is the largest dealer of Hospitality TVs in the country; our knowledgeable reps are happy to help!

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