KniTecKnows: TVs v displays – what’s the difference?

by | 30 Jul 2021 | Products

They look identical at first glance. Learn about some of the main differences below.

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? KniTec weighs in.


  • Tuners: Televisions are typically equipped with a TV tuner – sometimes called an HDTV receiver – which allows you to tune in and receive HDTV and DTV (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 v hospitality v 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 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 managed from one centralised location – a setup that is typically used in hotels, hospitals and senior living facilities.
  • Common uses: Hotel guestrooms, 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 centralised 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 equips them for the rigours 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 four 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 runtimes, 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 wifi, Bluetooth and a host of other features.

Use the above as a general guide, but be aware of exceptions to the rules. Always doublecheck 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!

Talk with us: (866) 469-7111 or [email protected]


KniTec knows hospitality technology. It specialises in hospitality televisions and is one of the few companies in the industry that you can consider experts on the subject.

  • Kayla Gephart
  • [email protected]
  • KniTec
  • They look identical at first glance. Learn about some of the main differences, below.