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Bar and restaurant operators have been putting TVs outdoors for years, but they haven’t been equipped with the technology to do much more than change the channel. They’ve also had to make do with screens not quite bright enough, not engineered to use all day and without the rich visuals most of their customers were getting on their home TVs.
That’s all changing with a new product developed by Samsung: Pro TV, Terrace Edition, a professional-grade TV bright enough to be viewed in daylight, engineered for all-day use and equipped with a built-in app that allows owners and operators to use the display both as a TV and as an on-site marketing tool.
The plug-and-play commercial TV can both entertain and inform customers in venues as diverse as beer gardens, amusement parks, farmers markets or even government-run facilities.
Taking TV outdoors
Putting screens outdoors — and making them last — presents a technical challenge for display manufacturers. The sunshine that makes people want to sit, shop and play outside is merciless for digital displays, causing glare that can make it hard to see what’s on screen and loading harsh levels of heat on the TV enclosure and its electronics. Wind, dust, rain and snow can also damage displays unless they’re protected against the elements.
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TVs marketed to the outdoor hospitality and attractions market typically have brightness levels much higher than TVs designed for in-home use, but still well below the brightness needed to counteract glare. So outside displays usually have to be under cover behind the bar or beneath a canopy. They’re also engineered for just eight hours of daily operation — which for most hospitality and attractions businesses is much shorter than their actual operating hours.
Samsung is launching its Terrace Edition of Pro TV on the heels of a Pro TV all-in-one bundle that launched earlier this year.
Pro TV’s 4K display features a built-in TV tuner, an embedded media player and operating system and content management software that can be run from a smartphone.
Unlike existing options for outdoor TVs, the Terrace Edition has a brightness rating of 1,500 nits — more than double that of competing displays. It’s also engineered to be used 16 hours a day, covering the full opening hours of most businesses. The displays are IP55-rated, meaning they can fully handle whatever nature throws at them. Terrace Edition’s bundle also has a three-year warranty — a year beyond most other displays.
Its super-bright display uses QLED technology: a Quantum Dot filter that functions as one of the layers of an LCD display. The Quantum Dot filter amplifies light and provides a range and depth of color not seen on average flat-panel TVs.
TV on the job
TVs are now almost as fundamental to restaurants and bars as tables, chairs and cutlery, but they’re usually single-purpose devices, there to entertain guests and keep them around for more rounds of drinks and appetizers. The only marketing on-screen is the TV ads. Lacking controls, a bar owner could end up showing ads for a competitor.
Pro TV gets more use out of those screens, functioning as bright, rich TVs when the game is on — and as dedicated promotional messengers, on a schedule or on demand.
With Samsung’s Business TV smartphone app — supported on both Android and iOS — users can select from 100-plus professional templates, update them and instantly push them to one or several Pro TV and Terrace displays.
Everything’s managed from the mobile app, so busy managers can make changes easily and immediately. Initial setup securely pairs the mobile device with the display’s onboard computing module.
Wide terrace of options
The Terrace Edition of Pro TV has a variety of other applications:
- Restaurants and cafes that are expanding outside to offset physical distancing restrictions on their indoor dining areas
- Outdoor attractions and sports venues, from theme parks to luxury driving ranges and sports stadiums
- Farmers’ markets and other event-driven public areas
- Thematic pools, notably resorts that offer daytime club experiences
- Common areas for corporate and government uses
Pro TV, Terrace Edition’s high brightness and its content bundle are suited to sun-drenched building atriums. Regular displays might not need weather protection, but they’ll lose the battle with glare during daylight hours.
Outside is different
Because of how they’re designed and how they operate, outdoor TVs are very different from “normal” TVs, and that’s reflected in cost. So it’s important to maximize that technology investment. How good it looks, how long it will happily run and its range of uses should all matter — and will factor into its total cost of ownership (TCO) for any business.
If you’re putting TVs outside, it makes sense to go Pro.