Choosing the Best TV for Your Digital Menu

When using a TV for your digital menu, there's a couple things to consider. Things like location, how many menu items are being displayed and how far away a customer is from the menu helps determine the size of the TV. We recommend 50″ to 60″ HD (LCD or LED) TVs with at least one HDMI port. A screen smaller than 42" may appear distorted when a large number of items are being displayed. Typically around 15-20 items fits nicely on a TV screen depending on the layout you choose. 

What do we use for our Digital Boards? We currently use this TV in our office. There are new makes and models every day. If you have a particular TV that is working well for you. Let us know!

What to consider when buying a new TV

So what’s the best TV for displaying a digital menu board? Let’s break down the different factors to consider when you purchase a TV to showcase your food and drink items.

LED VS LCD

First, you’ll have to decide between LED and LCD options. LED’s are generally more expensive, but they have a brighter display with more contrast. They also use less power than conventional LCD’s.

RESOLUTION

The resolution of the screen is the next big decision you’ll need to make. 1080p is the industry standard for high-definition, crisp image, but a lot of businesses can also get by with 720p. You may have heard about 4K, which is the newest, state-of-the-art screen resolution. While it’s a buzzworthy option, the fact of the matter is that you’re unlikely to have the resources to produce 4K content and it’s unlikely that your customers will see a major difference compared to 1080p. Bottom line? The additional expense is unnecessary for most businesses.

SIZE AND LAYOUT

The size and layout of your TV are largely determined by the location of your menu screen(s). When choosing where to place your menu board, your goal should be to get the most possible eyes on it at any given time. Make it easy for patrons to see and compare options and place orders. Remember, digital menu boards are great for upselling customers and facilitating unplanned purchases. Many businesses place multiple screens in different areas, depending on purpose. For example, menu boards above the bar or order counter, and promotional boards in seating or retail areas to showcase social media, event promos or other content.

Depending on your existing space, customers may end up fairly close or a fair distance away from your TV menu. Generally, larger spaces do better with larger screens. You can also get away with lower resolutions if your customers are farther away. In rare circumstances, a projector can stand in if you have enough wall space and want to display your menu at a huge size.

You can choose to set up your screen in a portrait or landscape orientation. If your space already features several screens (think a sports bar with lots of TVs), a portrait-oriented menu can be a great way to fit in another screen. The unique orientation can also make your menu items pop.

Tap rooms, traditional bars or counter-service restaurants often choose landscape-oriented menus because the dimensions enable them to showcase a huge selection of food and drink options. Because of the counter-service layout of these kinds of locations, customers are generally close enough to read these larger menus.

See our top picks for TV's for your digital menu board in 2019. 

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