Want to set up a wireless Conference Room?Try Now

Previously on this blog, we looked at the best conference room TVs and best conference room projectors of 2017. But one thing we haven’t addressed yet is which is the better solution. So if you have a large empty wall in your conference room and can’t decide if you want to fill it with a TV or a projector screen, this blog should help you make up your mind.

Projectors: Pros

If your conference room is exceptionally large, a 60-inch TV just isn’t going to cut it. Even a 100-inch TV screen—pretty much the largest size that’s commercially available—may leave some people straining their eyes. This is where a projector will come in handy. Some models are capable of projecting onto a 300-inch screen without compromising the image. That’s roughly the same size as your local multiplex’s smallest screen, so even if all your end users forget their glasses at home, you’re unlikely to hear anyone complain that the screen is too small.
And if you need a large image, projectors will also save you money. A 100-inch TV comes with a price tag of $60,000. But a projector capable of filling up a 300-inch screen can be purchased for somewhere between $5000 (high end) and $27,000 (extremely high end).
Companies that use video to woo clients will find a high-end projector especially useful. A sales pitch that involves a video presentation is going to carry far more oomph on a giant screen with a 4K projector than on a TV.

Projectors: Cons

The major drawback of a projector is that the bulb has the lifespan of a fruit fly. If your end users are forgetful and leave the projector running overnight, you could be replacing that bulb fairly often. All those replacement bulbs are going to add up quickly.
Do you have a speaker system to go along with the projector? If not, you may want to get one. The built-in speakers on projectors are notoriously bad.
And if you use your display mainly for PowerPoints, a 300-inch projector screen isn’t going to make those pie charts any more visually compelling.

TVs: Pros

For smaller conference rooms, a 60-inch display is really all that you need. Most business meetings are attended by 8 people or less, and it’s difficult to imagine a scenario (apart from sales pitches) in which an 8-person meeting would require a 300-inch screen.
Since TVs have a longer lifespan than projectors, you don’t have to worry about turning them off after every meeting, which means that you can use them for digital signage. If you’re going to pay a few thousand dollars for a screen, you may as well get the most out of it, and one way to get the most out of it is to use it to display the conference room schedule, company notifications, or promotional photos/videos when meetings aren’t in session. After all, you don’t cover up your paintings with cloth when you’re not in the room, so why leave the TV off?

TVs: Cons

As stated above, good luck finding a 300-inch TV.


Whichever display you ultimately decide on, always remember: Your end users are going get frustrated if it takes them 5 minutes to connect their laptop to it, and if you rely on a cabinet full of cables and adapters (HDMI, VGA, mini DisplayPort, etc) to solve your connectivity issues, a 5 minute set-up time is going to be common. We recommend looking into a wireless presentation solution instead.
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Want to set up a wireless Conference Room?Try Now

What separates conference room TVs from home theater TVs? Unlike projectors, which are explicitly marketed for both uses (super bright for conference rooms, moderately bright for home theaters), the line between a conference room TV and a home theater TV is a bit blurrier. As a general rule, if a TV works well in the home, it should also work well in the conference room. In most cases, any $700 TV from Best Buy should be more than capable of handling all of your conference room needs.

That said, some TVs work better in the conference room than others. Models intended for commercial displays/digital signage, for instance, are generally of a higher quality and come with more features than models intended for home theaters, and there’s no rule that says these models can only be used in shopping plazas or subway walls. Companies that intend to elevate their conference rooms to the next level would be well-advised to explore these models, starting with the five 4K TVs included in this list.

4K conference room TV

Samsung QM65F — QM-F Series 65″ Edge-Lit 4K UHD LED Display

Price: $5,105.99
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Brightness: 500nit
Samsung’s QM65F comes with a non-glare panel and 500nits of brightness, so even if your conference room has curtain-free windows that overlook the rising sun, it should still be theoretically possible to see the screen.
lg_65ux340c_ux340c_commercial_lite_ultra_1170396 conference room TV


LG 65UX340C

Price: $2,544.00
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Brightness: 400cd/m2
The LG 65UX340C has an IPS 4K panel which delivers true color from every conceivable viewing angle. If your conference room table is so large that only the people sitting in the middle will get a good head-on view of the TV, this is the 4K TV for you.

conference room TV

NEC 65″ X651UHD-2ED

Price: $5,999.00
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Brightness: 450cd/m2
The main advantage that commercial display TVs have over their home theater counterparts is that they can remain on all day, seven days a week, without overheating. By introducing one into the conference room, you can (with the aid of, say, the Ubiq Hive) use your conference room display for digital signage when meetings aren’t in session.
When you think about it, there’s really no point in having a giant black rectangle in the center of your conference room wall when you can use that space to display the meeting room schedule, promotional images of your product, or anything else that you feel would be more compelling to look at than a black screen.
conference room TV

Panasonic TH-84EF1 84”

Price: $13,923.51
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Brightness: 500cd/m2
If the above screens are too small, Panasonic will give you an extra 19 inches for more than double the price.
conference room TV

Sony FWD100Z9D 100″

Price: $64,199.99
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Brightness: N/A
If the 84 inch Panasonic model isn’t big enough, Sony will give you 100 inches for the price of a BMW. Companies that require a screen this size may want to look into purchasing a projector. Even if end users leave it on all night so that you have to replace the bulb every week, the cost savings will still be enormous.
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Want to set up a wireless Conference Room?Try Now

Of all the tricks, hacks, and shortcuts that you can use to make your conference room cables look presentable, the best and most efficient is to simply throw them in the garbage and switch to a wireless presentation system.
But failing that, the second best solution is to invest in a conference table connectivity box (or, for businesses that have multiple conference rooms with large-sized tables, dozens and dozens of conference table connectivity boxes).
Retailing for roughly the same price as a new iPad, the conference table connectivity box fits snugly into the center of your meeting room table (although you may have to drill a hole first) and provides your end users with a wide array of video inputs to choose from. If one end user has a VGA port on their laptop and another user has an HDMI port and a third user has a mini DisplayPort, there’s no need to panic: As long as you have the relevant cables on hand, they can all plug in directly to the connectivity box rather than get up and connect to the back of the conference room TV or projector.
But not all conference table connectivity boxes are the same. There are only so many ports that you can fit into a box that’s 9 inches by 7 inches and not every connectivity box will have the inputs that you require. Here are the 7 ports that you’ll need most urgently.


The most useful output for your conference table connectivity box: HDMI port

First introduced in 2003, HDMI became the dominant video cable around 2007 and has held its grip on the market ever since. If your conference table connectivity box has just one video output, make sure it’s an HDMI.

 2. VGA

Prior to HDMI’s 2007 takeover, VGA cables were the king of the land. In this day and age, buying a new laptop or projector that has a VGA port is about as challenging as buying a new, factory-sealed VHS player. Even so, there are still a surprising number of perfectly functional laptops and projectors kicking around that rely on them, and the odds that one of these devices will end up in your conference room are not insignificant. By having a VGA input in your connectivity box, you will be adequately prepared for this scenario (provided, of course, that you also have a VGA to VGA cable on hand).

3. mini DisplayPort

Apple first introduced the mini DisplayPort in 2008 and by 2013 it was a standard feature on all Apple computers. Earlier this year, however, Apple began phasing the port out.
Given the extremely large volume of devices currently in circulation that have mini DisplayPorts but no HDMI or VGA ports, it’s a good idea to make sure your conference table connectivity box is equipped with this input. It may not be till 2030 that the last laptop with a mini DisplayPort stops functioning.

4. USB

The history of USB cables is a bit like the plot of the movie Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: You need to carefully read its Wikipedia page three times in order to understand it. But you don’t need a firm grasp of its history in order to realize why it might be needed in the conference room: It’s a universal industry standard that plugs into just about anything.

5. Ethernet

You should probably make sure your conference room connectivity box has an Ethernet port.
Since all laptops are capable of connecting to Wi-Fi, it’s difficult to imagine why your end users would need an Ethernet port. But after browsing through a list of all of the connectivity boxes currently on the market, it quickly becomes apparent that they all come with Ethernet ports, so there must be some sort of demand for them.

6. YPbPr component video

Likewise, it’s difficult to imagine why anyone would need to connect a VHS player or miniDV camcorder to a conference room TV or projector. But since the vast majority of connectivity boxes come with this input, it’s only reasonable to conclude that VHS-based business presentations are far more common than one might initially assume.

7. AC

Of course, all of these inputs are useless to a laptop that isn’t powered on. True, most laptop batteries last at least 2 – 5 hours. But you already have six plugs in your connectivity box, so there’s no harm in throwing in a seventh for good measure.

Other Things To Consider

Once you’ve drilled a hole into your conference room table and installed your connectivity box, your journey toward a presentable-looking conference room is almost complete. All you have left to do is to run the seven aforementioned cables through some cable management boxes, under your carpet, and along your baseboards. For more information on how to do this, please consult our conference room cable management checklist.
Or, if this whole process sounds like too much of a hassle, you may want to look into switching over to a wireless presentation solution that allows your end users to instantly connect to the TV or projector no matter what type of video outputs their laptops have. It only takes 10 minutes for IT to install, and you don’t have to mutilate your conference room table with power tools to do it.
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Want to set up a wireless Conference Room?Try Now

The average cost of an HDMI cable is $10 – $15.
At first glance, this may seem like a pretty sweet bargain. For the price of a movie ticket or a foot-long submarine sandwich, you can buy a piece of equipment that easily attaches to the back of your conference room TV and instantly solves all of your connectivity issues forever.
What’s not to like?
Well, consider the following statistics:

  • Despite the prevalence of HDMI cables in enterprise conference rooms, 87% of IT managers report that problems connecting laptops to the TV is one of the top 3 issues that they are called on to deal with.
  • 88% of end users complain about meeting room equipment.
  • The average IT manager is called upon to resolve 8.6 meeting room technology problems per week. That’s 447.2 incidents per year.
  • The average meeting room technology problem takes 23.1 minutes for an IT manager to resolve. That’s 3.31 hours per week or 22.95 days per year.

Why so many problems with cables?

In today’s BYOD environment, end users give presentations from their laptops, and not all laptops have HDMI outputs. Some have VGA, DVI, Thunderbolt, etc. This means that in addition to HDMI cables, IT managers also need to have a small arsenal of alternative video cables and adapters on hand at all times. All of those $15 cables and adapters can add up fast, and good luck making them look presentable: The art of conference room cable management is an extraordinarily difficult thing to master. (So much so that many IT teams end up hiring AV installation companies to do the job for them).
Consider some more statistics:

  • In addition to the 23 days per year that IT managers waste solving cabling issues, employees waste 15.5 days a year in unproductive meetings.
  • 90% of presenters prepare for technology failure (such as printing off handouts in case screen sharing doesn’t work), and 44% do a tech rehearsal beforehand
  • Atlassian estimates that the salary cost of unproductive meetings for U.S. business is $37 billion.

So while the cable itself may only cost as much as a movie ticket, the true cost of cables—once salaries, wasted time, and AV installation costs are factored in—is much closer to a full-on movie production.

What about wireless conference rooms?

Unlike their cabled counterparts, wireless conference rooms don’t require constant troubleshooting, and therefore enterprises don’t hemorrhage money by deploying them. Although the initial cost of a wireless presentation system may be a bit steep compared to the $15 you’d spend on an HDMI cable, the amount saved in the long run is gargantuan. As far as ROI is concerned, wireless conference rooms are to cabled conference rooms what law degrees are to lottery tickets.
But there is a bright side to using cables: IT managers report that they walk a distance of 92.5 meters from their desk to the meeting rooms and back each time they have to go to help with a meeting room technology incident. This means they walk at least 3.2 km per week or 41.366 km per year.
With all that exercise, who needs a gym membership?
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