Traditional Cable VS Streaming on your Treatment Room TV Monitors

Question from DSN User:

“Who uses TVs in the treatment rooms with Netflix or Hulu instead of traditional cable? Right now I use cable but am considering switching. Can someone tell me what hardware I would need and what the monthly cost is to stream? Are there issues with buffering and shows taking time to load? Does the pt strolling through the content slow you down? Your thoughts appreciated!”

Dental Success Network Collaborative Coaching at work:

In the age of smart phones and big screen TVs; which is better?  Big or small?  And do patients REALLY care?  Here’s that the DSN community had to say about it, in a summary fashion of all the info out there.

3 is better than 1

In summary most practitioners on the Dental Success Network were keen on having 3 monitors/TVs rather than having one.  Now we include the actual computer screen as one of the screens.  Then you add another TV hanging over top of the chair, and then you put the final one at the foot of the chair/front wall.  This is quite easy to do with a few pieces of wiring/enhancements from

If you have an HDMI port coming out of your operatory computer, you can then do a HDMI splitter for around $10, to have it split to multiple computer screens/TVs.  You can have the same image on the top screen as the front.

From another Dental Success Network dentist and collaborator:

  • “I just finished upgrading my TVs in my ops. I put one at the toe of the chair for patient education/xrays/photos, and a second one on the ceiling for Netflix/cable. Hooked up bluetooth noise cancelling headphones (from Amazon) and we got disposable covers for the headphones. I can post links/pics in a bit if you want. I got the two screen Netflix account which is $10.99 per month. Patients LOVE it. They only “complain” when we’ve completed the procedure before the end of the movie.”
  • “We use these headphones that are wire connected to Roku Remote Control:”…/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00…
  • “The small covers fit perfectly”…/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s01…
  • “If you want wireless options for headphones over Bluetooth:”
  • “You may also need this if your TV doesn’t have built-in Bluetooth. It plugs into the 3.5mm audio jack, with a USB charger”
  • “The headphones are supposed to be 18 hours, but we just plug in at the end of the day and we’ve been fine.The transmitter is always plugged in, although it has an auto-off at about 30 minutes I think. You need to repair the headphones and transmitter every day. One thing with the transmitter – message the seller- they have one model that you can’t use while charging. The model number I bought is MBT3-P .”


Overall- it appears headphones in the dental operatory can have a double-positive effect with one downside.  The first positive is that patients get enjoyment out of the video/sound of the TV- whether you’re playing Netflix, Youtube, or Cable TV.  The second is that they don’t hear the sound of the drill.  The only downside is that if you’re trying to communicate with them, then it is harder to hear them and speak to them to have any reasonable conversation.

As for running Cable versus Netflix, it appears that most consensus goes with Netflix.  First of all, local cable channels may include TV ads that are for other dentists in your area.  You definitely don’t want to be showing ads for your competitors while patients are sitting in your office!  Running Netflix in your dental office can avoid this complication of competitors advertising.  Netflix can also give patents the choice to watch whatever they want, and giving them this freedom can increase their sense of control about the entire situation in the dental office.  Sometimes people fear lack of control, and so this can mitigate that.

As for the cost of Netflix, this can vary, depending on the plan you get.  The legalities of using Netflix for commercial purposes may be need to be researched further.