Arcooda 32″ Gaming Monitor Review

I just did a live review of Arcooda’s 16:9, 32″ LCD arcade monitor and really liked it – When put into context of it’s intended use case.  If you’re just looking for a cheap, low-latency LCD panel, grab what you can from Amazon, Best Buy, etc.  This was designed for use in Arcooda’s “Viewlix-style” modern arcade cabinet called the Game Wizard.  It can accept analog video from 480p up with sharp-scaling options, less than 2ms lag and refresh rates up to 75Hz.  Basically, if you need a custom-mounted 32″ panel to handle 6th-generation consoles and up in an arcade enviornment, keep reading…

Arcooda 32″ Monitor:
Game Wizard Extreme Arcade:
Original 20″ Review:

The first thing to note, is this panel was designed to be mounted in a custom arcade setup.  There’s no stand or VESA mounts, but there are four right-angle metal brackets; One for each side.  The control buttons are able to be mounted wherever you’d like, but it seems the only time you’ll really use it is changing the aspect ratio.

Latency showed about 1.3ms in it’s native resolution of 1080p at 60Hz.  All other resolutions and refresh rates that I was able to test showed up to 1.8ms, including interlaced resolutions!  I believe it’s doing a “bob deinterlacing”, so content isn’t as smooth as motion adaptive, but fast!  This is excellent and great to see in an arcade monitor.

The sharpness setting’s max level of 4 did a good job, when considering it’s a free feature.  It wasn’t as good as the sharp-scaling in Arcooda’s 20″ panel, but if you’re connected a Naomi, GameCube or Dreamcast via VGA, you won’t be disappointed.  Of course, this won’t compete with something like a RetroTINK 5x…but once again, this is a free, built-in scaler.

I had pretty bad interference issues with both 240p and 480i analog sources.  When sending direct 240p from the MiSTer via HDMI, it worked, but the sharp-scaling wasn’t as good as their 20″ panel.  So some kind of scaler is recommended for 15Khz sources.  I don’t really consider this a problem, though – This panel isn’t a CRT replacement like their other one and is really designed for a more “modern-arcade” experience.  Still, with even a basic RetroTINK 2x (or GBS-C, OSSC, etc), it should be fine for 15KHz.

When testing with the MiSTer, all cores worked with vsync at 2 (the lowest latency mode).  This was great news, as cores like R-Type, GBA and Wonderswan all have odd modes.  I tested the panel connected to a PC and was able to max the refresh rate out at 1080p75, so while it’s not some crazy 240Hz PC gaming monitor, it should work with whatever console or scaled arcade board you send it.

If you’re curious about size and “screen real estate”, it’s too wide to fit in an Astro City – Once again, this isn’t meant as a CRT replacement.  It should fit in most Viewlix-style cabs though and with 4:3 sources it’s about 25″.  I say about, cause overscan, original console resolution and your connected scaler all affect screen size.

My only complaint is there’s no HDMI audio extraction or speakers, even though there’s volume and audio controls in the menu.  I even connected speakers to the 3.5mm output, but got no sound at all.  That’s not a big deal, as you can just use HDMI audio extractors.  In fact, I imagine people would use an HDMI splitter anyway to allow for streaming, so just getting one with audio-out and sending it to speakers is an easy solution.  Still, why have audio options in the OSD and a 3.5mm jack if it’s not actually handling audio?

So, as said at the beginning, this isn’t for people looking for a TV or PC monitor.  And that’s totally fine.  When taken into context of what it’s meant for, I think it’s awesome and a great choice.

Here’s a quick summary of the findings for reference:

  • Around 1.3ms of lag in all resolutions from 240p – 1080p, including interlaced.
  • Accepted all refresh rates tested up to 75Hz, from R-Type to GBA to Wonderswan.
  • 480p & up was great and sharp-scaled
  • 240p & 480i (15KHz) showed lots of interference via the VGA input
  • No HDMI audio extraction
  • Comparable in size to 25″ish 4:3 panels
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