We use a pro-series 30" 16:10 monitor in our builds. These IPS LCD monitors are RGB factory calibrated and have very low latency. At a 2560x1600 resolution they also carry a higher pixel density and superior image compared to standard off-the-shelf TVs and monitors. These are a popular monitor for professional graphic designers and in industry settings for their fidelity and performance. Scroll past the technical data below for images and comparisons.
A technical deep-dive...
Let's run down a quick primer about LCD types, aspect ratio, and CRT display effects. Jump below the text to skip the technobabble and see some demo images.
LCD TYPES: There's loads of articles out there comparing the different LCD technologies so you can do a deep-dive on that if you wish. But the bottom line for current technologies is as such: OLED and LED panels are the best LCD performers on the market for contrast and color but they're still very expensive ($1200 plus in 30" pro sizes). So we use IPS panels, which provide excellent color and viewing angle (especially important on the wide 4 player arcade controls) at a manageable price while being far superior to earlier TN/TFT panel. If you wish to pay more for an OLED/LED panel in your PDX Arcade we'd be happy to include it.
ASPECT RATIO: Aspect ratio refers to the display width. Arcade games and older TVs had a nearly square appearance at a 4:3 aspect ratio. Using a modern and much wider 16:9 screen means you'll be making some unfavorable changes to the old games, either by stretching them very wide or by adding large bezels, leaving the gameplay screen very small. We use a 16:10 screen since it's a bit taller, much closer to the original 4:3 aspect ratio of older CRT screens. Speaking of CRT screens...
CRT and SHADERS: Old arcades and TV sets used a technology called cathode ray tube or CRT. These were large, heavy glass tubes that fired electrons from the rear of the tube to a phosphor coating on the front screen. Old games look great on them but CRTs are large, heavy, prone to burn-in, and require skilled maintenance. We save you 100lbs+ by using an LCD. We then apply shaders to the games to mimic the look of a CRT screen. Shaders are neat hardware accelerated effects that can restore the warmth that was provided by the CRT technology. Things like scanlines, phosphor trails, shadowmask, and halation are all properties of CRTs that are restored using shaders.
MAME 0.172 features some HLSL improvements. Several improvements made to the shader.