I have been using the HP Pavilion F1903 19″ LCD Monitor as a cheap monitor for Raspberry Pi by buying a cheap $8 HDMI to DVI cable to connect the Pi’s HDMI video to the f1903’s DVI video port. I also setup the monitor to auto-detect video from my DVI port or VGA port, so it will automatically switch between the VGA and DVI port when it detects a video signal on either ports.
I can buy it online for under $50 on sites like Craigslist, Amazon, and eBay because this is an older monitor, so it is cheaper compared to newer monitors with HDMI ports, built-in speakers, and more video connections.
The main reason I am using the F1903 monitor on the Pi for video is because I am not using the monitor for anything else, and it was just sitting in my room not being used for anything. I can also use the VGA port on the monitor to hook it up to my desktop computer. The monitor also has Autodetect video, so it can automatically switch between VGA and DVI video inputs when it detects my desktop pc is on, or if my Raspberry Pi’s video is on.
Using a DVI cable is better because it is digital, so the video can look nicer than analog VGA signal which may look worse if there is interference. Plus, there is no need to convert the digital signal to analog like HDMI to VGA, so using a HDMI to DVI cable may also use slightly less power.
The monitor has a 1,280 x 1,024 resolution, 0.294 mm dot pitch, 130-degree horizontal, 120-degree vertical viewing angles, 500:1 contrast ratio, 250 nits of brightness, and 2 Harmon/Kardon speakers which I also use for the Pi’s audio because the speaker’s 3.5 mm audio plug fits the Pi’s 3.5 mm audio port. The speakers sound good for portable desktop speakers.
I used the monitor to play Open Arena, and Quake 3 which are both fast past shooter games for the Pi, and the monitor is good enough for playing shooters. This monitor’s brightness is bright even on lower settings.
I also use this monitor for watching HD video in full screen, and it works pretty well, and there is no slowdown problems with the monitor in my experience.
The 19 inch size of the monitor makes playing games, and watching movies great on this monitor. I also like the square shape of this monitor which is good for office work, and typing compared to a widescreen monitor which is sometimes too wide, or short because of the rectangle shape of the monitor. The colors on the monitor look pretty good on the monitor’s screen, and the clearness of text, and pictures is clear, and easy to view, and see.
I like the adjustable height stand for the F1903 monitor, and It is nice that I can change the horizontal and vertical viewing angles of the monitor pretty easily.
The monitor’s button like on/off button, menu, brightness, and select button are easy to press. The monitor’s setup program to change features like brightness are simple to use.
The monitor uses about 40W of power during regular use, and 2W of power in power saver mode, so it does not use much power compared to other types of monitors like a CRT tube monitor which uses more wattage, so using this monitor will cost less money in electricity compared to using a CRT monitor.