Component video plus optical audio hook-up for original Xbox?
September 17, 2008 8:08 PM   Subscribe

What the best way for me to connect my original Xbox to the component inputs on my CRT TV and my Dolby Digital receiver?

So we've recently joined the late 20th century with a widescreen CRT TV. It's got component in (but not HDMI), and claims to 'support' up to 1080i. Yes, I know the end result is anything but real HD, but it looks much nicer than composite or even S-video.

I'd like to hook up my original / modded Xbox running XBMC to the TV and my ancient but perfectly OK Onkyo TXDS474 receiver, because apparently I can switch it to NTSC, turn on a bunch of HD modes ranging from 480p to 1080i and get a lovely crisp picture. This was cheap and easy with my PS2, DVD player etc. However, things seem far from straightforward on the cable front for the Xbox.

It seems I can:

- fork over a small fortune to import a secondhand Xbox HD AV thingy, then plug in standard component / optical cables; or

- fork over a slightly smaller fortune for a Monster Xbox component cable, plus a slightly larger fortune for a Monster optical audio cable (because the video cable won't take a standard TOSLINK cable - curse your souls, Monster).

Alternatively, there seem to be some doodads on eBay that claim to do what the HD AV kit does, or what the Monster cable does, for much, much less than a fortune. However, I have no idea if they're any good. I'm terrified I'll end up with something that's just routing composite through component coloured RCA plugs.

So, hive mind, what do you suggest? If you've seen a cheap HD AV kit, or something else that will do the job, or have one of the eBay doodads and are happy with it, I'm all ears.
posted by obiwanwasabi to Technology (8 answers total)
I have the $7 ebay component cable for my projector and it looks decent enough. Take the financial plunge and see if it meets your needs. If it doesnt -- I dont think the Monster cable will do much better. 480p is 480p, no matter if the cable says "MONSTER" or "China" in this case.
posted by SirStan at 9:32 PM on September 17, 2008

Very easy to find on eBay - take your pick between the ones that give you a breakout box and the ones that are a medusa cable.
posted by w0mbat at 9:49 PM on September 17, 2008

Call around. An EB Games / Gamestop may have the cables you want, used and cheap.
posted by zippy at 10:26 PM on September 17, 2008

Best answer: I've got one of these $20 psyclone cables on my XBMC system, and it does 1080i just fine. I haven't tried the optical audio port, because I don't have a receiver in the bedroom, where the TV is.
posted by hades at 11:41 PM on September 17, 2008

I've got some sort of octupus cable mess with connectors for xbox, ps2, xbox360, wii, and uhhh...ps3? on one end, then a switch, then component on the other. Works great magik on the xbox (using xbmc mostly, but also when playing games). The picture is super sharp 720p on my lcd tv. (I think it looks better than 1080i)
posted by defcom1 at 2:10 AM on September 18, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks hades - that looks perfect, and "tried it, works for me" was exactly what I was hoping to hear. $20 new with a 6' toslink cable as well from Amazon is hard to beat.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:39 AM on September 18, 2008

Also, Monster Cable is a scam.
posted by softlord at 5:23 AM on September 18, 2008

fwiw, if you live near a GameSpot or whatever, you can pick up used xbox high def cables for next to nothing -- I bought mine for maybe $4.95, they're gold-plated and all that BS. They had monster cables there too for around the same price if you subscribe to that sort of thing.

Also worth mentioning that I've really never been able to push anything more than 480 with my xbox (though I haven't bothered trying too much. Setting XBMC to upconvert to anything higher than that seemed to prevent some videos from playing, so I set it to auto and forgot about it -- most stuff tends to play in 480, which is good enough for me. Would be interested to hear about other people's experiences with HD and the original xbox.).
posted by fishfucker at 9:31 PM on September 18, 2008

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