Help with cable mod
September 18, 2008 12:38 PM   Subscribe

How can I modify the 360 Xbox component/analog cable so I can use the HDMI for video and the analog audio cables for the the same time? OR Which wire(s) should I cut? - pics included

I have my 360 connected to my LCD monitor via a HDMI to DVI cable. This works for the video. I'm trying to use my RCA audio on the analog cables to output the audio to my computer speakers at the same time.

The problem is, when I have the component/analog cables hooked up to my 360 at the same time as my hdmi cable, the component stuff seems to override and I only get audio - no video signal (it also reboots my box when I start w/ the hdmi plugged in, and then hook up the component cables once it's started).

So after a lot of googling, I can't find anything which tells me how to fix it without buying another cable - which I don't wanna do.

I've taken apart the component/analog xbox cable, and am wondering which (if any) wires I can cut to only output the audio and solve the problem.

Using this picture, can anybody tell me which wires I would need to cut to work around this problem?

Also, if I do need to cut some wires, should I just tape them up to prevent any sort've fire?

posted by pilibeen to Technology (17 answers total)
Which 360 model do you have? Does it have HDMI out and the A/V cable out?
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:54 PM on September 18, 2008

Yeah it's the newer one w/ both A/V out and HDMI out. I had to take the plastic off the A/V cable to make them both fit.
posted by pilibeen at 1:01 PM on September 18, 2008

Not sure cutting up the HDMI cable will solve this. You might be able to chop up the analog adapter so it doesn't signal to the console to enable component video.

Sorry I can't be of more help. I use a VGA cable that has RCA audio outputs on my 360.
posted by barake at 1:05 PM on September 18, 2008

Could you hook your HDMI up to your TV and then use the TV's stereo out to your computer speakers? I think that's how mine is set up, and it works fine...
posted by Grither at 1:10 PM on September 18, 2008

Yeah, you can't use both cables simultaneously. That's why you had to cut the plastic. The box detects which cable is plugged in, it doesn't matter what wires are snipped.

I have a spare Xbox 360 VGA cable lying around somewhere. PM or email me, and if you want it, it's yours, and it will solve the problem. Just cover the shipping.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:15 PM on September 18, 2008

The real problem is that the audio pushed out of the HDMI cable is digital. The HDMI interface expects an HDCP compatible handshake. Its not just 4 analog lines. Its DRM ridden and digital. You cant just plug it into your stereo by splitting it.
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:20 PM on September 18, 2008

Also, if your LCD is HDMI compliant then it should be decoding the sounds for you. Dont your monitor speakers work?
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:23 PM on September 18, 2008

If your monitor has a VGA connection, I would take WinnipegDragon up on his offer, or order an X360 VGA cable from monoprice. I have the old model without HDMI, so I'm using VGA, and it looks great.
posted by owtytrof at 1:26 PM on September 18, 2008

Not all monitors have speakers. In fact it's a very, very small percentage that do. Also they suck when they do have them :)
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:27 PM on September 18, 2008

I understand, but the point is that HDMI compliance is important because it just doesnt push out analog stereo. There's DRM, digital handshakes, etc. An HDMI compliant monitor without speakers? That's crazy. Although I wouldnt put it past some manufacturers.

His monitor might have a line-out for external speakers. If not then he'll have to buy a receiver that can decode HDMI and fork it out to analog speakers. Regardless, the VGA cable is his best bet.
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:30 PM on September 18, 2008

Now, I'm just trying to remember if the VGA cable has analog audio out. I know it has optical...
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:34 PM on September 18, 2008

My VGA cable(generic from monoprice) has optical and RCA analog connections.
posted by owtytrof at 1:36 PM on September 18, 2008

Yeah - my monitor only has DVI and VGA inputs, so no speakers or stereo out. I think I'll go with the consensus and do the VGA adapter.

So I guess now I should also buy a regular old DVI cable to hook up my monitor so I don't have to keep switching the vga between my pc and 360...

If anyone needs a HDMI to DVI cable let me know.
posted by pilibeen at 2:04 PM on September 18, 2008

If you have component inputs on your HD screen, you could use the component video cable to get 720p output from your Xbox360 to your HD screen.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:47 PM on September 18, 2008

I read an article on this exact topic last week, it was linked off digg.

From 10 Xbox 360 tricks Microsoft won't tell you...
10. Use any HDMI cable and still get digital surround sound

Though the newer 360s have an HDMI output for optimal video quality, they've built the ports in such a way that you can't have the standard component/composite video cable, with its crucial optical audio output, plugged in at the same time as HDMI. Instead, you're supposed to drop a frightening amount of money on the official HDMI cable with audio adapter. Balls to that. See the big plastic box at the end of the standard video cable that connects to the console? Wedge a knife or screwdriver into the join and twist to pop it off. The result looks messy, but is small enough to plug in alongside a standard, cheapo HDMI cable.
posted by wongcorgi at 4:00 PM on September 18, 2008

Weird, I'm running practically the same setup (hdmi to dvi and the standard component cables for audio) and have no issues. Have you set the screen resolution in the video settings? I wonder if that might force the xbox to use hdmi when available.
posted by timelord at 3:03 AM on September 19, 2008

I took the plastic cover off the component/digital video cable that comes with the Xbox360. Then I used a cheap HDMI cable and shaved off some of the plastic that would got in the way of a perfect fit.

This site shows the basic idea.
posted by robofunk at 8:49 AM on September 19, 2008

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