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Xbox video/sound cables

Old 12-02-01, 10:55 PM
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Xbox video/sound cables

I got the Xbox and while it looks good, it doesn't sound very good on my HT. I'm in the market for some nice cables and have been looking at the Monster series:

XGL400 CVAA-10 AV along with the XGL-LW100 Fiber Optical AV for optical input. I'm getting quotes of $80 for the pair from Amazon.

I read in a review on Amazon that Monster does a analog to digital conversion to get the digital, and that just doesn't sound right. I mean, what's the point?

I've looked at Microsoft's advanced AV kit with component Video and support for 5.1. I've seen this for 29.99

If Monster really is converting analog to digital just so that I can use my Optical input, that's a waste.

I was wondering if anyone out there had purchased the either of these two, or another one who has a HT that is DTS/5.1 capable and what their thoughts were.

TIA!

Tman
Portland, OR
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Old 12-03-01, 08:22 AM
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I am going to buy the generic XBox HDTV kit from Microsoft and a generic optical cable for $10 from parts express.

Not only are the Monster products grossly overpriced, cables are not doing any conversion of the signal.
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Old 12-03-01, 09:26 AM
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Might want to look around for a better price on the Microsoft Hi-Def A/V pack, they retail for only $19.99.

Don't buy into the hype of High end cables, they are just not worth it 95% of the time.
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Old 12-03-01, 10:05 AM
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I brought the Microsoft HD pack to connect the XBox to my HDTV for 19.99 and used an optical cable to connect to my AV receiver. I can't believe that such a product exists that converts a 2 channel analog signal to a 5 channel digital one. The MS HD pack has an optical port for sending the 5 channel digital signal to your AV receiver.
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Old 12-03-01, 10:33 AM
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Originally posted by jdhoang
I brought the Microsoft HD pack to connect the XBox to my HDTV for 19.99 and used an optical cable to connect to my AV receiver. I can't believe that such a product exists that converts a 2 channel analog signal to a 5 channel digital one. The MS HD pack has an optical port for sending the 5 channel digital signal to your AV receiver.
I bought this one as well. It works great. As long as your reciever is getting a digital signal, I don't think the quality of the cables make that much difference. Especially the optical cable. You don't have any radio frequency interference to worry about. Go with the cheaper cables you won't be sorry.
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Old 12-03-01, 04:30 PM
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I spent the $80.00 at launch for the Monster Component Cable Set and the Monster Optic Cable. I only did this because of the $20 off if you bought 3 accessories deal at Best Buy (also bought an extra controller). Very Impressive picture, very impressive sound, and they are a cool green color that matches the xbox logo. Are they worth $80 when you can buy the Microsoft kit and a generic Toslink cable for $30-$40? Not hardly.

I really don't think there is any "conversion" since there is no box of any kind on the monster set. If there is any conversion it is from an digital RF signal to a light signal. There is a little adapter that comes with the Monster Optic Cable. You plug this adapter into the Monster Component plug where it plugs into the Xbox. It is about 4" long and it has a plug at the end you connect the Monster Toslink Optic Cable into.

My receiver indicates that Halo is in 5.1, and I could not argue that it is not 5.1. It sounds like a full sound field, but have never verified that it is actually in 5.1.

I would go the cheaper route and save your money.

Note: You cannot use a generic toslink cable with the Monster Video Cable because you need the Monster Optic Adapter that comes with the Monster Optic Cable in order to connect to the video cables.


Hope this helps,
Steve "shilly" Schilffarth
The Woodlands, TX
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Old 12-03-01, 07:37 PM
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shilly--

Isn't the adapter you're referring to a 1/8" RCA plug similar to the plug of a pair of headphones?

I was looking at this in the store and was thinking how the signal can be digital when it has to go through such a plug. Then it makes a little more sense when tbmiller read that the signal is converted from analog to digital with Monster's cable set-up.

I hope someone can clarify. I'm still confused about it myself.
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Old 12-03-01, 08:16 PM
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The MS HD AV-pack does the same conversion that the Mosnter Cable does. There is no fiber optic out in the Xbox.

The Xbox does output a true 5.1 digital signal. The only thing the pack does is convert it to an optical 5.1 digital signal.

That conversion is easy. The other isn't.

But the MS pack does have a true Toslink connector on it. I havne't seen the Monster Cable pack, but there is a standard smaller mini optical jack. Several of the smaller portable DVD players use it, and a lot of cables these days come with the adapter. My roommate picked up some no name optical cable at Fry's a couple weeks ago for like $12 and it even had the adapter.

-Naan
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Old 12-04-01, 07:07 AM
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Centurion,
You and Naan are correct. The Monster Optical Adapter has a 1/8" plug that plugs into the base of the Monster System Plug. It extends out about 4". At the end of this wire is a fairly small adapter that has a plug for the fiber optic cable. It has a little door (like the one on the back of the PS2) where you plug it in.

If these adapters are available cheaply (I did not know) then I would guess that you could use cheap optic cable (and this 1/8" plug to optic adapter) with the monster video cable. As someone said earlier, there really would not be a difference in sound so long as you had an optic connection to your receiver. The only real reason I bought the Monster cable was because I wanted a quality component video input to my Sony XBR (and for my next HD TV). (I use a $250.00 Monster set from my Sony DVD).

If I were going with S-Video, I would definitely not have spent that much. In fact, I use the composite set that came with the Xbox in my office to play when I don't want to disturb the wife and kid (Or when the wife doesn't want me to disturb them).

To reiterate from my prior post, this cannot be converting a signal from analog stereo to 5.1 DD. Just ain't gonna happen. I really think that the Xbox does output a RF (Radio Frequency - Like the coaxial output on some DVD players) 5.1 signal and this simply converts it to light for the Fiber Optic Cable.

Hope this helps,
Shilly

Last edited by shilly; 12-04-01 at 07:17 AM.
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