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How do I get 5.1 sound with my XBox?

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How do I get 5.1 sound with my XBox?

Old 01-21-02, 08:39 PM
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How do I get 5.1 sound with my XBox?

Yeah, I'm stupid. The damn XBox uses that fancy all in one plug in the back. What cables are out there that will utilize the 5.1 surround sound? Where can I get them and how much do they cost?

Hell I don't even know if any of my games support 5.1 but I need to try it out!
Old 01-21-02, 09:31 PM
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This is what you will need:

http://www.xbox.com/system/Advanced+...talog=cat%2Dus

in addition to this you will need a toslink optical cable to connect to your receiver for DD5.1

Just got a new receiver...should have my optical cable later this week (I ordered it online, saved me a bunch).

Hope this helps,
Jeff
Old 01-21-02, 09:34 PM
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Re: How do I get 5.1 sound with my XBox?

Originally posted by Trelach24
Yeah, I'm stupid. The damn XBox uses that fancy all in one plug in the back. What cables are out there that will utilize the 5.1 surround sound? Where can I get them and how much do they cost?

Hell I don't even know if any of my games support 5.1 but I need to try it out!
Get the Advanced AV pack from Microsoft, it's $19.95 and guaranteed to be 100% compatible with the XBox.

You will also need to pick up a digital optical cable (toslink) if you want the best digital 5.1 sound. If your receiver does not have a toslink input, you can also use the provided left/right cables and the receiver will decode 5.1 off of those inputs.

Halo and Star Wars Starfighter supports it. The main difference I heard was clearer surround and deeper bass.
Old 01-21-02, 09:40 PM
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The only optical cable i've found is the one made by Monster. In order to use it however you have to buy the Monster brand AV cables. I think it's a total rip off since they're (Monster) basically forcing you to spend $80 just to get true 5.1 digital sound.
Old 01-21-02, 10:09 PM
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you can also use the provided left/right cables and the receiver will decode 5.1 off of those inputs.
FYI.

You'll get Dolby Surround, but you won't get true 5.1 Dolby Digital this way.

The only way you'll get true 5.1 is either with an Optical cable into the receiver, or an optical cable with a coax adapter into the reciever.

-Naan
Old 01-21-02, 10:10 PM
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Can't I just use my $5 video cable that I use from the DVD player to the receiver which decodes the 5.1 sound?

Last edited by Trelach24; 01-21-02 at 10:15 PM.
Old 01-21-02, 10:15 PM
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I don't think there's anything on the market hat'll give you true 5.1 for $5. I just spent $80 to take advantage of the 5.i on the X-Box.
Old 01-21-02, 10:18 PM
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In theory you could, but the Xbox AV packs don't have coax digital outs on them, if they did you could use any old RCA cable to carry the signal.

The only way to get true 5.1 on the Xbox is with an Advanced or HD AV pack with an optical cable.

That's the only choice.

-Naan
Old 01-22-02, 12:08 AM
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Yes, everyone here (except me) is correct about getting DD 5.1. I'm looking at the AV pack instructions and the only way for DD 5.1 is a digital optical cable.

Optical cables are sold at Radio Shack, Best Buy, etc. When I was at Radio Shack a 12' toslink was $45.00

If you want to do mail order, I got a couple from this place:

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/welcome.jhtml

(enter as guest and search on toslink or optical cable)

shipping is fairly steep, around $7 - $7.50
Old 01-22-02, 12:26 AM
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I've bought 6' optical cables from Best Buy for $20. Don't concern yourself with name brands, all optical cables (unless defective) perform exactly the same.
Old 01-22-02, 12:39 AM
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Optical cables are sold at Radio Shack, Best Buy, etc. When I was at Radio Shack a 12' toslink was $45.00
There is no need to spend $35 plus dollars on an optical cable...

Believe it or not, Sears sells a heavy-duty 6' toslink cable for around $15. I don't recall the brand, but I picked one up a while ago and the construction and quality is every bit as good as the 10' Monster Lightwave 100 cable I got for my PS2. I currently use it with my Xbox and can whole-heartedly recommend it. I will see if I still have the packaging and post the brand name here.
Old 01-22-02, 01:41 AM
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Thanks for the help guys. This XBox is turning into an expensive investement.
Old 01-22-02, 08:14 AM
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So if your receiver's optical input is already used (eg, by your DVD player), then what are your options for X-Box 5.1 besides unplugging the DVD player? Get an optical cable with a coax adapter? Is there any difference in quality?
Old 01-22-02, 08:35 AM
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Originally posted by Naan
In theory you could, but the Xbox AV packs don't have coax digital outs on them, if they did you could use any old RCA cable to carry the signal.
Wrong, you cannot use "any old" RCA cable as a coaxial digital cable. You actually have to go buy a coaxial digital cord for it to work correctly...it is the difference between analog ("any old" RCA cable) and digital (a coaxial digital cable).

Originally posted by ipkevin
So if your receiver's optical input is already used (eg, by your DVD player), then what are your options for X-Box 5.1 besides unplugging the DVD player? Get an optical cable with a coax adapter? Is there any difference in quality?
I believe Radio Shack sells a digital switch (kind of like an S-Video switch) that you can have up to 4 cords going into it. I believe it's not that expensive, but don't quote me on that.

There is no huge difference in quality between optical and coax. Optical is considered the way to go, but the cord is easier break than coax, although you'd really have to do something drastic to break it. If you break even a small fiber in an optical cord you're up the creek usually.
Old 01-22-02, 09:52 AM
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5.1

doesn't the xbox use the same type of optical output as the ps2? I picked up a optical cable for $15. they are really cheap. if your receiver has an optical in, then there should be no probs.
Old 01-22-02, 05:28 PM
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Check this guy out. Has extensive Ebay feedback regarding his cables. Mine should be arriving tomorrow.

http://www.psci.net/dutchman/ebay/kayjay.htm
Old 01-23-02, 12:28 AM
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Originally posted by AgtFox

Wrong, you cannot use "any old" RCA cable as a coaxial digital cable. You actually have to go buy a coaxial digital cord for it to work correctly...it is the difference between analog ("any old" RCA cable) and digital (a coaxial digital cable).
Actually, Naan is correct. A coaxial digital cable is a standard video-quality (75 ohm) RCA (composite) cable. No special cable is required. An optical cable, of course, is a different matter.

Originally posted by AgtFox

Optical is considered the way to go, but the cord is easier break than coax...
FWIW, most of the recommendations I see are for coax, not optical. In any case, it matters not because the Xbox only has an optical out (of course, you can buy adapters etc. but that adds even more cost).

To Trelach24, my recommendations:
1) Buy the Microsoft AV pack that fits your needs (advanced if your TV has composite or s-video in, high-definition if your TV has component video in). Stay away from 3rd-party AV packs (i.e. MadCatz and Monster) as people have reported compatibility problems with these.

2) Buy the cheapest optical cable you can find that meets your length requirements (of course, you need a optical input available on your receiver). Digital info either gets there or it doesn't.

3) Hook it up and enjoy!
Old 01-24-02, 07:39 PM
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Damn Sony. They are, of course, the company that realized you could make more money by selling various external connections as accessories. It pisses me off to no end, because for neglible extra cost, those connectors could be placed on the console itself.
Old 01-29-02, 12:19 PM
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This will seem completely obvious to most I guess, Trelach24, but make sure to go into the audio setup and make sure to select "Dolby Digital". It took me a little while to figure out just why I wan't getting 5.1 even though I had all the connections right. Gave myself a good hand smack to the forehead when I realized what I missed.
Old 08-19-02, 08:02 PM
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Originally posted by Jmhouse
Check this guy out. Has extensive Ebay feedback regarding his cables. Mine should be arriving tomorrow.

http://www.psci.net/dutchman/ebay/kayjay.htm
Hey Jmhouse,

I'm thinking of getting a few cables from this guy for my dvd player and x-box. How are they working out? Any problems?

Thanks in advance!
Old 08-19-02, 08:23 PM
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I"ve been using this cable for quite some time now without any problems. it's not a heavy-duty cable by any means, but my Xbox gets moved around quite a bit and I've had no problems. Can't beat the price!

Good luck!
Old 08-20-02, 07:08 AM
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Man to set up dolby digital is so simple. All you need is the advanced AV pack for the Xbox (don't remember price) and a fiber optic cable $20. You plug in the advanced Av pack into the xbox. Then you plug the fiber optic cable into the Av pack then into the optical in on the receiver. If it's already being user Radio shack has an optical splitter ($8.00).
Old 08-20-02, 08:46 AM
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From RadioShack:

4-way Digital Optical Selector
Cat.#: 15-1586
$29.99

Link
Old 08-20-02, 03:21 PM
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Please tell me you guys aren't spending over $20 for optical cable. You should not be spending more than $20. Some of you are scaring me w/ $45 and $80 prices that you're paying. If you ever payed that much, you should be ashamed of yourself.
Old 08-20-02, 03:52 PM
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It shouldn't cost you more than $35 to get your Xbox connected to a 5.1 receiver. Providing you have an up to date TV with
S-video, you'll need to buy the S-Video pack, which is no more than $20, and have been spotted for as low as $15. And spend no more than $15 for a 6' optical cable.

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