Question regarding S-Video and Component inputs using an Xbox.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by kurt_fire, Mar 11, 2003.

  1. kurt_fire

    kurt_fire Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    OK, here's my dilemma.

    I own an Xbox, and a new 36" Toshiba TV. The TV is NOT high definition, but it does have a Colorstream component input. It also has an s-video input. I want to connect my Xbox to this television and receive the best picture possible.

    Xbox sells 2 types of wiring packages: Advanced AV Pack (s-video) and the HDTV pack (component)

    What package would give me the best picture? Even though the TV isn't an HDTV, would the HDTV pack give me the best picture using component cables? The pack being title the HDTV pack is kind of throwing me off, just because it's called the HDTV pack. I also know the s-video (or advanced av pack) would give me a decent picture.

    I guess what I'm asking is: would the HDTV pack still work better than the s-video even though my TV isn't a HDTV, but does offer a component input.

    I hope this isn't too confusing, and I'd love to hear from someone who has gone through this and knows the answer, or just from someone who knows the answer.

    A link to a site that could maybe clarify this would help too, I've tried xbox.com and many others but I can't seem to find the right information.
     
  2. RudyN

    RudyN Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2002
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mundelein, IL
    Real Name:
    Rudy Nunez
  3. kurt_fire

    kurt_fire Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey RudyN,

    Have you hooked up both the s-video and HDTV packs and compared the pictures? B/c your TV isn't a HDTV, you didn't go under the options of your Xbox and turn on any of the HD functions? Overall, does the HDTV pack make the image more crisp and vibrant compared to the A/V ones?
     
  4. RudyN

    RudyN Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2002
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mundelein, IL
    Real Name:
    Rudy Nunez
    I actually used the regular a/v cable that came with the Xbox for 1 day because I forgot to pick up the HDTV pack when I bought everything. Going to the HDTV pack made a HUGE difference. I've never used s-video for any of my systems though. Everything is connected thru the component inputs.

     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The HDTV pack gives you COMPONENT connections. But after you install the set, you have to go into the XBox and tell it to output PROGRESSIVE/HD video.

    It's about twice the price, but Monster makes a single cable that is their version of the HDTV pack. No cheap/thin wires going to a plastic break-out box, just one continous/thick/heavy cable with RCA plugs at the ends. But I think this cable only offers L/R analog output and you have to buy the additional fiber-optic "plug in" cable to send DD5.1 to your receiver:

    Monster XGL200-R10 (Component/HD cable): $35-$45
    Monster XGL-LW100 (Fiber optic adaptor): $30

    (Note: these are both 10 ft cables)

    So you are into about $65-$75 for the Monster set.

    Microsoft XBox High Def AV Pack: $20
    AR (AP092) Pro2 Component video cable (12 ft): $40
    AR (APO82) Pro2 Fiber Optic cable (12 ft): $30

    And you are in about $90 for the Microsoft/Acoustic Research set.

    Go with the Monster setup unless you already have some cables lying around.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. RudyN

    RudyN Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2002
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mundelein, IL
    Real Name:
    Rudy Nunez
    Since you do not have an HDTV and only want component hookups, get the Microsoft HDTV pack. You won't notice any significant improvement with the Monster Cables and you'll just end up spending $$ you didn't need to. Also, the packaged component cables work just fine, no need to replace them.
     
  7. Luke_Y

    Luke_Y Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2001
    Messages:
    424
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If I read Bob's post correctly the Monster solution would be cheaper and better than the Msoft setup.
     
  8. RudyN

    RudyN Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2002
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mundelein, IL
    Real Name:
    Rudy Nunez
    Bob's setup includes buying new cables which are not necessary. The cables that come with the Microsoft box work fine.
     
  9. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    While not necessary, I'd still opt for the Monster cable over the Microsoft HD pack.

    I dont like the Microsoft HD pack because:

    - The wires included hardly look like shielded coax. More like cheap wires from a hardware store.

    - The RCA plugs in the pack are cheap audio RCA plugs that cant come close to the 75 ohm impedence that video signals require.

    - The extra break-out box is yet another break in the signal path and I doubt it helps with the 75 ohm issue.

    I'm NOT a big fan of Monster (or expensive copper in general). I usually encourage people to shop other brands that are compariable/cheaper. But the simplicity, the construction and the pedagree for the Monster cables make it the best IMHO.

    Some people will say the cable does not matter. But there is a BIG difference in the sensitivity of a 21" tube vs a 50" HDTV.

    So Kirk has a 36" tube system which means he is not likely to notice the difference between the 2 setups. If he ignores the component cable for the Hi Def pack the two sets come out to be:

    Monster: $35 + $30 = $65
    Hi Def: $20 + $30 = $50

    Thats a difference of $15.

    This makes it a no-brainer. Go with the Monster cable. (Note: the prices are from Amazon and they offer free shipping on these).
     
  10. RudyN

    RudyN Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2002
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mundelein, IL
    Real Name:
    Rudy Nunez
    If he had an HDTV, he would probably be better off buying the Monster cables or buying better quality component cables for the Hi-def box, but he doesn't, so why spend more money when he won't notice the difference? Why spend the extra $15 when it isn't necessary?
     
  11. Jeremy Little

    Jeremy Little Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Messages:
    770
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm gonna go with Bob on this one. I'd say an extra $15 on a 36" tv is a no-brainer. The only high quality cable solutions are:
    1. Buy the Microsoft pack with a high quality optical and component set.
    2. Buy the Monster cable set.[/list=1]

      The Monster set has good quality RCA's and all in one construction going for it. The Microsoft pack needs good quality cables purchased to bring it up to speed. I don't think this is a brand debate at all. Would you hook up a component with those cheap patch cords that come free with equipment? The cables in the set aren't a whole lot better than that. I know you said that you can't see a difference, but how do you know? I mean, as Bob mentioned before, the cables really do not look like they can maintain a 75 ohm impedance. Isn't that a MINIMUM requirement given the task at hand?
     
  12. RudyN

    RudyN Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2002
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mundelein, IL
    Real Name:
    Rudy Nunez
    Well, I guess it all comes down to the following for me. Well I do enjoy all of my home theater equipment, I'm not a rich man. I'm not saying the rest of you are, so don't take it that way. The cables that come with the Microsoft box work fine for me. If they didn't work, Microsoft would not have included them in the package. Therefore, I do not see the need to spend extra $$ that I don't have on "better quality" cables since the ones I currently have work fine. The way you guys make it seem is that the cables that come with the Microsoft box are complete shit. Last time I checked(which was just 5 min ago during a game of WSB2K3), they output the video signal just fine, and all the colors were correct. I guess most people are in the mindset of "the more expensive something is, the better it is" which isn't always true. Kurt, I hope I was able to help you choose an option. If you prefer to go the Monster cable route, a user is selling both the audio&video cable at the following link http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=129731. Good luck with your purchase.
     
  13. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    To put a little analogy into cables...

    Cables are like the asphalt on the road in front of your house, and on the freeway.

    You CAN drive on both, but while you can drive 55-60 on the freeway, you usually cannot do this in front of your house.

    The 2 roads are built for different speeds.

    Little Fact: Component video tops out at 4 Mhz signals but progressive video tops out at 13 Mhz.

    The RCA plugs are like little 'speed bumps' to the video signal. Not usually a problem at low speed, but damaging at higher speeds. These 'bumps' can cause reflections in the cable (causing ghosting) and reduced signal at the higher frequencies (reduced focus). You really want the minimum number of plugs/breaks in the signal path.

    And the nature of computer graphics are lots of sharp, straight lines, solid contrasting colors and sudden changes - more challenging to transmit and display than live video.

    Look at the cables leading to the plugs on the included wires. If they are RG6/RG59 shielded coax, they should be as thick as your CATV coax. Are they? If not, they are un-shielded wires. Not a huge problem if you put your XBox on the floor and run wires to the FRONT of your TV to play games. But look at the mass of cables behind your rack - could there be any POWER wires or SPEAKER wires near your XBox cables that could/will induce noise into the cable?


    So all of these lend support to suggestion that you buy the single, un-broken, shielded cable built for the more challenging demands of the XBox.

    Of course I'm not suggesting you go out and re-buy. (And no, I'm actually a very poor man right now.) But since each XBox game is about $49 - $65 for a good cable setup is NOT outragious.

     
  14. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Bob:

    If I'm not mistaken, the 200 series monster cables are the COMPOSITE cables and not the component cables.

    The component cables run closer to $70, I think.

    EDIT: Component cables run $52.75 on sale from amazon. Looks like the price went down since I last checked. [​IMG]
     
  15. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    ???? I could have sworn the price said $35. He's right, it now says $52. Very strange.

    XGL400 - Left/Right/Component video - $53
    XGL200 - Left/Right/composite Video - $30

    Uhhhh so what DID I find for $35? (I wasnt that drunk this morning.. or was I?)

    Yes, the XGL400 is pricy, but this is the cable that replaces the Microsoft HD pack. At $53 it's not nearly as good a deal as the $35 I thought it was priced at, but it really is a great addition and almost a must-have if you have a HDTV.
     

Share This Page