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What is the maximum cable length for Xbox controller? (1 Viewer)

Jay Mitchosky

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Is there a limit to how long a controller cable can be before performance begins to degrade (specifically for Xbox but I suspect this applies to any)? Here's the story: My next HT is going to have my equipment rack in a separate room, and I would prefer to have my Xbox there as well. The current crop of wireless controllers don't impress me - I really prefer 1st party controllers and don't know what Microsoft has in the pipeline. Would it be possible to run extension cable to four external "ports" in the theater proper? Then I could use the standard S-Controllers, Communicator for XBL, plus other external peripherals should I add in the future (ex. wheel, Steel Battalion).
 

James D S

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That's a good question Jay. I'd like to know the specifics as well. Currently I have an S-pad with 2 6-ft Madcatz extenders between it and the Box. The effective cable length is ~21ft. This set-up has served me adequately enough as I have not noticed lag at anytime, though I am holding out hope that the Logitec 2.4GHz wireless will be a winner. *fingers crossed*
 

Jay Mitchosky

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I am holding out hope that the Logitec 2.4GHz wireless will be a winner.
It's a nice looking design, but there are no accessory slots. That's a deal breaker right there as it will not allow the use of the Xbox Communicator for Live. I'm not sure how much power that would consume but Logitech should have left the choice to us. If we want to whip through batteries that's our problem. Regardless I really do not like 3rd party controllers in general, so unless Microsoft releases a wireless product (just like a Controller-S is my hope) I'll need to consider other means.
 

pitchman

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Jay, for it it's worth, here's IGN's review of the Logitech wireless controller. It sounds pretty nice, but I agree with you... no Xbox Live capability = no sale for me.
Gary
 

Andre F

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Wow, I thought I neeeded a lot of extra cable. I only need to go thirteen feet. Microsoft should really just copy the Wavebird design and be done with it. Then we could all be happy with no more wires.
 

Jay Mitchosky

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Microsoft should really just copy the Wavebird design and be done with it.
In what respect? In terms of general ergonomics count me as a nay on this one. I'm really not sure why people are so enamoured with that controller. I'd much rather have a Controller-S in wireless format. Obviously a personal preference, but the Wavebird (or any of Nintendo's controllers) do nothing for me.
 

Rob Lutter

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Just make a copy of the Controller-B (pffft, who wants that little dildo controller? ;)) as a wireless controller and I'll be happy. It is already big enough to house all of the circuitry :)
 

Peter O

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Jay, the "official" spec for a USB (the format Xbox uses) cable is 5 meters in length. It remains to be seen if there is actually any signal degradation for a low-speed device like an Xbox controller.

However, it would be pretty tough to get your hands on some really long spools of USB cable and I'm not sure if you can get any wall mountable USB plugs. USB wasn't really designed for really long runs, just going from your computer to the peripherial.
 

Jay Mitchosky

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What a short-sighted design.
Yep. Particularly since MadCatz announced (and released) their wireless controller earlier and they suffer the same limitation. Logitech could have capitalized on that and made their controller the de facto standard, even co-marketed it with Xbox Live to reinforce the point. What they probably fall back on is battery life, but as I said earlier that's our problem if it's made clear in the beginning. As a solution they should have also opted to included a rechargeable battery pack (as a separate accessory) with a charging cradle, then life wouldn't have been an issue. Except for the most die hard gamers a session isn't likely to be so long that it kills off a fully charged battery. There should be ample recharge opportunities.
Of course all of this is easy to say when there's nobody in Marketing, Production, and Finance to answer to. ;) But short sighted I agree is a good way of putting it. And yet another supporting argument for MS to release a winning wireless controller.
What I'll end up doing is having an accessory jack pack in my HT where I can connect the Xbox (or anything else for that matter) and then move it into the rack when a good controller becomes available. Or start with the Logitech and give up communication in the short term until a better alternative becomes available. I have six months at least before this becomes a real issue anyway.
 

Shayne Lebrun

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Ah, but on USB, one can get signal boosters.

Unfortunately, the Xbox purposefully doesn't use standard USB connectors, so one simply cannot buy a signal repeater and plug it in.
 

Travis Kolesar

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On a side note, you cold always try and find a cable run long enough for the headset for use with live (or shell out some big $'s for a bluetooth wireless headset) and use the logitech with it. You'ld still be partially corded with live, but for non-online gameplay you could run wireless. Personally, I think this is a really ugly solution and am hoping that microsoft's little post beta questionaire inquiring to interest in a wireless controller pans out. I really have a hard time buying anything but 1st party hardware.
 

JeffMuller

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Jay,

It seems like it might be better to just run really long A/V cables to the other room, and keep the XBOX in the same room with you. That way, you don't have to go to a different room to switch games.

... or is that what you already said above?

You're going to have to go to a different room to switch DVDs??? Blech!

Good luck!

Jeff
 

Jay Mitchosky

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You're going to have to go to a different room to switch DVDs??? Blech!
Yep. Again, how frequently are you switching discs? One goes in the player and you watch it. Other than the odd time that you have a flipper or multiple discs I personally don't see this as being inconvenient. Plus the switch takes place behind the scenes so the guests don't see you fiddling around with your components. Having equipment in a second room eliminates the lights and noise and just leaves the experience. This will be a dedicated theater room.

That said my plan for DVDs will be a multi-disc player at some point. This will allow for a "theme" including background music, trailers, shorts, etc. then into the movie without switching.
 

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