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Hdtv Cables


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#1 DuDeR MaN

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 11:20 PM

UPDATE FOR THOSE WHO ARE TOO LAZY TO READ BELOW:

ChrisF gave a very detailed post about the differences of the main 2 cable options, monster cable 400x (which is $40 at ebgames) vs. the official ms pack with upgraded component cables.

DBZRacer then bought both packs and tested them both. He has concluded that the 400x cables give you a noticable difference in quality.

DBZRacer's post

QUOTE
Also to add the prices once again for the final comparison:

MS Option:
MS HD Pack - $20
Optical Cable - $15
Upgraded Component Cables - $15
Total - $50

Monster Option
Monster 400x - $40
Monster 100x Optical Cable and adapter - $30
Total $70

So the final difference is only $20 or so...

So there you have it, most say monster 400x is the way to go and well worth the money. Also the optical cable and adapter are not required to use the 400x cables so if anything, if you have a big hdtv... do yourself a favor and go for the 400x.

thanks again to chrisF and especially DBZRacer for his research.





original post:
QUOTE
I was in best buy yesterday looking to buy some hdtv cables for my xbox since I just got a 56" hdtv.  There were 3 to choose from, the official xbox hdtv cables and two monster cables which I know are good quality from my other, smaller hdtv I have.  anyway my question is which is the one that offers the highest possible qualioty and is it noticably different?  I ask this in gamers chat for all the real gamers opinion on this.

[edit] seems like there are actually five choices..

official xbox hdtv cables
monster xbox 100x hdtv cables
monster xbox 200x hdtv cables
monster xbox 300x hdtv cables
monster xbox 400x hdtv cables

I'm thinking of getting the 400x ($60) I assume they are the best

Edited by DuDeR MaN, 05 January 2004 - 02:26 AM.


#2 kaioshade

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 12:31 AM

Screw Monster cables.

Just get the official cables and you will be fine. Monster cables are overpriced pieces of shit.

#3 DuDeR MaN

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 12:46 AM

well yes overpriced but definately good to have, at least for my current tv comnnection.

#4 DBZRacer

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 12:51 AM

I have the MS HDTV AV pack and it looks awesome on my HDTV set. Monster Cable is overpriced IMO. I've read countless reviews on monster cable and its been stated each time that most other cables that were insulated the same produced the same type of PQ. But my recommendation to you is buy both the monster and MS cables and test them out on your set and return the ones that you think don't look as good.

#5 ChrisF

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 01:03 AM

Keep in mind that the Xbox has only a few options - it's not like you can buy whatever cables you want. You are wedded to a product so it doesn't matter about Monster's reputation - we are comparing the Monster offering against the MS and others (there are no others of consequence if you want quality so we are really comparing the Monster and MS packs).

A 56" screen is about the size where you can start to see differences between the cables and packs. A lot of people state that there are no differences but people gaming on 50-100+" screens that actually know what they are looking at will attest that there are significant differences.

Regardless of Monster's reputation as overpriced - regarding the Xbox pack on a large enough screen they produce the best picture quality. People with large sets that have bought both and tested them generally agree on this. That being said, the MS pack can be upgraded with your own cables and utilizing a higher quality cable set has been reported by any sources to increase the quality of the picture very significantly. What I have not seen is anyonce who can compare the Monster to an MS pack with upgraded cables (i.e. is the MS adapter a weak link in the signal and not just the cables). I will say that if you lay them both down side by side the Monster is of obvious higher quality build with tighter and thicker fittings. In addition to picture quality the Monster pack requires you to use their own proprietary optical cable for 5.1 audio (someone said there is an adapter available) where the MS box allows for a standard connection. From a price standpoint this may or may not mean anything to you.

Also, most people have been happy with whatever purchase they've made (outside one of the other brands or the cheapie on Ebay) but if you are interested in the best you'll be looking for the Monster or the MS pack and upgrading the cables. All that being said - keep in mind that even many a discrimintating eye has failed to find any difference on HD screens in the 36" range including upgrading cables.

Here is a link to a relevant topic at Home Theater Spot on the cables.
http://www.hometheat...sb=5&o=&fpart=1

Edited by ChrisF, 22 December 2003 - 01:08 AM.


#6 havocaose

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 01:27 AM

monster cable is overpriced but definatly does give you better picture quailty, i had way too much time on my hands and ran one xbox with the mshdpack and the other with the monstercable component cable both on a high definition switcher(this may have affected the picture but im not sure) and switched back and forth and there was definatly a difference.

#7 havocaose

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 01:29 AM

also they dont have a proprietary cable, but the adapter only comes in thier packaging with thier own optical cable.. dry.gif

#8 toyato89

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 01:29 AM

I have a Sony 51" widescreen TV, component cables hooking up everything... HD satellite receiver, DVD player and xbox, when its down there (its usually up here in the computer room on a std. tv plugged in w/ RCA's).

I had originally bought the Madcatz everything in one adapter (has rca, svideo, components, stereo & optical audio + ALL cables, even components & optical audio) but for some reason it wasn't allowing me to set the HD quality settings in the MS dash, so I went and got the MS HD adapter. I would say that compared to good high quality HD broadcasts (ie. 720p, 1080i... DVD is crappy quality), xbox games in 720p or better (ie. TC:SOLA in 720p, Enter the Matrix in 1080i) are the same picture quality as TV. I didn't return the Madcatz thing b/c its always good to have an extra A/V adapter.

I also agree that Monster cable is waaaaaaaaaay overpriced for what it is. Its a cable. The way they price it it might as well come with it's own supercooler to make the wires superconductive and faraday cage to route the wires through to eliminate any possible chance of outside interference.

Also, just another POV on the subject. Will you really notice the (highly likely minute) differences between the two? Probably not. Especially when you're playing a game. You're concentrating on playing the game, not going "Wow, I'm sure glad I got that Monster cable, b/c man... this sure is great picture quality." By the time you did that you'd have died in the game tongue.gif

Just basing myself on roughly 3-4 week old Future Shop prices in my head, I know the MS HD pack is $39.95 CDN and the Monster 300 cable (components + RCA stereo sound, I think) was around $80 CDN. No option for optical audio either. The MS pack comes with a set of component cables with RCA audio, not the thickest sturdiest cable, but it does the job. It also has an optical audio plug, and if you have an extra fibre optic cable lying around, you're all set.

If I was you, I'd just buy the cheapest thing of known quality, so the MS one. Save your money, don't waste it on cables.

#9 Jalan

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 02:53 AM

Being somewhat of an audiophile(I've spent more on a single pair of speakers wires then an xbox costs) it's well known that Monster Cables are nothing more then a product of marketing and hype. Their audio cables are all just regular cables. They are just copper, you'd be better off with just regular 12 gauge wire from radio shack then with monster audio cables.

If your looking for REALLY nice cabling go with stuff from www.bettercable.com (I don't know if they have what you are looking for) They are high end cables at resonable prices.

Like I said I've never done anything with monster video cables so I don't know, but I can guess they are nothing special for the price. With monster and most other things you'll get at a retail store they are just commision checks. Check with your local specialty shops, they can usually steer you in the right direction.

#10 DuDeR MaN

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 10:11 AM

thanks for all the informative replies.

toyota89- yes picture quality isn't the number one thing in gaming but when you spend $3,300+ on a top of the line system, you want to show it off the best you can. Especially on the holidays.

jalan- their audio cables are horrible, they're more known for their video cables. When I went from an S-video connection from my digital cable box to the dvi connection... it blew me away how big of a difference I saw.

chrisF- your post was the one that talked to me most. I did some more research and did find that you're right, you do need to buy the optical sound cable and adapter sepperatly, I've never even seen them in a store. now that would still be good except my older, smaller hdtv (which will house the xbox for most of it's lifetime) doesn't have an optical sound input. This makes it basically a no brainer for me now.

Thank you everyone and Happy Holidays.

#11 ChrisF

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 02:36 PM

QUOTE (DuDeR MaN @ Dec 22 2003, 12:11 PM)

chrisF- your post was the one that talked to me most. I did some more research and did find that you're right, you do need to buy the optical sound cable and adapter sepperatly, I've never even seen them in a store. now that would still be good except my older, smaller hdtv (which will house the xbox for most of it's lifetime) doesn't have an optical sound input. This makes it basically a no brainer for me now.

Not sure if I read your post correctly, but you only need the proprietary optical cable for 5.1 sound. The Monster HD pack comes with regular RCA sound as a standard (you don't need to buy anything if you don't want to utilize 5.1 and optical audio).

Anyway, everybody slams Monster (and they are overpriced) but for the Xbox you have only a few products to choose from. People seem to think you can use any cables you want connecting an Xbox to an HDTV but for anyone who has spent even 30 seconds on this issue - that just isn't possible (proprietary adapter on the back of the Xbox - duh). Choices are Monster, MS, and all other junk (lower range brands and generics).

#12 DuDeR MaN

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 01:29 AM

it does come with the audio cables? I was under the impression it came with just the component video cable, green, blue and red. thats what it looks like at monstercable.com

i still say monster cables are tramendous quality (yes overpriced but get over it people). I guess I'll have to check into this more.. I was going to pick up the cables tomorrow while x-mas shopping.

#13 Jalan

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 02:39 AM

QUOTE
jalan- their audio cables are horrible, they're more known for their video cables. When I went from an S-video connection from my digital cable box to the dvi connection... it blew me away how big of a difference I saw.


I don't know, but I didn't notice anything using their S-Video in my bedroom. I got their cable free though so I can't complain.

If you don't mind spending the price for monster cables, spend a little more and get AWESOME cables.

Perhaps I'm just very anti monster anything, but they are a product of hype and marketing. There is a reason you only see monster cables and bose systems in retail stores.wink.gif

If you don't want to spend $200+ on a pair of cables, check out www.audiogon.com you can get great cables used and cheap.


#14 ChrisF

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 02:44 AM

Monster GameLink 400 - Component Cables:
http://www.gamestop......uct_id=801331

"The ultimate performance component video AV connection of Xbox to TVs or receivers with component video inputs. Nitrogen gas-injected dielectric insulator delivers maximum video signal strength for the clearest picture possible. 10 ft. extra-long length lets you play anywhere without controller extension cables. 5-in-1 cable design is simple to hook up, and looks good too. 24k gold contact connectors ensure optimum video and audio signal transfer. Advanced DoubleHelix construction delivers reference quality sound for all your CDs and DVD movie titles."

Take a look at the picture - too many wires for pure component video. Plus, I'm absolutely sure since I own the unit. Optical audio is purely optional - obviously 5.1 sound requires this if you aren't able to make due with standard. I was originally going to try both the MS and Monster on my home tv. Even spending 1 minute examinging the fittings and weight on the MS and Monster pack - you won't walk out with the MS (I didn't).

#15 DuDeR MaN

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 05:35 AM

oh I see now, I was looking at the 200x which is composite video, not component. Thanks again man.

[edit] damn thats only $40 at gamestop... I was going to pay $20 more at best buy, screw that.

Edited by DuDeR MaN, 23 December 2003 - 05:37 AM.





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