Introduction: How-To: Xbox360 HDMI & RCA Audio

About: If there's one thing I've learned about being an adult, it is this: there's always another project. Over the years, I've tackled a ton of projects and built some cool stuff, and now I'd like to help people wh…

I'm sure I'm not the first to be disappointed by the placement of the output ports on his Xbox360, specifically how the old trapezoidal A/V cable plug blocks the HDMI port on the Elite models. And Microsoft, being the conniving #$%^ers they are, have come up with a handy $49.99 solution to the problem that just so happens to be entirely irrelevant.

My problem came about because I wanted to hook my 360 up to my 22" widescreen monitor which doesn't have audio. Obviously I didn't want to play without sound and my attempt to plug the HDMI cable and the A/V cable in simultaneously met with futility.

My solution involves modding the Microsoft Composite A/V cable, which should have come standard with the system. I realize now, after doing a quick Google search, that there are a few other tutorials online on how to do this so I don't claim any credit for originality.

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Step 1: Tools & Materials

You will only need a couple things for this quick mod:
  • Small, thin flathead screwdriver
  • Electrical tape (optional)
Also, to get this to actually work, you'll need the Microsoft Composite A/V cable and an HDMI or HDMI to DVI cable.  I have not tested the MS Component A/V cable so I cannot comment on it's modability.

Step 2: Mod the A/V Cable

This step is so simple it's a wonder Microsoft even thinks they can get away selling an overpriced peripheral when you already have what you need included with the system.

Find the seam on the connector for the A/V cable, wedge the screwdriver in there, twist, and crack that plastic shell open.  You'll probably have to do it on both sides of the connector, no big deal.

Once the shell (and oh, so much empty space inside the plastic that does nothing) is off, use the electrical tape to keep the metal connector attached to the remaining plastic shell.  Note, it will work without the tape, but it's probably a good idea to electrically insulate that a bit.

Step 3: Plug It In!

Now take that bad boy and plug it in where it's supposed to go.  Then take your HDMI cable and find that, oh would you look at that, there actually is room for the both of these Microsoft!  Now we just have to hope they don't issue a patch to the operating system that makes this mod unable to work.