How-To: Xbox360 HDMI & RCA Audio

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About: I love to tinker with just about anything but some favorites are woodworking and other crafty things. I also enjoy repurposing otherwise useless things like old electronics and old tools and trying to see w...

Intro: How-To: Xbox360 HDMI & RCA Audio

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.

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.

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33 Discussions

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ILykMakin

2 months ago

This will only work on the 360E. On the original and the S: Micro$haft doesn't give you the option in the settings, unlike on the PS3, to choose analog audio and digital video. You can run analog audio the stereo system with the hdmi plugged into the 360 but the moment the tv comes on? The M$ 360 AUTOMATICALLY switches to digital/HDMI audio.

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BoR9

2 years ago

Does this still work?

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Jae2314z

3 years ago on Introduction

Can someone help me, cause all i have is a hdmi and my Macbook Pro and i just wanna play my games but i have no clue how to do that. Any Advise?

1 reply
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martlegoJae2314z

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

Yes, you could do it with a USB video capture card, but I don't know how much lag you would have to do so.

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NaKKi3L

3 years ago

Man u r genius, i use hand saw on wider side av cable, cut the plastic top and brush it and hdmi is plugged under...and 1080 video + av hifi audio..man thanx

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smok3r

4 years ago on Introduction

As i am a bit of a noob here... can anyone explain what i need to do from this point to actually get audio from my PC speakers once i have both cables connected?

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anthony ajax

6 years ago on Introduction

Does this still work or have they instated a patch? Also, you have had no issues with the xbox putting out two video signals simultaneously?

3 replies
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frazeeganthony ajax

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

I haven't used this particular hack in a while since I now have an LCD TV to play my XBOX on, but as far as I know it should still work.

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rweagle

4 years ago on Introduction

I used one of the A/V cables from a 360 Slim. easier to pop apart. Worked great Using my HD PC monitor and my PC speakers for sound. I did go an extra step and and plug the xbox sound to the LINE IN and use my leyboard audio buttond to adjust the volume. Thanks so very much for the idea. Now the wife can watch TV and I can still play my xbox whenever I want.

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Biopyro

8 years ago on Introduction

I had exactly the same problem, so I bought this cable for $7.
So long as you have a 3.5mm extension cable, or your speaker input is nearby, it works very well.

4 replies
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frazeegBiopyro

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

I did the same thing too but I found the signal degraded with the VGA connection.  Probably because it's analog and DVI/HDMI is digital.

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alex3927frazeeg

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

Could also be your display. The VGA connections on my main screens look better than the HDMI.

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anthony ajaxalex3927

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

I don't think it' his display... On really good screens, digital signals are always better than analog signals.

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Biopyrofrazeeg

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

My monitor only has VGA in so this was my only choice - works absolutely fine for me though.

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alex3927

6 years ago on Introduction

Thank you for this. I had originally thought that tab was there because of potential damage to your console for using both ports (come to think of it, might still not be a good thing if you plug in HDMI and component video at the same time), so I bought the HDMI kit. But now that I know that such is not entirely the case (and that there is actually nothing in that part of the casing), I can mod the composite cables gathering dust on my shelf for this purpose.

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asmith433

6 years ago on Introduction

Microsoft needs to work on where they put the connections I AGREE REALLY MICROSOFT