Component Vs HDMI


Active Member

Before, i had my setup like so:
Xbox -HDMI-> TV
TV -Optical ->Amp

This, is seems, was awful for surround sound. I only really noticed when playing Forza, but the rear speakers were very quiet and i think something to do with it going through my TV meant it was only 2.0 (not 5.1) and my amp was trying to work out the rest.

The problem is i have an old box, and you can only have the optical if you are using component.
To cut a long story short (well, shorter), i already knew this and i have already ripped the case off the cable in question, so you can plug in an HDMI and the chunky A/V cable, so you can use both HDMI and Optical.

So I set it up again, but now the HDMI wont work? so i just gave up and plugged in the component. So now my setup looks like:
Xbox -Component-> TV
Xbox -Optical ->Amp.

Whoop whoop. i have 5.1 back! and through the settings on the 'Box i can set the video as 1080p?!

So - Q1 - im sure doing this before meant i could use the HDMI as well. Any reason why this isnt working? its very tight back there, so maybe i need a thinner HDMI cable and its not in properly.
Q2 - am i right in thinking there is a ready made cable that does this? came with the Elite?
Q3 - Is component any worse than HDMI for just carrying video? i assumed it was, but if it can do 1080p, whats the difference?


Well-known Member
Certain TVs are capable of passing through 5.1 Dolby Digital, but it sounds like yours can’t.

There’s a sticky thread with some information on using optical out and HDMI here:

I’ve never had to try modifying a connector as I have one of those dongles. According to others on the forum, it should work though. Does moving the TV/HDTV switch on the connector make any difference?

The audio dongle was supplied with certain versions of the console. They were also packaged with the official Microsoft HDMI cable which you could buy separately. If you are looking for one, it may be worth posting a wanted ad in the classifieds to see if some generous soul will send you one.

Most earlier flat screen TVs would’ve only supported up to 1080i, but most current sets will do up to 1080p. There may be a slight difference in quality between the HDMI and component connections from your xbox running at 1080p. I haven’t tried component on my current TV, but remember on my last one the component output produced a softer looking image. Best thing to do is try them both out and see the difference for yourself, on your own TV.


Active Member
well hopefully getting a new TV in a few months(Panny ST30) so hopefully all my troubles will then be gone.
I will read the sticky and see what i can find out. Thanks a lot!

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