Playing your 360 on your monitor via DVI + Using your PC speakers for sound

Hi guys! I looked around and didn’t see any guides on how to do this, so I figured I’d give it a shot and hopefully help some people out.

Why would I need to use my computer monitor to play my 360?

If you don’t have an HDTV but still want to play your 360 in HD! If you have an LCD screen for your computer (widescreen is of course better suited for this) you can use it instead. As another side note, many new monitors have HDMI ports now, but they don’t support sound, which is a bit issue which can be resolved using my audio solution.

A much easier alternative to any of this is to just use the Xbox 360 VGA cable, but if for some reason you wished to stay with DVI then you should keep reading.

Can I use my laptop’s monitor?


Is my monitor good enough?

This is a question I’m asked a lot about this topic. There is really many different things to consider, but probably the most important aspect is…

Resolution: What is the max resolution your monitor can handle? If it can go up to 1280x720 [16:9 Aspect Ratio] or 1440x900 [16:10 Aspect Ratio] then yes, you can handle the awesome power of HD graphics. If not, your monitor is still a viable alternative to using a standard def TV, and will still probably look much better.

** 16:9? 16:10? What? Aspect Ratio?!**

Aspect Ratio is, basically speaking, the size at which you see an image. Somewhere between TV land and computer land though there was a a dispute on standards. LCD monitors usually [always?] have an Aspect Ratio of 16:10, which usually results in black bars appear above and below when you watch a 16:9 video, which is HDTV standard aspect ratio. In regards to using your Xbox 360 on your monitor, the 360 cannot utilize 16:10 aspect ratio for games, but will instead use 16:9 ratios and will give you black bars on top and below your game.

** Materials you will need**

1x Xbox 360 Composite Cables

1x HMDI to DVI cable (OR: If you have a HDMI cable laying around you can get an HDMI to DVI adapter for one end of the cable)…\images\products\C\cbl-hdmi-dvi.jpg

1x Female Composite Audio to Male headphone jack

1x female to female 3.5mm adapter

First you need to do a little modding!

You’ll need to take your Xbox 360 composite cable and do a little modding to it. You’ll need to break the plastic around the head of the composite cable in order for it to fit into the back of your system with the HDMI cable at the same time. This can be done by prying it off using a flathead screwdriver or a knife. When you do it you should get a final product something like this.

Next plug both the composite cable and HDMI cable into your 360…

Now you might be wondering, why do you need to do this? You see, HDMI carries both sound and video signals, however DVI does not. That’s why we need to still have composite cables for sound. However Microsoft doesn’t want you to use both cables at the same time, and would prefer that you shell out $$$ to pay for their special made cables which are of course very inflated in price.

Now you’ve got that out of the way all you need to do is plug the other end of the HMDI to DVI cable into your monitor and you’re good to go! If this can’t reach you can purchase DVI cable extenders (which also make it very easy to physically swap between your PC and 360). Here’s a look at my setup…

But sound is a bit more tricky, as you’d probably want to use your PC speakers near your monitor. Wouldn’t want your sound coming from across the room.

I can has sound?

Now you need to plug your Xbox 360 composite sound cables into your Female Composite Audio to Male headphone jack as so…

Now attach the female to female 3.5mm adapter

Then plug your speakers or headphones into the other end

And that’s it! Now you don’t need to worry about getting an HDTV right away, but still play your 360 games in nice quality. A pretty easy guide, but hopefully this can help out with the sound problems I hear most people have when trying to attempt this. Hope this can help some people.

Caution!!!: DO NOT set your 360 to a resolution higher than your monitor can support, or else you will be greeted by an blank monitor screen as your 360 happily boots up.

…or get a VGA cable and not worry about modding anything.

VGA is not as good as DVI?

It’s about the same difference as <removed due to misconception> (Not really, SouLoNi proved me wrong)

Not to mention the Xbox 360 VGA cable cost about $38+ dollars, what a rip. (Nevermind this point if you buy the cheaper 3rd party cable which will be far worse)

This approach gets you results if you feel like giving the DVI the effort.

VGA to Component, quality difference i can believe.

VGA to DVI, quality difference is honestly VERY negligible.

i’m willing to bet 99% of people can’t tell the difference between a VGA and DVI source if its outputted natively to a LCD monitor.

Wow, VGA to DVI is definitely not the same as component and composite… that’s just insane.|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1309|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50

Look how cheap that thing is. I’d rather take a “hit” on quality, than risking messing up my cables by chopping them up and dealing with extra, unwarranted cables. But to each his own.

won’t work if i have an older console. vga is the only way to go for me.

Instead of being dicks, why not just thank the OP for a good, albeit alternative and cheaper, method to hooking up to a PC monitor and speakers? I’m using a Samsung T220HD so I can hook up component and HDMI directly to it, but I haven’t looked into how to hook up the sound to my 5.1 speakers rather than have the crappy sound from the monitor speakers.

Thanks for the guide on the audio!

No, as I clearly pointed out… the VGA cable is cheaper and way less work than doing this.

Of course it’s a Quality Vs. Convince issue, absolutely.

VGA to DVI, quality difference is honestly VERY negligible.

i’m willing to bet 99% of people can’t tell the difference between a VGA and DVI source if its outputted natively to a LCD monitor.

The argument of DVI Vs. VGA is always debated. However I personally believe to get the best quality you stay digital and that we should adapt away from analog VGA signals. Hence why I did this setup the way I did.

If you’re a stickler for trying to have the best quality DVI is the way to go.

That cable you pointed out is a shoddy generic brand. I guarantee you that thing won’t last very long not to mention a complete lack of durability. The only cable I would trust would be first party because at least they cover their products for a certain amount of time and they’re fairly tried and true.

The OP’s method doesn’t really require “modding”. If you consider taking the plastic casing off the head of the component cable (an approx 10 second job) I can only imagine what you would call changing the brakes on your car. The OP’s guide provides you with a better picture (even if it is only slight) and the ability to hook up nice PC speakers for good sound. The VGA cable doesn’t nearly match that and it’s more expensive also.

Yeah, it’s a generic brand, just like the DVI cable you’d buy would be a generic brand since Microsoft doesn’t even make a fucking DVI cable. Don’t tell me you’re a Monster cable nuthugger or some dumb shit like that.

Whenever you rip apart a cable, there is RISK. That is my point, not the ease of application.

The VGA cable and this “mod” use the exact same sound set-up.

Go look at the failure rates for third party and generic brand accessories on the consoles.

Since the PC only is third party they’re all about the same quality, that issue was resolved a long time ago when a lot of companies either had to start putting together decent components or go out of business.

The same can’t be said for third party console accessory makers. Look at madcrapz for example or the myriad of other makers that have some of the worst accessories on the planet.

I still don’t get how you’re equating ripping apart or modding a cable to simple removing a plastic head. You’re NOT touching any component of the cable, so unless you’re a total fuck up there’s about as much risk involved in this as there is with forcing the VGA head in upside down with the cable you suggested.

The VGA from what I’ve seen just routes the left and right audio out alongside the VGA head. That means you still have the buy the same parts already in the total solution the OP suggested increasing your cost even more.

I don’t get it, instead of saying the OP’s suggestion is useless (which it isn’t) why not just not say anything?

Did you even read this thread? He clearly links NOTHING BUT GENERIC cables that he either used or recommends.

Yeah, you can FUCK SHIT UP when you open shit up. When you get the VGA cable, you don’t open shit up and thus eliminate the factor of fucking shit up.

i’m sure the OP put a lot of effort into this mod. So thanks for the alternative.

but still… unless 1) you have a display that only has DVI only and no VGA ports (certain Sony XBRs are like this) or 2) you have bionic eyes.

Yeah, except i’m not arguing VGA over DVI. What i said was, its NEGLIGIBLE. Not as much of a difference as you think Composite and Component are.

Digital Pepsi might be king, but if you swapped it out with Analog RC Cola, no one is going to know, or care.

You’re wrong because the VGA cable I purchased came with the adapter describe above. I never said anything about this being “useless”. If you want DVI that badly, this is obviously the only way to go. There are alternatives and that is what I said.

One more time, with feeling:

"Since the PC only is third party they’re all about the same quality, that issue was resolved a long time ago when a lot of companies either had to start putting together decent components or go out of business.

The same can’t be said for third party console accessory makers. Look at madcrapz for example or the myriad of other makers that have some of the worst accessories on the planet."

therefore: third party components for consoles =/= third party components for PC

There’s always room to fuck shit up no matter what. If you’re dumb enough to fuck up the cable when all you have to do is pull of the plastic head then you’re clearly dumb enough to forcing the VGA head in upside down using the component to VGA converter.

Comparing shitcontrollers which are reversed engineered to cheap cables made to a standard… love it.

Well I’ve heard a lot of different opinions on the matter. I’ve heard many people say they see no different at all, little different, and then people who complain they can see a huge difference. I’d assume the higher we go in resolution as well as the size of your monitor will ultimately make the difference between VGA and DVI greater.

Either way, there’s always the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you think to yourself “I’m using DVI, I am superior!”

That or it could be my Composite cable shocking me because of the removed plastic head.


EDIT: It occurs to me that people might find my post to mean that Kooper’s work was pointless. It is far from it, and we should all be thankful that someone took their time to document and contribute to this community! That’s something more than I, or most of these complainers, have done. My response below is towards his responses further on in this thread which compares his work to that of a different ratio.

HDMI -> DVI is a much well appreciated addition to SRK, and in fact it is dirt cheap to do.

  1. No it’s not. VGA is capable of the same resolutions as DVI for one – that can’t be said for the other two. That pretty much makes it OBVIOUSLY different.

(and to prevent people from posting before comprehending-- I never said VGA’s resolution capability meant it had the same exact quality at the same resolution.)

  1. SD vs. 1080p Upscale for Composite vs. Component? check.
    1080p Upscale vs. 1080p Upscale for VGA vs. DVI? They are more similar.

3 & 4. It’s already said above me, PC generic > Console generic. This is about console generics: A cheap cable of any kind except HDMI will give you a low quality picture. That means, if you get a quality Composite cable for 360 to hack up, you would end up with about the same cost since you don’t get your own adapters as well. Those adapters will run you about $10. The cable will run you about $30 regardless.

Cheap Composite cable will get you what you pay for, a horrible quality sound due to materials and cheap shielding.

This is basically good for people who are required to use DVI, and want to build their own cables. HDMI cables are cheap (yes, they are. If you can’t find a cheap one, you are looking in the wrong place :D) and so are these little attachments. The work involved trades with the cost. This is quite important for those of us who have no VGA signal, and use HDMI’s anyways.

You should not state a your opinions as fact then, since you can’t even tell apparently. I own a 42" Westinghouse MONITOR. There is no discernable difference, as much as I wish there was one (since I wasted my money on a dvi cable).