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Is the Microsoft marketed Xbox 360 cable really any different from the standard HDMI cable? Is there any reason that I need to get the Microsoft cable or can I just get the standard ($3) cable.

For the record, I'm thinking about the newest generation of Xbox 360, the 4gb model.

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As follow up, I bought the standard $7.99 Amazon HDMI cable and 1) it works a charm and 2) the difference is amazing. Anyone not using an HDMI cable who can, you really are missing out, even if you have a 15inch TV. –  Mechko Jan 6 '11 at 10:01

3 Answers 3

up vote 16 down vote accepted

You can just get the standard cable, there is no real difference between the $3 Amazon.com cable and the $800 Best Buy cable (make sure you read the reviews on that one).

With digital-signals (unlike analog), lower-quality signals give you the same quality audio/video. HDMI cables only carry digital signals, so using ultra-high quality titanium-shielded solid-gold cables is no longer necessary to get good-quality audio/video.

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but it sure is fun to watch the boys in blue try to upsell you in the store –  Xantec Dec 5 '10 at 2:04
    
2  
Using ultra-high quality titanium-shielded solid-gold cables was never really necessary to get good quality analog signals either. –  ChrisF Dec 5 '10 at 13:08
    
It's really disappointing that most big box stores (except perhaps WalMart) don't sell El-Cheapo HDMI cables. –  MBraedley Dec 5 '10 at 15:17
    
You forgot "Nitrogen Injected" in your marketroid abuse. –  VxJasonxV Dec 6 '10 at 2:17

The Microsoft one comes with an audio dongle to plug into the back of your 360. This dongle has both analog and optical (digital) TOSLINK connectors on it so you can hook your 360 up to a surround sound system via one of those connections if your receiver doesn't support audio via HDMI (as mine doesn't :( boo).

Outside of that, any HDMI cable will work. Go cheap if you can. ;)

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Just to confirm, you can use any HDMI cable. I use one from Monoprice.com (link) that I got for $2-ish.

Cables are where many retailers make money, just like with $50 printer ink cartridges and $2.50 sodas at restaurants. I recommend you never buy any sort of cable at a big-box store. Monoprice and other online stores have just about any cable you could want for less than $3. When I bought my last TV, the store wanted to sell me 6' HDMI cables for forty dollars each... unbelievable!

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