For any Core Xbox 360 owner with an HD setup, the first port of call would be a component AV cable. Since launch, Microsoft had cornered the market with this type of cable, which meant (like the hard drive) most of the official cables had been snapped up by consumers, which resulted in the cable becoming as rare as the console itself. Today we are now seeing the console, the hard drive and the official cables becoming more readily available in stores, but this has now been joined with the launch of many similar third party peripherals from companies such as Joytech.
The Premium Xbox 360 came with an official AV component cable, just like the one provided here by Joytech. This cable enables consumers with an Xbox 360 the ability to connect their console to an HD setup, whether it be an LCD, Plasma or a Rear/Front projection display, all you need to get connected with this cable is a display equipped with a component (Red, Green, Blue) connection. Just like the Premium Xbox 360 AV Cable, for those with a standard display, this AV cable from Joytech comes with composite (Yellow (Video), Red & White (Audio)) connections. Joytech have gone one step further with this cable by providing not only Component and Composite connectors, but also S-Video which is ideal for those who have a standard display but want a better picture than what composite signal provides.
Comparing the lengths of the official and Joytech’s own AV cable, we see the Joytech coming in 50 centimeters shorter, at 2 meters compared to the Offical cables 2.5 meters. Those 2 meters is a generous length that will suit most AV setups. Joytech make up for the shortness in length by bundling a very generous 1.5meter optical digital cable, which can be inserted into the back of the connector that plugs into the Xbox 360 display port. Both the optical and AV cable is made by a weaved rough texture material, this makes the cable more flexible which may help you tuck the cable away much easier when compared to the official cables thick plastic material.
So with the dimensions and connection types covered, it’s now time to look at the most important feature of all, the quality of the picture. For this review I am using a High Definition 720p/1080i Sanyo Z4 LCD projector, projecting on to a screen size of around 80”-100”. Using the component connectors, the official AV cable gives me a pin sharp image, so let’s see if the Joytech AV cable can produce the same results…
Using the cable, I see no obvious defects in picture sharpness when compared to the official cable. Both official and Joytech’s cable give a small amount of edge flicker that from a distance or on a smaller screen it won’t be noticeable. Colour and contrast of the images are in the same scale as the official cables with Joytechs looking a little ‘warmer’ in the contrast department.
If you stood two images together using the official and Joytech’s own cable I would say you wouldn’t be able to tell which is which in regards to image quality. The shortness in length when compared to the official cable doesn’t cause much for concern when it’s already at a generous length that is suitable for most AV setups. The added bonus of the S-Video connection as well as the bundled 1.5 Meter optical cable puts Joytech one over the official cable from Microsoft. With these new additions, we can recommend this cable to people without an official component cable or for people seeking an S-Video connection for their Xbox360.