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The Official Xbox 360 FAQ & Sticky thread

Discussion in 'Console Games & Hardware' started by DaveyD, 25 Nov 2005.

  1. DaveyD

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 19 Jan 2003

    Posts: 12,646

    Location: Warwickshire

    Xbox 360 - The FAQ & Sticky

    This FAQ is designed to help answer the most common Xbox 360 questions that are / will be asked in multiple threads.

    A few warnings and some info before you begin posting / discussing:

    • Keep discussion friendly, and on topic. Any arguments / blatant trolling / fanboyism will be dealt with in the appropriate manner I’m sure by the Dons.
    • If your question in the FAQ is not there, and you think it's important, ask away.
    • If an answer is wrong, let me know! I can write some rubbish!

    OFFICIAL THREAD LINKS

    "I've played an Xbox 360 and want to talk about it" Thread
    Pre-Order Discussion Thread
    Hardware Discussion Thread

    Q: When is it out?

    A: 00:00 Friday 2nd December 2005

    Q: Xbox 360 - What is it?

    A: Well, to put it simply, the Xbox 360 will be the first of the next generation consoles to appear in the shops, eventually competing with Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Revolution.

    The Xbox 360 is, to most people, a console for playing games on. But there is a lot more to it than that.

    Q: What are the specs and features of the Xbox 360?

    A: I’m not going to go into much detail on what the Xbox 360 has inside, as to most, it’s just meaningless numbers and figures.

    • Three symmetrical cores running at 3.2 GHz each
    • Graphics provided by custom ATI Processor
    • 512MB UMA Memory (Shared with Graphics processor)
    • Up to 4 2.4GHz Wireless controllers supported.
    • 3 USB 2.0 ports, 2 memory unit ports.
    • HDTV output, capable of 480p, 480i, 720p, 1080i)
    • Optical 5.1 audio out for Dolby Digital surround sound.
    • Backwards compatible with selected Xbox titles.
    • Built in media centre so you can watch videos, listen to music, browse photos. It also can connect to a personal computer is Windows Media Centre 2005.

    GAMES

    Q: Is Xbox 360 backwards compatible with my old Xbox games?

    A: The Xbox 360 has been said to be backwards compatible with a lot of original popular Xbox titles. Click here for a Gamespot list of Backwards Compatible Games.

    What is known is that you MUST have the Xbox 360 Hard Drive to run older Xbox games. Updates to the emulation software will be available to get via 3 different ways:
    • Update directly via Xbox Live
    • Download the update on your PC, burn it to a CD then put it in your Xbox 360.
    • Order a disc from www.xbox.com
    You can see more detail here.

    Q: Will my old Xbox games look better on the Xbox 360 in compatibility mode?

    A: It seems some games will have improvements to the way they are rendered. As the Xbox 360 is capable of HD output, it can add higher resolution screen and anti-aliasing to older Xbox games.

    Q: What are the packages I can buy, and what are the differences?

    A: There are two official Xbox 360 packages available. These are the Core and Premium packs.

    In the Core pack, you will get:
    • Xbox 360 Console
    • Xbox 360 Corded Controller
    • Xbox 360 Composite AV Cable with SCART Adapter
    Core Pack RRP: £209.99

    In the Premium pack, in the box you get:
    • Xbox 360 Console
    • Xbox 360 Wireless Controller
    • Xbox 360 Hard Drive (20GB)
    • Xbox 360 Headset
    • Xbox 360 Component HD AV Cable with SCART adapter
    • Xbox 360 Ethernet Cable
    Premium Pack RRP: £279.99

    The main differences between the two packs are that you get a wireless controller in the premium, you get a hard drive, and you get a HD cable.

    The hard drive enables you go play selected original Xbox titles. Without the hard drive, you can not play any original Xbox games on the Xbox 360.. The HD AV cable allows you use the Xbox 360s HD output on HD televisions and monitors.

    HARDWARE & PERIPHERALS

    What hardware will be available for the Xbox 360?

    Here is a list of all of the official hardware from Microsoft for the Xbox 360, and a brief description if required for further information:

    Xbox 360 Controller
    RRP: £24.99
    This is a corded pad with a wire length of nearly 3 metres. It includes 6 analogue buttons with a total of 256 levels of sensitivity, two analogue pressure point triggers, two left and right shoulder buttons, two analogue thumb sticks and one digital pad. There are also adjustable rumble settings on the pad.

    Xbox 360 Wireless Controller
    RRP: £32.99
    This is a 2.4GHz wireless controller for the Xbox 360. This has a range of 30 feet. It includes 6 analogue buttons with a total of 256 levels of sensitivity, two analogue pressure point triggers, two left and right shoulder buttons, two analogue thumb sticks and one digital pad. There are also adjustable rumble settings on the pad to help save battery life.

    Xbox 360 Play and Charge Kit
    RRP: £14.99
    The play and charge kit is designed to charge the rechargeable Xbox 360 wireless controller batteries while you play games. This will mean the controller will be wired, but it will be recharging your batteries while you play.

    Xbox 360 Rechargeable Battery Pack
    RRP: £9.99
    This is a rechargeable battery for the Xbox 360 wireless controller. A play and charge kit is required for recharging.

    Xbox 360 Quick Charge Kit
    RRP: £19.99
    This is a charging station for up to 2 battery packs. It is the quickest way to charge your batteries (Under 2hrs with one pack, or 4hrs with 2 packs). Included in this pack is the charging station, plug, AC adapter, and also a single rechargable battery pack.

    Xbox 360 Hard Drive (20 GB)
    RRP: £69.99
    The Xbox 360 Hard Drive is essential for those players wanting to use the Xbox 360 service to download demos, updates and additional content for games. This is also essential for users that want to download demos and store files on the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live.

    Xbox 360 Memory Unit (64MB)
    RRP: £22.99
    This memory unit is for the ease of transferring saved data from one Xbox 360 to another.

    Xbox 360 Wireless Network Adaptor (Live)
    RRP: £59.99
    This wireless adaptor is for users that can’t connect their Xbox 360 directly into a network cable either by choice or cabling reasons. As long as you have a wireless router on your internet connection.

    Xbox 360 Advanced AV Cable
    RRP: £17.99
    This is an RGB cable with a moulded SCART socket. It also includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 optical output for audio.

    Xbox 360 Component HD AV Cable
    RRP: £19.99
    This cable is designed for HD televisions which have component input (Y, Pr, Pb). It is capable of outputting HD formats of 480p, 720p and 1080i. Along with the HD connections, it also has the standard composite video cable (Yellow) and stereo sound (Red/White) cables for non-HD TVs. This also includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 output for audio.
    Please note that no HDMI cable is currently available for the Xbox 360. Some HDTVs do not have component input, but may have VGA input so you can use the VGA HD cable, or spend a large sum of money on a AV amplifier to convert the component to HDMI.

    Xbox 360 VGA HD AV Cable
    RRP: £19.99
    This VGA cable is designed for people with HD Televisions with a VGA input, or for users that want to use their TFT/CRT monitors to use the Xbox 360 with. On this cable is a MALE VGA cable, and two phono (Red/White) stereo audio connectors. Also there is a Dolby Digital 5.1 optical output.
    This cable comes with an adaptor for normal monitors and also an audio adapter for 3.5mm audio input. See link:
    Link here


    Xbox 360 Headset (Live)
    RRP: £14.99
    This headset is designed for use with Xbox Live. This allows you to communicate with other Xbox players using the microphone. This plugs into the controller.

    Xbox 360 Face Plate
    RRP: £14.99
    The Xbox 360 can have optional faceplates. These will affix onto the Xbox 360 simply, and a wide variety of faceplates will be available over time.

    Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote
    RRP: £19.99
    This media remote is for the navigation of the Xbox 360 software, and can be used with the built in media controls on the Xbox 360.

    HDTV & STANDARD TV EXPLAINED

    Q: What is this HD everybody is talking about? There are so many numbers, and letters!
    *This bit may be a tiny bit wrong, so let me know*
    A: HD stands for ‘High Definition’. The picture on a high definition display will show a lot more detail than a standard TV.

    The standard resolutions of HDTV are 480, 720 and 1080. These resolutions are each broken down into two separate types, interlaced (i) and progressive (p) scan displays.

    These systems display 30 frames per second. Interlaced means that in a second, every odd line of a picture is drawn on and off once every 60th of a second. Every even line is then drawn on the alternating 60th of a second. The problem with interlaced display is that it causes flicker on larger screens, but is less noticeable on smaller displays.

    Progressive shows the entire picture every 60th of a second, meaning that the whole display looks a lot smoother, but this does use more bandwidth.

    So the types of HDTV are: 480i, 480p, 720i, 720p, 1080i and 1080p.

    480 usually is of 640x480 pixels, a 4:3 ratio. 480i is classed as a standard definition television signal. 480p is known as an enhanced definition television signal.

    720i and 720p both use a 16:9 widescreen resolution of 1280x720 pixels and 1080 is a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels.

    The Xbox 360 supports output in resolutions of 480p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p. 1080p can be output by both the VGA and component cables, but you can only watch HD-DVD movies in 1080p via the VGA cable. Component you'll still get 1080p upscaled games, but will not allow you to watch HD-DVD movies in it.

    Q: What is the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive?

    A: The HD-DVD drive is an external disc drive for playback of HD-DVD movies.

    Q: Will I be able to play my Xbox 360 games using this drive?

    A: No.

    [q]Q: Will Xbox 360 games be coming out on HD-DVD in the future?[/b]

    A: Microsoft have said they will not be bringing out any games on the HD-DVD format.

    Q: Which connector standard is best then?

    A: Here is a list of the available connector types, in rank order, the best quality at the bottom, the worst at the top. Remember, the differences may be only small, and some not noticable on how good/bad your TV is:

    • Composite (Yellow Single Connector)
    • S-Video (Not a massive jump in quality, but can be sharper picture)
    • RGB SCART (A better picture again)
    • Component HD / VGA HD (a big jump in quality, as there's a lot more on the screen)
    Also please note that the Xbox 360 renders everything in 720p, and then scales up/down accordingly based on what your TV output is.

    Click here for a good comparison of image qualities from Gamespot.

    Q: What resolutions does the Xbox 360 output via the VGA lead?

    A: It appears the Xbox 360 outputs the following 4:3 and 16:9 resolutions:
    • 640x480 (4:3)
    • 848x480 (16:9)
    • 1024x768 (4:3)
    • 1280x720 (16:9)
    • 1280x768 (16:10)
    • 1280x1024 (5:4)
    • 1360x768 (16:9)
    • 1920x1080 (16:9)

    Q: Help! I've got the VGA/Component cable connected to my TFT and I don't have any speakers! What can I do?

    A: It will depend upon your speaker setup, but if you have a decent set of surround speakers with optical input and Dolby Digital 5.1 decoding, I would suggest going for that with optical. Also, if your speakers accept more than one input, then connect the 360 audio to the extra inputs.

    What most people generally have is a single cable for their PC speakers, and generally only have the one connection. You have a couple of options. If you have your PC on all the time when you're playing on your Xbox, then you can connect the 360 to the Line-In on your PC soundcard and play the Xbox 360 sound via your PC.

    Alternatively, if you do not want to have your PC on while playing, you may have to do a little bit of cable swiching between audio. The following connections will be needed if you want to do this:

    3.5mm to phono (This connection comes with the Official Xbox 360 VGA HD Cable):
    [​IMG]
    3.5mm Coupler:
    [​IMG]

    The below diagram shows what the set up would be like if you were to adopt the switching technique:
    [​IMG]

    MEDIA CENTRE AND MEDIA PLAYBACK

    Q: Can I play videos/audio/pictures on my Xbox 360

    A: Yes, to a limit.

    If you want to play videos/audio/pictures on your Xbox 360, you will need a PC with Windows Media Centre on it. The Xbox 360 acts as a Media Centre Extender, so that it can access your Media Centre content on your PC.

    The limit however, is that it will only pay certain filetypes and formats. These are:
    • Microsoft Windows Media Video (WMV) 7, 8, & 9
    • WMV Image 1 & 2
    • MPEG-1
    • MPEG-2, DVR-MS
    Check out This Link for more details.

    (More details will follow when I find more information).

    It is also possible to play music and view pictures using Windows Media Extender on a normal Windows XP PC.

    Q: Can I play media from the HDD or an external non-Xbox 360 HDD?

    A: You can not play media off an external Hard Drive. You can play downloaded media from the Xbox Live Marketplace which is stored on your Xbox 360 Hard Drive however.

    HOW TO…

    Q: How do I set up the universal remote to control my TV?

    A: You need the right code for your brand of TV. Have a look over here for a list of codes for your make of TV.

    Q: How do I make a gamertag signature?

    A: Have a visit over at http://www.glop.org/gamercard/. Just enter your gamertag in the box, and select the gamertag you want. It will generate the BB code required to put into your signature. ** Please note, you need to make sure your selected signature follows OcUK Signature FAQ Guidelines **.

    Xbox Live and Xbox Live Arcade

    Q: What is Xbox Live?

    A: Xbox Live is a Broadband gaming service provided by Microsoft to allow Xbox owners to connect to the internet. The main use for Xbox Live is for playing multiplayer games online, as long as those games have Xbox Live support. It is also useful for downloading content and updates via Xbox Live Arcade.

    There are two membership levels of Xbox Live. These are Xbox Live Silver, and Xbox Live Gold. Xbox Live Silver allows you to create and maintain a gamer profile and friends list, use Xbox Live Marketplace and downlownload videos, updates and demos. Xbox Live Silver is a free service, but you do need either an Xbox 360 Hard drive, OR a memory unit to use the service. You also need a broadband internet connection. You can not play Xbox Live enabled games using Xbox Live Silver, only Xbox Live Arcade Games.

    Xbox Live Gold is a subscription service which allows users to do a lot more online with their Xbox 360. As well as being able to play Xbox Live enabled games online, you also have access to selected exclusive downloads and content.

    Q: What is Xbox Live Arcade and Marketplace?

    Xbox Live Arcade is a system that is integrated with Xbox Live. It allows you to play small games, which usually are old Arcade games or have a similar feel to them. Some of these are free, some have trial versions, and others you have to pay full for them.

    When you buy products via Xbox Live, you buy them through the Marketplace.

    Q: Buying things on Xbox Live Marketplace, how does it work?

    A: It is a pretty simple method once you get your head round it. What you have to play with is a points system. These points can be purchased in many ways, either through the Xbox Live marketplace itself with a credit card, or from a retailer, where you get a scratch card with a code you enter, giving you a set amount of points.

    These points are then used to buy items on the Xbox Live Marketplace.

    Q: What does having a profile enable me to do?

    A: Your Xbox Live profile allows you to do many things. One of the key advantages of having a central profile, is that you do not need to create a new profile for every game you buy. This profile will store all your settings, saves and controls just for you. It will also link to Xbox Live achievements for you.

    USEFUL LINKS

    Xbox Official Website

    Support - All Words below written by hilly

    Right, since there is becoming a multitude of "help my xbox 360 is broken" threads, i've decided to write a forum post about the most frequent ones and what to do when if yours fails.

    Important Numbers and Addresses

    The support team aim for a 10 day turn around time, mine took 18 days.

    http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/support/xbox360/

    Assistance by phone seven days a week.
    0800 587 1102

    Hearing Impaired (TTY device):
    0800 587 1103

    Hours of operation:
    Monday-Friday: 09:00-22:00
    Saturday: 09:00-20:00
    Sunday: 09:00-17:00

    http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/support/contact/ - Microsoft Support Site

    Most Common Problems

    There are a lot of reports of people having overheating problems. Your Xbox must be in a well ventalated area, no obstructions of the fans and the power supply must be layed flat and un-restrictive of any thing which could cause it to over heat, so keep your odd socks off the 360 power supply !

    Lot of reports also of the xbox not being able to read disks, but by far and away the main problem is the "three red rings of light" which i shall describe below.

    Three Red Rings of Light

    This is a problem I my self have have experienced first hand. Around the power button on the front of the xbox console there are 4 quantrants which light up to form a circle. If there is a problem with the xbox, there are specialist codes which light up in a specific order, very much along the same lines of a BIOS beep code. Sometimes you will get freezing in games then this error, or somethings it just won't boot !

    If your xbox recieves 3 red rings of light, with the upper right hand quadrant (if the console was vertical) then that degnote's a hardware failure.

    There are a few things you can try !

    1. Try restarting the console
    2. If restarting does not fix this, try these steps:

    a. Turn the console off.
    b. Unplug the power cable and AV cables.
    c. Disconnect the plug from the wall socket / gangway
    d. Then reconnect all the cables and power on the console.

    3. If this doesn’t work, turn off the console, remove the hard drive, and turn the console back on, without the hard drive plugged in.

    a. If the ‘Three red rings of light’ are no longer displayed, turn the console off and re-attach the hard drive.
    b. Upon reconnection hard drive, if the red light error returns, then you know it’s the hard drive causing the problem.
    c. If the ‘Three red rings of light’ are still displayed you will need tocontact the xbox 360 support, see below for what to expect.

    Relax, the xbox 360 support is actually very good, there is a section below for what to expect, and above is how to contact them !


    Disk Scratching

    Has your xbox scratched one of your disks ? The problem is more likely to happen if the xbox is in a vertical position.

    IMPORTANT Do not move your xbox from vertical to horizontal whilst the console is turned on, as stated in the manual, else this might happen ! 360 Disk Scratching Movie

    I hate the sound that makes, sounds like a buzzsaw. It's caused by the disc becoming off center and tipping to one side, where it will catch on the lazer. There is a fix to stop this happened, which you can find here: Fix to the problem

    Microsoft have said they will NOT replace the affected disks, but they will offer a copy of Perfect Dark. If your Project Gotham CD gets scratched, they will not replace it like for like.

    Insert a disk into an Xbox 360 Error.

    The xbox disk drives read the DVD by starting from the outside, and spinning it's way to the inside of the DVD. The error when the xbox fails to read the game information from the outside, the 360 then thinks this is a DVD movie which is being put into the drive, and tries to play it like one.

    The 360's dvd playback is not the best, and i would defiantely reccomend using a standalone DVD player.

    Screen of Death

    If you recieve a green screen with write writing on it saying:

    "System Error. Contact Xbox 360 Customer Support." in multiple languages. and right at the bottom E 74 in big characters. Advice on how to contact support is towards the bottom of this post.

    Other Light Patterns.

    4 Red Quadrants,the AV cable is not hooked up, or the AV cable / port on console is faulty.
    3 Red Quadrants, as described above this means a hardware failure. See the above post for details.
    2 Left Red Quadrants, 360 is overheating, save your game, shut the system down and move it into a better ventilated area.
    1 Red Quadrant, 9 times out of 10 this will occur with a Contact MS Support error, similar to the one above, and usually means a hardware problem.

    All 4 green lights flashing periodically on console/controller. Controller is not connected to the xbox, reconnect the controller.

    Contacting 360 Support.

    By far the easiest way to contact support is by this free phone number: 0800 587 1102. Before phoning, make sure you have your serial number and date of build date (both located on sticker at the back of the 360), as they will ask for that, as well as your personal details. You will be greated by an automated service. At first menu, select the xbox 360 option, followed by the hardware option.

    Explain your problem clearly, tell them you have visited the xbox 360 support site here: http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/support/xbox360/ And take down the reference number for future use !!

    When i phoned up support in reference to my '3 Red Rings of Light' i found them very helpful and friendly. I proceeded to give my personal information, serial number and date of build, and a description of the problem. First question i was asked was: "Have you checked the website" which i answered yes and followed the steps to try and resolved this (detailed above). He agreed this was a hardware problem and despatched a empty box which i dubbed the 'coffin'. I boxed up my 360 and power supply (core system, you will need to include your HDD with the premium, get a memory card to back the save game data up !) and phoned DHL to request a pickup. All free of charge, service was quick and friendly. Thumbs up from me.

    That should be the main points covered, any thing else missing add it below and i will edit this post to include any more common problems which are discovered.

    Again, thanks to hilly for the Support secton.
     
    Last edited: 1 Jan 2007
  2. DaveyD

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    Joined: 19 Jan 2003

    Posts: 12,646

    Location: Warwickshire

    Placeholder Reply
     
  3. KennyBhoy

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    Nice Thread Davey.....Very handy :cool:
     
  4. Duradrum

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 25 Jun 2004

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    Just to stir things..... and I'm sure its not true anyway, I called Microsoft today to see f they could reccommend a place that will have some in stock on release day. The MS guy told me that the release date of 2nd Dec was not 100% guaranteed.

    Now I don't think that MS would delay it this close to release, would they?
     
  5. Abyss

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

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    Location: Nottingham


    Surely the xbox360 can output HD over component?
     
  6. Abyss

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

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    Location: Nottingham

    duplicate
     
  7. Kainz

    Capodecina

    Joined: 15 Dec 2002

    Posts: 21,733

    Location: In a cowfield, London, UK

    I'm new to consoles, my last being a sega master system. I'm confused about the display aspects of this hot bugger. Right now I have a 32" Sony Wega tv downstairs, fairly old crt affair, as well as twin 17" LCD's here in my room which are vga.

    My question is, would any of these give me a decent quality picture and at what res? Would it be possible to hook up a 360 to say one of my tft's? Ta!
     
  8. DaveyD

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    Joined: 19 Jan 2003

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    Location: Warwickshire

    Sorry, that bit is worded a bit wrong, but that note is under the HD component cable ;)

    Fixed ;)

    Well, the best resolution that you'll get would be from your TFT/CRT monitors, as you can use the HD VGA cable to get 720 and 1080 HD resolutions.

    Gamespot have a nice article on what's the best quality here : http://www.gamespot.com/features/6139690/index.html
     
    Last edited: 25 Nov 2005
  9. Kainz

    Capodecina

    Joined: 15 Dec 2002

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    Location: In a cowfield, London, UK

    Wahoo! Ta DaveyD! Sounds good :) /me goes to read...

    Edit: argh linky dead! /me whacks DaveyD repeatedly with a wet trout...
     
  10. DaveyD

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    Location: Warwickshire

  11. Davey_Pitch

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    Thread stuck, good stuff dude :)
     
  12. DaveyD

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    :)

    Updated with the actual resolutions the Xbox 360 output now via VGA.
     
  13. Datamonkey

    Soldato

    Joined: 21 Jan 2003

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    Location: Kempston - Bedfordshire

    Quick heads up for the media player content,

    you can also play music and view pictures if you have a windows xp based pc with the media exteder installed. You cannot however play videos as far as i am aware.

    Bit annoying as i have xp professional and now have to go out and buy xp media cent to be able to stream some video content.
     
  14. Nismo

    Capodecina

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 18,549

    Location: UK

    Quick note about the 1 month free Gold trial...

    Sign up for a new Live account, Select Silver membership when you get to the relative screen, then you will be told you are eligible for the free trial :)

    Also...

    When browsing pictures in the Media blade, you can choose them to be your background image in the dash, and they will install themselves as individual themes.
     
    Last edited: 2 Dec 2005
  15. Bernard

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 31 Jul 2004

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    Location: Yorkshire

    Question, apologies if its not the right thread, cant seem to find the hardware thread.

    My internet connection is piped in through an upstairs wall, yet my xbox and HDTV are downstairs.I need to get a long ethernet cable.

    Whats the best place that would be open tommorow?pm if it is easier.

    Would there be any problems with using a pretty long cable?It would have to go from just inside a room(stairs directly outside room), down the stairs and across a small sized room. Not really helpful I know. I'll be going wireless when I get a router and my adaptor arrives.
     
  16. Abooie

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  17. DaveyD

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 19 Jan 2003

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    Location: Warwickshire

    Long ethernet cables are fine, I think 100 metres is the effective range where the start to lose quality.

    I can't think of any shop off the top of my head which isn't a competitor I'm afraid.
     
  18. Mr.Cookie

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    B and Q aren't a competitor are they
     
  19. Bernard

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    Location: Yorkshire

    Managed to get a 25m cable, sorted.
     
  20. Lui

    Wise Guy

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    Location: Newcastle

    1280*1024 is 5:4, 1280*960 is 4:3 :)

    looks good mate, some very useful stuff in there :)