Connecting Your Xbox Using An Optical Audio Cable
You first need to make sure your television has optical capability. Almost all modern flat screen panels will have an input known as S/PDIF (this is short for Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format) for optical cables the signal is transmitted over a TOSLINK cable which is made from fibre optical cable. You can also transmit S/PDIF over a solid copper lead but we will not go into detail as that's not relevant. When buying an a cable it's important you look for the name TOSLINK. Optical audio leads are also available in a smaller format similar to a 3.5mm jack, this is used for portable audio devices such as mini disc players and laptop computers. This size of connection will not work and should be avoided.
As mentioned previously, S/PDIF optical audio cables transmit the signal using light over fibre optic cable. You can actually see the red light at the end of the cable. Whilst it's always best using the shortest possible cable, you can get an optical audio lead up to 30 meters long. It's important not to bend the cable to tightly as this can kink the fiber optic inside and permanently damage the cable. If you are looking to purchase a higher quality cable you should consider a lead that uses quartz glass.
TOSLINK S/PDIF audio cables are relatively inexpensive. A simple internet search returns decent quality optical audio cables from as little as four pounds for a 1 meter cable. If that's too short we found a 20 meter cable on sale from a respected internet retailer for just twenty-four pounds in the United Kingdom. On final point to remember when you take delivery of your new cable, don't forget to remove the dust caps that protect the plugs on the end of the cable. You would be surprised just how many people ring the shop and say the cable does not fit.