How to Connect A Receiver to Your TV Using RCA Cables

Norvan Martin
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A receiver sends the video to your TV and the audio to the decoder, allowing your home theater system to give you the best watching and listening experience. You can use the HDMI cable to connect your TV to your receiver. However, if your TV or receiver lacks an HDMI jack, you can use your RCA cables. In this article, we explain how to connect a receiver to your TV using RCA cables.

To connect a receiver to your TV using RCA cables, plug the white output of the RCA cable into the white RCA out port on the TV and plug the red output into the red out RCA port. Plug the other end of the cable into the RCA ports on the back of the receiver, while matching the colors. 

Connecting a receiver to your TV using RCA cables is one of the easiest ways to connect your receiver to your TV without an HDMI cable. For example, it’s one of the ways we cover how to connect an Onkyo receiver to a Samsung smart TV.

Before you start connecting your television to your receiver, try to figure out the types of RCA cables that you require. Check the ports available on your devices to make the right decision. Once you have acquired the ideal cable, you can start the connection process by following the steps below.

1. Power on Your Receiver and Your TV

Ensure your home theater is connected correctly to the correct power outlet. Press the power buttons or use your remote to power these devices on. If the power light is on, everything is most likely okay. So, you can move on to the next step.

2. Plug Your RCA Cables In

Plug your cables into matching inputs. These inputs are typically labeled ‘Audio,’ ‘Component,’ or ‘Composite.’ To avoid making costly mistakes, use the color codes to guide you where to plug in your RCA cables. Plug the red end of the RCA cable into the red port and the white end into the white port.

How to Hook Up My Receiver to My TV Using RCA Cables

3. Change Your Default Speaker Setting

The exact steps that you should follow to change the default speaker to the connected speakers depend on your TV model and make. However, in almost all cases, you’ll be able to make the changes by going to your TV’s sound section.  

You navigate to the main settings and then change the default speaker to the external speaker. That’s all.

4. Test Your Home Theater Setup

Using an RCA cable is one of the easiest ways to connect a home theater to a TV with a basic cable. Now you’ve successfully connected your television to your receiver for the most entertaining audio experience. Nonetheless, you need to test whether everything is in the proper working order before sitting down to enjoy your favorite content.  

To test the setup, turn the TV volume up and determine whether you can hear the dialogue or music from the video you are playing. If you can, you’ve confirmed that you successfully made the connection. You’re good to go.

Receiver to Your TV Using RCA Cables

In addition, if you are connecting to a cable box, please follow our guide on how to connect your home theater to your TV and cable box

Are there Different Types of RCA Cables?

Yes. As already mentioned in brief, there are different types of RCA cables, and you should pay close attention to how yours works. This will help to determine whether you successfully connect your receiver to the TV using the cable or not. Here are the different types of RCA cables and all you need to know to benefit from them:

1. Basic RCA Audio Cables

These cables come with two connectors, the white and red connectors. The color code shows that the wires are designed to transmit audio-only.

If you want to use the basic RCA audio cable, ensure you connect the TV to your receiver via the RCA jacks. To ensure nothing goes out of hand, all you need to do is match up the white and red cables to the white and red jacks.

2. Composite Video Cables

These cables have the classic white, yellow, and red connection connectors. They come with yellow RCA connectors and red and white RCA analog audio connectors. As the name suggests, the yellow cable will help you to receive video signals.

3. Component Video Cables

Unlike the composite video cable, this one uses multiple cables to transmit video signals. The green, yellow, and blue cables are designed for this purpose. So, you can use this component video cable with three components and get high-quality video.  

However, it’s not the best option if you want to transmit audio from your TV to your receiver. In this case, you need the component video cable with 5 RCA components. Other than the green, red, and blue cables, this cable comes with color-coded white and red audio connectors.


What are Red, Blue, and Green RCA Cables For?

We’ve mentioned that the red, blue, and green RCA cables that are part of the component video cable transmit video signals. However, that’s not all. Each of them has been designed with a specific purpose in mind.

The green cable, also commonly referred to as the Y cable, is designed to transmit brightness signals. At the same time, the red and blue cables, also known as Pr and Pb, respectively, transmit the red and blue components of the image’s color. A combination of three signals infers the green components.  

Due to this specialization, you are likely to get the best image quality if you connect your receiver to your TV using component video cables than the rest.

How to Connect External Speakers to Your TV?

When connecting your receiver to your TV using RCA cables, you’ll likely need external speakers to get the desired sound effect.  

You have several ways to connect these speakers to your TV. Some of these are using 3.5mm analog cables, HDMI cables, optical cables, and RCA cables. If you’re using older devices with no HDMI, you may still connect them using the last option. RCA cables offer you one of the simplest ways to do this. You can use the red-and-white cables that carry stereo sound to do this.  

Ensure the cables go from the white and red ports at your TV’s back to the input ports on one of your subwoofer units or speakers.

Note: If you have difficulty knowing where these ports are precisely located, please refer to your TV’s user manual.  

Once you’ve connected your TV to the external speakers using this method, you can follow the receiver-TV connection steps above and successfully connect your television for the high-quality home theater experience you deserve.

Are RCA and Phono the Same?

A phono plug or connector is an RCA plug’s nickname. If you hear the words “phono” or “connector,” they both refer to the same thing. You can also use these cables for analog multichannel audio.

Can I Use HDMI for Video and RCA for Audio?

Yes, you can use them both at the same time. All you have to do is plug in the streaming device with an HDMI cable to have a good display. And then plug external speakers via RCA cables for surround sound.

What is the Difference Between HDMI and RCA?

While both of these cables can get the job done, some qualities make them different.

The primary distinction between HDMI and component connections through RCA connectors is that HDMI is entirely digital, whereas the component video is analog.

What Are HDMI to RCA Cables Used For?

HDMI to RCA cable is specially designed to connect and transfer signals from the HDMI port to the RCA port.

Therefore, the cable functions as a signal transmitter, but it shouldn’t be mistaken as a signal converter.

How Do I Connect my 5.1 RCA to My TV?

Connect the RCA’s auxiliary input to the AV output of your TV, and then use it for this purpose.

To get surround sound on the RCA, you’ll need to choose a surround sound mode such as Dolby Prologic.

How To Connect RCA Cables To An Amp?

Connecting an RCA-compliant device to an RCA-compliant amplifier is a simple two-step process. Locate the RCA output sockets from the devices by checking the back or front panels of the devices.

How To Connect RCA Cables To An Amp

Connect the RCA cables based on their colors to the sockets on each device. Red cable goes into the red socket while white cable goes into the white socket of the amplifier, as done with the other device. 

How To Connect RCA Cables To A Car Stereo?

Follow the steps below;

Step 1: Turn off the car to avoid electrical shock while working with the wires.

Step 2: Unbolt the stereo to expose the RCA jacks, which are in most cases behind the device.

Step 3: Check if the car has an amplifier. Amplifiers make it much easier to connect RCA cables to the speakers and improve the system’s sound quality. If there’s no amplifier in your vehicle, you may need to add one. 

Step 4: Confirm the RCA output sockets on the stereo to determine which cable goes where. You can also check the car manual for further details to help you match the RCA cables with the correct output. 

Step 5: Connect the RCA cables to a power source and then the power cable to the positive terminal of the amplifier. Secure the connections with tape. 

Step 6: Connect RCA cables to the amplifier with the same color.

Step 7: Test the car speakers. 

How To Make RCA Cables?

You can custom make RCA cables by following the steps below. 

Step 1: Turn on a soldering iron. 

Step 2: Cut an audio cable to your desired length and remove ¾ of insulation from the cable

Step 3: If your cable has four conductors, twist the standard colors together and apply some solder to the ends to keep the twisted wires together

Step 4: Apply heat shrink wrap with different colors for each channel where possible and heat with a blow-drier 

Step 5: Undo the RCA ends and ensure all the components are in one place 

Step 6: Slide the external barrel on the RCA past the conductor wires 

Step 7: Wire the signal conductor to the RCA end and secure it with a solder

Step 8: Connect the ground connector to the RCA end and thread the outer barrel and the end together. 


Now you have all the reasons to expect quality entertainment whether your TV or receiver has a modern HDMI jack or not. You can use the simple tips we’ve shared in this article to connect your TV to your receiver and achieve the kind of experience you want.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin