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How To Connect RCA Home Theater System To TV (Audio+Video)

As any regular reader of our blog will surely know that we recommend HDMI connections. But if somehow you are theater system lacks HDMI connection Technology. 

 Then don’t worry there is a number of other types of RCA connections that can be helpful for you.

You can still connect your home theater system to your TV and can enjoy a bigger screen movie experience with your family.

How To Connect RCA Home Theater System To TV (without HDMI) For Audio Only

How To Connect RCA Home Theater System To TV
  1. Get nice in good condition RCA cables. No third media source is required for audio-only
  2. Go to the RCA audio input section of your home theater receiver.
  3. Plugin the red cable to the red input port of the receiver and The White to the white 
  4. Repeat the same color-matching plugin’s connection with the output ports of the TV
  5. The red and white cables will carry audio signals between the receiver and the TV 
  6. When you plug in each cable to its corresponding color ports on the receiver and TV, the connection will be completed for the RCA home theater system sound
  7. Now enjoy the movie with your loved ones. Yourself is included in those loved ones.

Why Choose This Connection?

  1. If your receiver and TV is not having an HDMI cable functionality.

Why Avoid This One?

  1. It can’t give you surround sound only left and right
  2. Not the best quality audio like HDMI.
  3. No base management like HDMI

Connection Ratings

The audio-only RCA cable ratings are 0.5 if your system is having an HDMI facility, or not then the ratings for this will be 5.

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Types Of RCA Cables And Their Connection Guides

1. Audio Only RCA Cables Connection

These are two plugs in a single wire. They can be used for transmitting audio-only signals from TV to AV receiver or any media source. You can connect a soundbar directly to your TV through this one connection.

These are the most used and most convenient RCA cables among all RCA.

Follow the first connection guide for these cables.

2. Composite or 3 Plugs RCA Wire Connection

composite rca connection with receiver and TV

These are 3 plugs in a single wire. The red and white are for left and right audio speakers and the yellow one is for video signals transmission.

Composite Connection (Audio Only)

  1. It is used to connect media sources such as a Blu-ray player or dish tv with the receiver and your TV. A third media source is necessary for it
  2. Connect the three composite plugs to the output ports of the media source. Connect red to red, white to white, and yellow to yellow
  3. Connect the three plugs at another end to the input composite ports of the receiver
  4. Get another composite cable and separate the yellow from it.
  5. Connect that one yellow to the output composite port of the receiver
  6. Plugin another end of that one yellow plug to the input composite port of the TV
  7. Now, the audio and video from the DVD will come to the receiver. It will process it and will push the video to the TV for display and the audio to the speakers for sound.

Connection Ratings

The connection ratings for composite RCA connection are 3 if your system is not having HDMI. In the presence of HDMI, this connection rating will be 0.5.

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Why Choose This Connection?

  1. If you are theater system lacks HDMI Technology.

Why Avoid It?

  1. RCA cable is now a thing of the past.
  2. 4K and 1080 pixels video signals are not made for this connection
  3.  it cannot transmit high-quality audio signals like Dolby Atmos and Dolby true HD
  4.  it can only transmit the stereo sound of the only left and right speakers
  5.  To get complete surround sound audio, you will have to do another connection of optical cable
  6. It cannot give the high quality that can satisfy this modern age taste for video and audio. 

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3. Component V/A RCA cables Connection

There are of total 5 plugs in a single wire, or you can get three for video transmission and two for audio separately. It is not necessary that only a 5 plugs wire will work.

The blue, red, and green are used for the component video input/output and the red and white two plugs can be used for the left and right speakers.

Connection Guide (Audio/Video Both)

  1. Plugin the red and white plugs into the audio ports. Plug each one into its respective color-coded output ports on the media source.
  2. Now, connect each end of both plugs to the respective color-coded input component audio ports on the receiver.
  3. Your audio connection is complete.
  4. Connect the video three plugs to the output ports of the media source. Plug each one into its corresponding colored-coded ports.
  5. Repeat the same process for the other ends of the plugs and plug them into the input ports of the AV receiver.
  6. Get another component cable.
  7. Connect the three video plugs to the component output port of the receiver
  8. Connect their other ends to the color-coded input ports of the TV.
  9. Now, your video and audio component RCA connection is complete
  10. You will get video output from the TV and audio output from the Speakers.
  11. Enjoy your home theater

Why Choosing This Connection

  1. You get all plugs for audio and video in a single wire
  2. Go for it if your receiver and TV is not having an HDMI facility

Why Avoid This Connection

  1. So many plugs to manage
  2. No high-quality audio and video

Connection Ratings

The ratings for the component video/audio connection are 3. In the absence of HDMI, in the presence of HDMI, it is 0.

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Factors To Look For When Buying The RCA Cables

There are few factors that directly influence the quality of these cables. It will affect the signal transmission property of the cables a lot.

Always, check for these factors when buying new RCA cables

The Material

There are numerous materials used for creating the RCA cables. These materials are copper, silver, nickel, tin, zinc, and gold.

Silver and copper are very good for the best electrical conductivity and are affordable too. The gold wires are very expensive. 

All other materials are not widely used today that’s why finding appropriate connections for them will be difficult.

With Shielding

There are many shielding that is used for RCA. This shielding increased the quality of the signal transmissions between the TV and the receiver. They also provide an extra layer of protection and can last longer.

The Length

Choose the right length of the RCA cables. Don’t buy short ones as they will not reach the destination.

Don’t buy too lengthy wires that, will make it difficult for you to manage it afterward.

First, measure the distance of the source from the AV receiver and buy them according to that measurements.

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The Materials Of The Ports

Check first which material RCA ports are made of on the TV and receiver.

If they have silver ports then use only silver cables for the best quality and vice versa.

Precautions To Take For The RCA And General Connections

  1. Check twice as they are plugged correctly. Loosely plugged wires will affect the sound and video quality.
  2. Check the quality of each cable in the entire system once a month. Damage wires can affect signal transmission and can also give shocks to living things. If two wires touch each other, it will short the AV receiver.
  3. Run cables away from other electric devices to avoid their electric and magnetic field interferences with them.
  4. Properly manage the wires, so the back end of the system doesn’t look messy.
  5. Try to use as lesser wires as possible. If you are considering an RCA connection then go with the composite connections.

Final Verdict

RCA cables can give you good quality audio and video but can not give the best quality as HDMI does.

If your system is not having HDMI connections, then don’t worry these connections can work fine for you.

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How do I get my TV to play sound through my home theater system?

  1. As we are discussing RCAs here so we will explain them accordingly.
  2. Get two plugs with audio-only RCA cables.
  3. Connect the two plugs to the respective audio out ports of the TV 
  4. Connect other sides of the plugs to the matching colored input ports of the receiver.
  5. Now, you will be able to play only left and right sounds through your home theater system. For complete surround sound, you will have to do another optical or coaxial cable connection.

Helpful Resources For The FAQs To Read More

  1. Know about more connection guides from Sony BlogOpens in a new tab..

Ayaan Khan

Ayaan khan is a freelancer and a Computer Science degree holder from P.E.S. College. After his degree, he started an internship with his father in his home theater showroom. After working for a month he realized that this is the best job in the world for him and it could be turned into a passion. Fast forward to when his internship ended, he joined his father as a full-time home theater equipment tester. He tests new equipment and approves it before it can be installed in the customer's house. He loves to test equipment and sometimes loves to install it by himself in the customer's theater room. Ayyan has the right experience and knowledge to learn from his articles. Every Article on Homelytainment is curated according to Homelytainment's Editorial Policy and Sponsorship Policy.

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