How to Convert a Coax Cable to an RCA Cable How to Convert a Coax Cable to an RCA Cable

What You'll Need
VCR tape deck with RCA output connections on the back
Coaxial cable with connectors attached
RCA cable with connectors

If you have an older television or other audio/visual component that is not designed to accept coax cable directly, it is likely that it is configured to receive RCA cables instead. RCA cables are fitted with color-coded plastic plugs that are inserted into matching color-coded jacks on the back of your television or another component.

RCA to coaxial modulators are common but coaxial to RCA modulators are not. Do not confuse them. Unless the RCA to coaxial modulator works in reverse then you will have to either follow the following technique or search for the coax to RCA modulator. The most straightforward and easiest way to convert a coax cable to adapt to an RCA audio/visual component is by using a VCR. Most VCRs after the early 1980s will have the capability to connect to both coaxial cables and RCA cables. If you don’t have a VCR you can acquire one pretty easily and cheaply at your local thrift store, pawn shop, or garage sale.

Step 1 - Connect Coaxial Cable to the VCR

On the back of the VCR you will find a port labeled “coaxial input.” Insert your incoming coax cable.

Step 2 - Connect the RCA Cable

Again, on the back of the VCR you will find a port labeled “RCA output.” Connect your RCA cable to this port. You will not be able to mistakenly insert the wrong end of the cable as the component is designed to only take the proper end of the cable.

Step 3 - Connect to TV or Other Audio/Visual Device

On the back of your television or other component you will find color coded RCA input jacks for the RCA plugs that are coming from the back of your VCR. Match up the corresponding color cable and insert the appropriate plug into the input port.

Step 4 - Using Your Modified System

Plug in and turn on your VCR. If you have a TV or video option, you must select the TV option. You will use your VCR remote to change channels.

Alternatively, if you have a cable TV box you most likely will be able to use the cable box as an alternative to the VCR. The steps will be the same. Just check the back of the cable box to see if it has an RCA output port.

Another option that follows the same basic steps is to use an S-Video cable that attaches to the back of your VCR or cable box and has RCA plugs at the other end for plugging into your TV or other component. The S-Video connection looks a little different from the RCA output. The male connector is a 4-pin plug that mates with the matching female port. Again, all steps are the same.

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