What is Red White Yellow Cable aka RCA Cable?

When connecting to any device with your TV, you may encounter a bunch of ports with different color markets on them. Typically, you will see a tri-color plug-in option for RCA cable input. RCA stands for Red White Yellow color combination and was quite a popular video audio input in the late 2000s. If you have played CD players, VCR players, or even connected your television with a cassette video player, then you might have used the RCA cables for streaming audio and video visuals to your TV. Today in this article, we will share more about these cables so you can understand What is Red White Yellow Cable aka RCA Cable.

Red, yellow, and white cables in a TV connection are part of RCA connectors that transmit signals from one device to another. These cables are usually codded with red, white and yellow color, but not limited to them only. In some cases, you will see these cables as a combination of blue, green and white or even pure black as well. In short, you might have encountered these cables in your day to day use with electronic gadgets. But What are these cables, and what is their purpose? Keep reading the article to find out.

What is Red White Yellow Cable aka RCA Cable?

What is Red White Yellow Cable aka RCA Cable

RCA cables are also known as composite or colorful cables. These cables are mainly used for audio and video signals and often come with three color trio options. The RCA cables were originally developed by Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in the 1940s; the RCA cable quickly became the industry standard for transmitting analog audio and video signals.

Because of their simple connection type and ease to use, the RCA cables quickly became the go-to choice for audio connections in countless consumer electronic devices. Originally, the RCA cable was designed to carry monaural audio signals; however, with time, the original design was tweaked to carry out dual-channel audio and video transmission.

The RCA cable typically consists of three separate cables bundled together, each with its own connector: red (right audio), white (left audio), and yellow (composite video). These cables use a single core conductor surrounded by a ground shield to minimize any signal loss or interference. These cables are often color-coded for easy identification, making it simple for the end users to match the correct plugs to their corresponding ports on devices.

What Do Red, Yellow and White Cables Do?

The RCA cable’s primary function is to transmit analog audio and video signals between devices. The red and white plugs are dedicated to audio transmission, enabling stereo playback with separate left and right audio channels. These plugs are connected to the corresponding audio output jacks on a source device, such as a DVD player or audio receiver, and to the corresponding input jacks on a receiving device, such as a television or amplifier.

The yellow plug, on the other hand, carries composite video signals, which combine brightness and color information into a single channel. However, the composite video connection offers low resolution for video transmission and does not provide the same level of image quality as other video connections, such as VGA or HDMI.

Can I Connect RCA Cable to an HDMI Output Device

The RCA cable’s versatility and compatibility have contributed to its widespread use in various applications. For a very long time, the RCA cables have been a standard connection method for audio equipment, including CD players, turntables, speakers, and home theater systems. In the video domain, the RCA cables are still used for connecting DVD players, VCRs, gaming consoles, and older televisions.

While digital connections such as HDMI have gained popularity, the RCA cable remains relevant, especially in older devices and legacy systems. It offers compatibility and simplicity, though at the cost of lower signal quality compared to digital alternatives. However, there are many connectors in the market that you can use to connect any HDMI or VGA output with RCA cables. So, if you have an older device, you can use these HDMI converters to connect HDMI-output-only devices to RCA Outputs and vice-versa.


This brings us to the end of this guide for What is Red White Yellow Cable aka RCA Cable. While digital connections such as HDMI have gained prominence in recent years, the RCA cable continues to be widely used, particularly in older devices and legacy systems. We hope now you are fully aware of RCA cables and how to use them efficiently.

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