Can I Use RCA Cables If the Coaxial Connector Broke on My TV?

By Richard Asmus

Most television sets have coaxial F type input jacks for broadcast signals from an antenna and RCA type input jacks for video signals from cassette or DVD players. If the antenna input connector breaks, you can still use the RCA inputs for video and audio signals, but not for broadcast signals. But you can use other devices to bypass your TV's tuner and still watch programs.

Coaxial F Connector

The F type connector on your TV set is designed to accept radio frequency signals from an antenna. The turner in the set selects the channel to present to the screen, and the demodulator separates the audio and video information from the broadcast signals. Older television sets have a dial and newer ones have push buttons on the TV itself or on the remote control to scroll through the channels or a keypad to select a specific channel.

RCA Connectors

Many TV sets also have RCA type push-in connectors for other coaxial cables carrying video and audio from VCRs, DVD players, satellite receivers and cable demodulators. Some use one or more yellow RCA jacks for composite video, others use three RCA connectors with red, blue and green connectors for component video and others have a combination of the two. These TVs also use red and white RCA connectors for right and left audio. You can not use these connections for signals from an antenna.

VCR

Some VCRs have a coaxial F type input connector and a channel demodulator built in. If the antenna connector on your TV is broken, you can connect your antenna to this input and connect the output of the VCR to the TV with RCA cables. Select the channel with the controls for the VCR and set your TV input selector to the input to which you made the connection. Use the controls on the VCR to select the TV channel. You can also record the program while you watch it.

Cable Or Satellite Receiver

Some cable or satellite receivers have an F type output connector that mixes the video and audio signals with channel 3 or 4 to connect to older TVs that don't have RCA inputs. But some people use this connector as the main input to the TV, leaving the RCA connectors free for other uses. If your TV was connected in this manner when its coaxial connector broke, connect the RCA inputs on the TV to the RCA outputs on the cable or satellite receiver. Change the input selector on the TV to match the connection.

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