How to Connect a Laptop to RCA Jacks

By James Clark

Connecting a laptop to standard RCA jacks requires two types of cable adapters: one for video and the other for audio. The connections involve simple push plugs with a converter on the other end that can be connected to RCA audio/video composite cables. The cables are then connected to standard RCA jacks on an electronic component, such as an AV receiver or television.

Things You'll Need

  • S-video plug to RCA jack cable adapter, available at electronics stores
  • Y adapter with 3.5mm mini-plug jack
  • RCA male to male video cable (yellow plugs)
  • RCA male to male audio cable (white and red plugs)

Step 1

Insert the round S-video plug on the adapter with the four holes in the center into the S-video port on the back edge of the laptop.

Step 2

Plug a composite video cable into the RCA jack on the other end of the S-video adapter. The other end of the composite cable can now be connected to any RCA video jack.

Step 3

Insert the mini-plug on the 3.5mm Y adapter into the LINE OUT jack on the back or left edge of the laptop, depending on the model.

Step 4

Connect the two plugs on one end of the RCA-type audio cables to the jacks in the Y-adapter. The plugs on the other end of the cable can now be connected to the RCA audio jacks on any electronic device.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the 3.5mm audio jack and S-video jack are both on the back edge of the laptop, a single composite cable with yellow, white and red plugs can be used. The Y-adapter will still be needed to convert the 3.5mm audio jack to RCA.
  • Turn off the computer while connecting the cables to an electronic device.