How to Connect an RF Modulator to a TV

By James Clark

An RF modulator is a device for converting a coaxial cable jack on older televisions into a set of RCA-type composite audio/video jacks for connecting newer types of equipment, such as DVD players. Decades ago, when television sets typically connected with a coaxial cable for satellite or TV service, and possibly a VCR as well, a simple coaxial jack was the only necessary connection point. With an RF modulator, older TV sets can still be used with modern AV components.

Things You'll Need

  • Coaxial cable
  • RF modulator
  • Composite audio/video cables

Step 1

Connect a coaxial cable to the RF "IN" jack on the back of the TV, turning the coupler on the end of the cable clockwise on the threaded jack.

Step 2

Attach the other end of the cable to the RF "OUT" coaxial jack on the RF modulator.

Step 3

Insert a set of composite AV cables into the yellow, white and red composite "IN" jacks on the RF modulator.

Step 4

Connect the other ends of the composite cables to the AV "OUT" jacks on a component such as a VCR or DVD player.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the TV is really ancient and has only screw-in connections for the RF signal, then use an RF modulator equipped with two small metal Y-clips. The clips slip underneath the screw heads, which are tightened to hold the modulator securely to the television.
  • Unplug the TV while connecting the coaxial cable, RF modulator and composite cables.