RCA Connector Types
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RCA Connector Types

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RCA Connector Info

RCA Connector Types and Signals

Originally designed in the early 1940s, the RCA connector remains a staple of connectivity today.

Red, white and yellow RCA jacks have been the standard for carrying Composite video and dual-channel audio from your media source to your TV for many years. This format is also commonly seen as a Red (right channel) and White (left channel) audio cable. While it is not uncommon to find Composite video in a single RCA cable, with its yellow connectors distinguishing it from other RCA varieties, this format has become less common as it does not support HD video. For this reason, it has largely been supplanted by higher quality video formats such as its HD cousin, Component video.

Component video improves on the Composite video standard by separating the video signal into three "Components" thereby eliminating the need to compress and decompress the signal. For more on Component video, visit this page.

Digital S/PDIF audio can also utilize RCA connectors; the single orange jack is usually found on high-quality audio equipment. This is a popular way, for example, to connect your computer's audio to your home theater system if you want to listen to some tunes.

Additionally, RCA is often used in analog surround sound systems, usually color coded as follows: green (center), blue (left), gray (right), brown (left rear), tan (right rear) and purple (subwoofer.)

For more detailed information about individual products, see our selection of RCA cables.