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How to Connect a Laptop to a TV Using RCA

Updated February 21, 2017

Connect your laptop to a TV set that uses RCA video connections with an adaptor cable. This cable converts the VGA signal from your laptop to an RCA signal. Hook up a VGA cable to the adaptor, then connect it to the laptop's video output port, which is typically used for connecting an external monitor. Most computer and electronics stores sell VGA to RCA adaptors.

Push the yellow plug on one end of the RCA video cable into the matching yellow video input on the back of the TV. Connect the plug on the other end to the RCA jack on the adaptor.

Connect the plug on the VGA cable to the matching port on the adaptor. The three rows of metal pins in the plug must fit into the corresponding holes on the adaptor. Tighten the screw on each side of the plug to prevent the cable from pulling out of the adaptor.

Hook up the plug on the other end of the cable to the video port on the laptop, which is typically on the back or left-hand edge.

Turn on the laptop and TV, then switch to the RCA input (usually done by pressing the "Input" button on the television's remote).

Press and hold the "Fn" (Function) key on the laptop, then press the numbered function key on the top row of the keyboard that corresponds to the video output connection. Some laptops will have "LCD/CRT" printed on one of the function keys. The laptop screen will appear on the TV screen when the "Fn" and function key are pressed at the same time.

Warning

Shut down the computer and turn off the TV while hooking up the video cable.

Things You'll Need

  • Male-to-male RCA video cable
  • VGA to RCA adaptor
  • VGA cable
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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.