The Coax Input Is Broken on My TV. Can I Use RCA Jacks Through a Modulator?

Written by richard asmus
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The Coax Input Is Broken on My TV. Can I Use RCA Jacks Through a Modulator?
Use the demodulator in your VCR to bypass a broken coax connector on a TV. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

If the coax input on your TV is broken, you can't connect high frequency signals from your antenna or cable system to it. The coaxial input jack connects to the demodulator in your TV set to pick off the audio and video signals. An external modulator won't fix the problem, but a demodulator will, and you can use it to connect to the RCA jacks.


A modulator takes voice, video or data information, and converts it into a radio frequency signal for transmission over the air or a cable system. Radio and television stations, along with two-way radio systems and amateur radios, use modulators inside their transmitters to mix the signals before connecting them to antennas for transmission. VCR's also have modulators to mix the video and audio signals from a cassette to high frequency signals to connect to TV antenna inputs on channel 3 or 4. But these won't help if your antenna input connector is broken.


A demodulator takes a high frequency radio or television signal in from an antenna, satellite or cable system, and picks off audio and video information for presentation to speakers and video screens. You could attach your antenna or cable signal to the input of a demodulator and connect the output to the auxiliary audio and video input jacks on your TV set to bypass the broken coaxial input jack. But such demodulators, although available, are not easy to find and don't serve any other purpose.


Many video cassette recorders have high frequency inputs and you can select TV channels from an antenna or cable systems with either buttons on the front console or the remote control. An internal demodulator removes the audio and video signals from the antenna input, and sends them to audio and video outputs jacks that use RCA push-on type cables. The jacks use colour codes to identify the signals, with yellow carrying the video signal, red carrying the right audio channel and white carrying the left.

The Coax Input Is Broken on My TV. Can I Use RCA Jacks Through a Modulator?
Connect your antenna or cable system directly to the antenna input of your VCR. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Making Connecton

Instead of connecting the coaxial cable from your antenna or cable system to the input jack of your TV, connect it to the antenna input of a VCR. Connect the audio and video outputs of the VCR to one of the external video input jacks on the TV. Select the channels you want to watch with the controls on the VCR, and use your TV controls to select the external video input that you connected to the VCR. You can now use your VCR remote to change channels and forget your TV even has a broken coaxial input jack.

The Coax Input Is Broken on My TV. Can I Use RCA Jacks Through a Modulator?
Use RCA composite video and audio cable to connect your VCR to your TV. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

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