How to Convert VGA to RCA Cable

by Jason Artman

    A large percentage of computers have VGA ports available as primary or secondary video output ports. However, many older, standard-definition televisions lack VGA ports and have RCA -- also known as Composite -- input ports instead. In this scenario, it isn't possible to connect a computer directly to a television with a VGA cable. However, you can display the video from your computer's VGA port on a television using a converter box or adapter cable.

    Step 1

    Purchase a VGA-to-RCA converter box or adapter cable. You can use an adapter cable to convert a VGA port to an RCA port only if your computer's video adapter supports "TV-Out" through the VGA port. If your video adapter does not have TV-Out support, connecting your computer to your television with an adapter cable will result in a blank screen.

    Step 2

    Turn your computer off and disconnect the monitor from the VGA port. Connect one end of a VGA cable to the computer's VGA port and connect the other end to the VGA port on the converter box. If you are using a VGA-to-RCA adapter cable, connect the VGA end of the cable directly to the computer's VGA port.

    Step 3

    Connect an RCA cable to the composite video output port on the converter box or adapter cable. This port is usually color-coded yellow. Connect the other end of the cable to your television's composite input.

    Step 4

    Turn your computer and television on. Because the television may not detect the computer's video signal automatically, you may need to use the remote control to select the correct video input with a button such as "RCA," "Composite" or "Aux."

    Step 5

    Lower the display resolution on your computer if you find text difficult to read. In Windows 7, you can do this by right-clicking the desktop and selecting "Screen Resolution" from the context menu.

    Tips

    • Component video uses RCA connectors like Composite video. However, it splits the video signal into three parts for higher quality than that of Composite video. One type of Component video sends red, blue and green signals across the cables, while the other sends red, blue and luminance signals. If your television has a group of three RCA connectors color-coded green, blue and red and marked "RGB," connect your computer to your television with a VGA-to-Component adapter cable. If the connectors are marked "YPbPr," connect your computer with a VGA-to-Component converter box.

    Warnings

    • A computer cannot send audio information through the VGA output port. If you want to hear your computer's audio through your television, you will need to use a separate cable or cables to connect the computer's speaker or headphone port to the television's audio input.

    About the Author

    Jason Artman has been a technical writer since entering the field in 1999 while attending Michigan State University. Artman has published numerous articles for various websites, covering a diverse array of computer-related topics including hardware, software, games and gadgets.

    Photo Credits

    • Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images