Sunday, 8 November 2009

Connecting your laptop to your TV (make your own SVideo to RCA cable)

I have a laptop with an S-Video output and I wanted to watch a DVD on my TV (that didn’t have an S-Video input), so I decided to make my own cable – the ones in the shops were over R150. 
See below for the wiring – you’ll need a ceramic capacitor in the wiring.
I thought that the S-Video plug would “carry” video signal and the audio – I was wrong – I needed 2 cables: 1 for the video and another for audio.
image {Thanks to for the images and diagrams pasted below – I wish I had them when I made my cables!}

Video cable:

Here’s an S-Video plug: image (plugged into the laptop’s S-Video output, and the TV end soldered onto a RCA jack and plugged into the video-in socket on the TV)

Here’s the RCA plug: image  

Here’s the wiring of the S-Video to RCA cable:

Pin S-Video

Description Pin RCA
1 Ground (Y) Ground
2 Ground (C) Ground
3 Y - Intensity (Luminance) Signal
4 C - Colour (Chrominance) Signal through 470pF Ceramic Capacitor
  • Larger capacitor values will also work, but cause picture to become "softer".
  • The impedances and signal levels not matched exactly right, but near enough to work acceptably.

Audio cable:
The audio cable had a small stereo jack on it and plugged into the laptop’s headphone jack, and the TV end had two RCA male connectors and plugged into the audio-in (“Left and Right”) sockets on the TV.
While investigating this article I Googled into which is an absolute mine of valuable information regarding pinouts of cables and connectors for all sorts of devices.  If you need to know how to wire up a connector or cable, then will be your last stop!


  1. i have been trying the whole morning to find a
    7 pin s video to 3 rca cable in Johannesburg, with NO luck. Would you perhaps know how to configure this? I cant find anything on the net.

  2. Hi Anonymous

    I've put together another page describing the 7 pin SVideo to RCA cable:

    Let me know if it works



  3. Trying to connect Dell laptop to TV with HDMI cable. The only picture being transferred to the TV screen is the background image. Cursor visible but no icons. Can anyone help?


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