4 Easy Ways To Connect TV To Receiver Without HDMI

You’ve purchased a bit of kit and you can’t wait to get it set up and watch your favorite movie or show. Then the sheer frustration and disappointment of finding your TV or receiver, or both, don’t have an HDMI port!

So, how do you connect a TV to a receiver without HDMI in the easiest and quickest way? The answer is the HDMI converter that matches your input. Plugin the red, yellow, and white cables from your equipment into the little HDMI connector box.  Once you have done this, you then connect the HDMI cable into the converter box, and then into the HDMI port of your TV or receiver.

You may well have an old stash of cables in the back of a cupboard somewhere or up in the attic, so take a look and you will probably find one of the alternative types of cable to use right away.

What is HDMI?

HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface and basically allows you to have high-quality pictures and sound through one cable/port.

So, instead of connecting up different audio and video cables, the HDMI cable does the job neatly and simply without a tangle of different leads.

But it’s really not the end of the world if you don’t have an HDMI connection as there are a few other options to get you connected.

What is RCA?

The initials “RCA” are not abbreviations of the technical description of this cable, but are actually the initials of the Radio Corporation of America.

So, if you were looking for some in-depth, techy answer to that question, sorry guys – but it’s kinda interesting nevertheless!

What Connections Do I Have?

So, firstly you need to take a good look at what ports you DO have available, and go from there. We are going to look at some simple, alternative options according to what your kit supports.

If you’ve found you do not have an HDMI port, you will always have the classic red and white (sound), and yellow (video) sockets, which are the old-style RCA ports.  Or you may see red, blue, and green ports too.

These are extra video connectors so that you can use red, blue, and green, instead of the traditional yellow for your video.  These will provide a far better quality viewing experience.

So let’s take a look at each of these options and get you pluggin’ and playin’ as quickly as possible!

1. RCA Composite

The most basic RCA connection is via the analog red, white and yellow connection.

All you need to do is buy the corresponding cable and plug into these ports to get you running both audio and video.

However, this type of connection doesn’t support HD content as the video signal has to be compressed in order to travel through the single yellow cable.

This older-style cable can also be prone to signal interference from radio frequencies, which will negatively affect your picture quality.  Although this type of connection is really old hat now, some new HD TVs do still provide these ports to allow you to use any old consoles and gaming equipment that you may have.

You could even hook up your old 90’s video camera – just be careful not to accidentally show any ancient, potentially embarrassing footage when you and your gaming buddies get together!

  1. Spot the yellow, white, and red inputs on your TV
  2. Plug them according to a matching color 
  3. Plug the other end of the Cable into your receiver

2. RCA Component

This is the next level of configuration but is still analog rather than digital.

You will see that you have the red and white audio ports, but you can also see blue, green, and red ports, which are your video ports.

These extra ports were the next advancement in audio/visual connectivity.  The extra cables provide enhanced visual signals as one of the cables is for brightness and the other two are for color.

The video signal is no longer being squashed into one (yellow) cable and is now traveling through three separate cables, allowing support for HD resolutions as high as 1080.  The overall result is far clearer, brighter, enhanced viewing than with an RCA component set-up.

These cables can come in different configurations with the red and white audio cable encased together and the red, blue, and green video cables in a separate encasement, alongside.

Or you can get them as an all-in-one casement.  It doesn’t really matter which one you opt for, as long as the cables are the same length.

  1. Spot the differently colored inputs on your TV
  2. Plug the AV plugs according to a matching color 
  3. Plug the other end of AV Cable into your receiver

3. RCA to HDMI Cable

You can also buy a cable that says it converts RCA to HDMI, or vice-versa. Looks like a great solution right? Well, not really.  All this cable will do is provide the same quality signal as the old composite RCA cable above.

This is because it cannot convert the signal into digital, high definition.

So you would basically be better off saving your money and just using the old red, white, yellow composite cable.  This will most likely be cheaper but provide the same quality.

4. HDMI Converter

So, now we’re finally talking as this next option really is the best.  This little baby is simple, allows you to improve the signal from RCA to HDMI quality, and is a neat little box that can be hidden from view along with those cables.

All you have to do with this cute little gadget is to plug in the red, yellow, and white cables from your equipment into the little HDMI connector box.

Once you have done this, you then connect the HDMI cable into the converter box, and then into the HDMI port of your TV or receiver.

So now you can switch everything on and you should be ready to rumble! You now have the ability to convert the signal into HDMI and enjoy higher-quality audio and visual signals.

Do bear in mind that you most likely need to buy the cable separately as most converters do not include the cable.

  1. Get an HDMI Converter
  2. Plug the red, yellow, and white cables from your equipment into the little HDMI connector box
  3. Connect the HDMI cable into the converter box
  4. Plug it into the HDMI port of your TV or receiver

What are the Best Quality Cables?

A basic rule of thumb when buying audio/visual cables is don’t buy cheap! Make sure the terminals are of good quality metal and soldering.  The cable sleeve is also important as the thicker it is, the more protected the strands inside are from external interference.

Another tip in making sure you achieve good quality, clear sound is to keep your audio cables as far away from power cables as possible to avoid picking up any “hum”.

If you can’t avoid them being close, just make sure they run at right angles to each other and not in parallel to reduce the risk of your listening pleasure being compromised.


So there it is guys! All you needed to know to get you connected without an HDMI port on one, or both of your pieces of equipment.  All you have to do now is go and enjoy!