TopTechnical DictionaryCINCH (RCA) connector

CINCH (RCA) connector

CINCH connector was introduced by the Radio Corporation of America in 1940s and is also known as RCA. It is used for short-distance transmission of audio and video signals (Fig. 1 and 2).


Fig. 1. RCA connectors


Fig. 2. Connectors used in a DVD player


CINCH connectors are colour coded due to different applications.


Table 1. CINCH type connectors and corresponding colours


Signal type Description Colour
Analogue sound
left/mono channel (L)
right channel (R)
central channel (C)
left spatial channel (Ls)
right spatial channel (Rs)
left rear spatial channel (Lbs)
right rear spatial channel (Rbs)
Digital audio
digital audio (S/PDIF)
Composite video signal (Composite)
composite video signal (CVBS)
Analogue Component Video (YPbPr)
luminance (Y)
differential blue (Pb)
differential red (Pr)
Analogue Component Video/VGA
horizontal sync (H)
vertical sync (V)

RCA connectors are cheap in production, easy to install and can be used in many different applications. RCA connector allows to transfer video and audio signal as well as digital S/PDIF signals, however, the maximum distance is limited due to its susceptibility to electromagnetic interference. This problem can be partially resolved by using shielded cables and individual cables for each signal.