Q:

How do you use a Lightning to RCA cable?

A:

Quick Answer

As of 2016, there are no direct lightning to RCA adapters or connectors. As the lightning connector is proprietary to Apple, other companies cannot produce one without permission. For those wishing to connect their Apple devices to video or audio equipment requiring RCA inputs, there are options. Apple does produce lightning to HDMI and lightning to VGA connectors — both of which have their own RCA conversion cables.

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Full Answer

As Apple lightning connectors contain authentication chips, only Apple cables or adapters are available. As they produce none that convert to RCA phono plugs directly, an intermediate cable or connector is necessary. The type of intermediate cable chosen determines the costs and capabilities of the overall solution.

Apple produces Lightning to 30-pin, HDMI and VGA cables that connect to the device. As the 30-pin connector is also proprietary, the choices for the second cable narrow down to the Apple 30-pin to composite. Video signals travel this path going from digital to analog, and a separate mini-phono to RCA cable carries the audio.

Using a Lightning to VGA or HDMI cable from the device opens up the options for the second cable outside of Apple proprietary connectors. As VGA is also video-only, audio must go through a separate mini-phono to RCA cable. HDMI to RCA audio and video adapters are plentiful.

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