How do converter cables work?

By Speck13
Jul 14, 2015
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  1. Good day,

    I'm referring to something like this:

    or this:

    I'm sure this is a very basic question, but I can't seem to find anything after searching online. Essentially, what I'd like to know, is if the signal is actually converted at all.

    For instance with the stereo to RCA cable. I have an Audio Receiver connected to four speakers. I wanted to listen to music from my iPhone on my Audio Receiver , but it only has red/white RCA jacks, and no Aux/Stereo jacks. I purchased a converter cable online similar the one above. It works great. Is the audio signal being converted at all? Or is the same signal passing along the cable, and it all just comes down to the available ports on each device?

    Perhaps the display cable example doesn't quite line up with the audio cable example. But, I guess I want to know if there is a complex conversion process going on, or if it's just a matter of finding the right cables to work between different devices that have different audio or display ports.

    Thank you,

  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    "Converter Cable" - - name says all. They all map one kind of plug to another.

    Take a simple RCA connector, it has a single wire for data (the center pin) and a shielded outer cover (the ground, usually braided). You need two, one for left, other for right channels.

    Going to a cellphone or headphone jack on a PC, you get a 'Y' cable with two RCAs and a mini-plug where the center pin has two zones; one on the shaft and the other at the tip.

    Another mapping might be a DVI - HDMI and as we know, you loose the audio as DVI doesn't provide for audio.
  3. bluejolls

    bluejolls TS Booster Posts: 115   +8

    Pretty sure you can't. You need an MHL adapter to make it work.

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