RCA vs Coaxial Cable: Difference and Comparison

In the world of electronic devices, selecting a cable is a confusing task for those who are not a tech-minded people. Among all types of cables, RCA and Coaxial are quite popular as these are used in households. Both of these cables are used for different purposes. RCA stands for radio corporation of America, it is a paired connector and the coaxial on the other side is a simple cable with a basic structure.

Key Takeaways

  1. RCA cables transmit analog signals, whereas coaxial cables transmit digital signals.
  2. Coaxial cables have a single conductor surrounded by insulation and shielding, while RCA cables have two conductors separated by insulation.
  3. Coaxial cables offer better signal quality due to their shielding, which reduces interference and noise.

RCA vs Coaxial

RCA cables are analog audio/video cables with three connectors on each end. They are not as common today. Coaxial cables are used for both analog and digital audio and video transmission. They are used to transmit cable television signals, connect antennas, and for networking purposes.

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RCA is an electrical connector that is composed of three color code plugs, white and red or black, for transmitting audio and video signals. It consequently connects with the corresponding color jacks on the backside of the television or other output electrical device.

Coaxial cable is a simple structure cable that is commonly used by internet providers, telephone companies, and cable operators around the world to transmit data and provide effective video and voice communication services to customers. Coaxial is categorized into three sizes that are used extensively. This includes RG-11, RG-59, and RG-6.

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonRCACoaxial Cable
What is it? RCA is an electrical connector that is composed of three color code plugs white and red or black for transmitting the audio and video signals It is composed of metal like copper and an aluminum shield along with an outer plastic jacket with an insulator that helps in minimizing signal loss.
UsageThis cable is used to connect video and audio equipment, majorly used to carry or transmit video and audio signalsThis cable is majorly used for transmission purposes, as a transmission line for data signals and radio frequency
Design and Fitting Composed of three color code plugs that connect with the corresponding color jacks on the backside of the equipment Composed of metal like copper and an aluminum shield along with an outer plastic jacket with a dielectric insulator
ThicknessRCA cable is comparatively less thick than coaxialCoaxial cables are thicker with shielding
AvailabilityThis cable is already obsolete or out of date.This cable is still commonly used

What is RCA?

RCA (Radio Corporation of America) cable is named after the company Radio Corporation of America only, which first used this connector cable to transmit audio and video signals or to connect the video and audio equipment. This cable has a simple structure that includes three color-coded plugs, red, white, or black for left and right audio channels, and yellow color used for the composite video.

RCA cables are used in various video and audio devices like speakers, camcorders, television, etc. It transmits non-digital signals or analog signals. Various factors affect RCA cable’s price, performance, and quality. This includes shielding, material, cable length, and the material quality used on the other side or end of the connector.

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What is Coaxial Cable?

Coaxial cable is majorly used to transmit data and for audio and video communication. It is composed of metal like copper and an aluminium shield along with an outer plastic jacket with an insulator(dielectric in nature) that helps in minimizing signal loss. This cable’s shielded design facilitates the user to transmit the data quickly without affecting or damaging environmental factors.

If working is concerned, coaxial cable has concentric layers which are made from insulating materials and electrical conductors. The electrical characteristics of this cable ensure good performance by offering two impedances to standard characteristics of 50 ohms and 75 ohms. Coaxial cables are categorized into various types: Triaxial cable, hard-line coaxial cable, radiating cable, and rigid-line coaxial cable.

Main Differences Between RCA and Coaxial Cable

  1. RCA and coaxial cables are widely used in electronics to connect various audio and video devices and transmit signals. RCA (Radio Corporation of America), a phono connector, is an electrical connector used to connect video and audio equipment to carry or transmit video and audio signals electrically. On the contrary, a coaxial cable is a simple cable with a basic structure which is used widely to transmit the internet, data, and video and voice communication.
  2. RCA and coaxial cable are pretty common in shape and size, but they do have some differences. RCA cables are composed of three color-coded plugs, red, white, or black for left and right audio channels, and yellow color used for the composite video. On the other side, a coaxial cable is composed of metal like copper, an aluminium shield, and an outer plastic jacket with a dielectric insulator.
  3. RCA cable is a paired electrical connector that sets a standard. On the other side, the coaxial cable is a single type of cable with a basic and essential structure.
  4. In the usage aspect, the RCA cable utilizes the coaxial as it was designed to use or employ coaxial, which is represented and indicated by the RCA connector cable. But coaxial, on the other side, also has other extensive uses. A Coaxial is a single basic structure cable used for radiofrequency purposes and widely used in network transmission.
  5. In the modern world, RCA cable is already obsolete and useless. On the contrary, coaxial cable is still in use and effectively utilized as shielding for RF installation.
Difference Between RCA and Coaxial Cable
References
  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6439210/
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6434592/

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