AV connectors dead, will RCA work?

wamucc

Novice Member
I've been using detached speakers via a/v cables with my old flatscreen. I started having audio issues yesterday -- I replaced the speaker wires and the speakers and it appears the right a/v connection is no longer working (speakers in the L work at a low volume, but are complete static in the R).

The TV is old and heavy, but the picture is still great so I'm having trouble parting with it!

I'm curious if it is safe to assume the RCA jacks would still work? I don't have any compatible speakers to test it with and am wondering if it's worth buying some to test it.

I'm an uber novice with TV audio, so any advice/input is welcome and appreciated. Thanks!
 

JayCee

Distinguished Member
Welcome.
You need to give more info.
TV brand and model number of your “old flatscreen” would help us to help you.
When you say “detached speakers” are they ones that were supplied with the TV?

“RCA jacks” are AV connectors.
If the RCA Phono sockets on your TV are marked as “Audio out” there's no reason to suspect they won't work. Audio out from a TV requires powered speakers which are speakers with a built-in amp…you won't get any sound if you just connect non-powered standard speakers.
If the RCA Phono sockets are marked as inputs, they won't work.
 
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wamucc

Novice Member
Welcome.
You need to give more info.
TV brand and model number of your “old flatscreen” would help us to help you.
When you say “detached speakers” are they ones that were supplied with the TV?

“RCA jacks” are AV connectors.
If the RCA Phono sockets on your TV are marked as “Audio out” there's no reason to suspect they won't work. Audio out from a TV requires powered speakers which are speakers with a built-in amp…you won't get any sound if you just connect non-powered standard speakers.
If the RCA Phono sockets are marked as inputs, they won't work.

Thank you for the response! Apologies for too-little info.

The TV is a Pioneer Plasma, but I can't seem to find a model number on it. It's at least 7 years (was given to me by someone who upgraded, so I didn't get much besides it and the remote). I have searched the back of it - if it's there, I've missed it. It's an earlier generation because it is thin, but weighs a ton.

If it matters: I also can't figure out if it has internal speakers or not - the guy who gave it to me said I'd need speakers, so I'm assuming there aren't any, but don't know if that's true or just his/my assumption. I can't find any menu on the TV that gives me "settings" or "about" or similar.

Since getting the TV, I used speakers from an old stereo component system, connected via speaker wire (what I was erroneously calling "AV connectors"). The other night, the audio went to almost nothing -- if I max the volume, I can faintly hear clear sound out of the left speaker, nothing out of the right.

I replaced the speakers with a new set and also replaced the speaker wires and had the same result (clear, faint sound out of the left; static in the right).

My thought was maybe the jacks where the wires insert may be the issue, so I was going to try speakers connected via an RCA cable (vs speaker wires). But am wondering if it's actually something defective in the TV instead (sound board, if that's the right term?). Maybe there's no way to trouble shoot besides attaching speakers via the RCA?


The TV is old, but still has a great picture, so I hate to trash it if there's a way to get sound from it.
 

mikej

Well-known Member
I just googled a rear shot of a Pioneer plasma and it looks like those models without in-built speakers had speaker terminals which you can connect directly to speakers, so presumably that's what you've been using up to now ?

If the fault occurs after you've swapped out both the speakers and speaker cables for a known-working set, then presumably the amp/board that supplies those speaker terminals is faulty.

If the TV also has RCA audio outputs, then this would provide you with an alternative that's definitely worth trying but, as mentioned by JayCee above, you would have to connect this to either a set of powered speakers (similar to those you would attach to a PC) or an external amp of some kind which would power separate speakers. Whatever you connect it to needs either RCA inputs or a 3.5mm audio input.

Depending on the age of the TV, you could also check for an optical S/PDIF (toslink) audio out which would provide another way of outputting sound to an external amp or soundbar.
 

wamucc

Novice Member
I just googled a rear shot of a Pioneer plasma and it looks like those models without in-built speakers had speaker terminals which you can connect directly to speakers, so presumably that's what you've been using up to now ?

If the fault occurs after you've swapped out both the speakers and speaker cables for a known-working set, then presumably the amp/board that supplies those speaker terminals is faulty.

If the TV also has RCA audio outputs, then this would provide you with an alternative that's definitely worth trying but, as mentioned by JayCee above, you would have to connect this to either a set of powered speakers (similar to those you would attach to a PC) or an external amp of some kind which would power separate speakers. Whatever you connect it to needs either RCA inputs or a 3.5mm audio input.

Depending on the age of the TV, you could also check for an optical S/PDIF (toslink) audio out which would provide another way of outputting sound to an external amp or soundbar.
Thank you! I will try the RCA cables (with powered speakers) and see.

After posting my reply I looked at the TV again and there are RCA input jacks on the side of the monitor, too (in addition to the back). Is it safe to assume those are all running off the same amp/board?

Also, if my continued efforts with RCA and optical S/PDIF (toslink) audio out fail - is it worth trying to repair/replace the board? Or is that more money/effort thatn it's worth?

Thanks again for all of the help!
 

mikej

Well-known Member
Thank you! I will try the RCA cables (with powered speakers) and see.

After posting my reply I looked at the TV again and there are RCA input jacks on the side of the monitor, too (in addition to the back). Is it safe to assume those are all running off the same amp/board?

Also, if my continued efforts with RCA and optical S/PDIF (toslink) audio out fail - is it worth trying to repair/replace the board? Or is that more money/effort thatn it's worth?

Thanks again for all of the help!

I'm afraid I've no idea how these things are wired but if you have the necessary powered speakers to hand, then it shouldn't be too much effort to try it.

Repairing plasmas these days is still possible (depending on the fault) but getting hold of the parts can be tricky as new parts won't have been made for many years, meaning that second-hand or reconditioned boards are usually the only option. Repair kits are often available for known problems.

If it's a Pioneer Kuro, then certain models were (and still are) highly regarded, so getting hold of the model number would be useful for any further queries - it'll be on a sticker on the rear somewhere.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
The Phono (aka RCA) connector was used for a lot of different protocols, some of which the TV will output and some of which it'll accept as input so most of the ones on the TV won't be used for audio output.

As it's the same analogue sound signal as the speaker wire terminals it's entirely possible that the fault will affect the phono outputs too.

Optical S/PDIF output should be unaffected though.
 

John7

Well-known Member
Before jumping in the deep end with speakers/cables etc - check your TV's sound menu.

It's possible you may have adjusted the "balance" setting and sent all the audio to one channel!
 

wamucc

Novice Member
I don't have any RCA speakers, but a friend said I could borrow his (won't get them until tomorrow). While watching TV with the one, very low-volume speaker, there was a slight "pop" then both speakers came on at full volume -- without my doing anything.

Is it safe to assume this means whatever the problem is, is within the TV (the audio board, etc)?
 

JayCee

Distinguished Member
Before we can assume there is a fault in the TV and it's audio output…you haven’t told us what is your viewing source?
I note you’re based in the US where Cable TV boxes are a vey common viewing source, or do you use the TV's built-in tuner?
If you do use an external box of some kind check the connections between it and the TV.
If you use the TV tuner, by your description of the symptoms it does sound as though there is a fault in the internal audio output circuit and you'd need to decide if repair is viable.
 
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wamucc

Novice Member
Before we can assume there is a fault in the TV and it's audio output…you haven’t told us what is your viewing source?
I note you’re based in the US where Cable TV boxes are a vey common viewing source, or do you use the TV's built-in tuner?
If you do use an external box of some kind check the connections between it and the TV.
If you use the TV tuner, by your description of the symptoms it does sound as though there is a fault in the internal audio output circuit and you'd need to decide if repair is viable.


I have the TV connected to a Roku via HDMI. I checked the connections there (they were good) and rebooted the Roku (which didn't fix the sound issue), so I assumed it was related to the audio aspect. Maybe not a great assumption? For now, the speakers (hooked up via speaker wire) are still working. Not sure what happened. Should be getting the RCA-connected speakers over the weekend to test those.
 

JayCee

Distinguished Member
TV's usually have a label on the rear with the model no printed on it…is the label missing?
can you take a picture of those RCA phono sockets you’re thinking of connecting speakers to and upload it here?
As said, unless they’re powered speakers they won’t work.
 

wamucc

Novice Member
@JayCee The label was not missing, I (somehow????) missed the giant label. I could offer up some excuses, but I'll skip that ;) It is a Pioneer PDP-5071PU Plasma Display

Since my speakers miraculously started working again, they've since quit (which was inevitable). Once again, I'm getting very low (but clear) volume out of one speaker, with nothing out of the other. Interestingly, this time the right speaker is producing the volume (vs the left last time).

Based on the suggestions I got, I did some troubleshooting:
  • I switched to the "antenna" input, which has nothing attached to it and is just snow; it puts out good sound from both speakers. So the speakers are working.
  • I plugged in a stand-alone speaker via the RCA cable, using both the input labeled "audio" on the back and on the side of the TV (with power via USB) but there was no sound. I tried this with the speaker wires in and out, with the same result.
  • I am streaming via my Roku, which is connected via HDMI. I switched it to the other HDMI port, with the same result (one speaker with low volume, one speaker silent).
  • I connected through my Chromecast (also via HDMI) to see if it was a Roku issue, but had the same audio issues.

I'm not sure what this means exactly. Are the HDMI ports bad?

For the life of me, I can't find a menu for the TV itself, either using the remote or on the TV somewhere. An image of the remote I was given with it is attached (the remote is filthy, please don't judge too harshly).

I have only ever used the input buttons on top and the volume/mute buttons. The "channel" button (bottom right) doesn't seem to work. Likewise, the "menu" button (below the wheel toward the top) doesn't seem to do anything.

As before, I appreciate any and all input, advice, and assistance. Thank you!
 

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JayCee

Distinguished Member
I'm pretty sure the bottom part of the remote has a lift up cover, open it and make sure the slide switch is set to TV…that should then enable the menu buttons to work.
I think the digital optical out on the rear only outputs the tuner (which you do not use) those other RCA sockets you've tried are inputs not outputs.
The user manual is available from
Go into the Roku menu and make sure it's set to output stereo or PCM (not Dolby Digital) in its audio output settings and try the sound again.
EDIT. Connect your powered speakers to the “Monitor Out” Audio terminals on the rear.
Those will output audio.
 
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