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TV Connectors and Cables Explained

Need a connector or lead for your TV setup? We explain what the connectors do, and aim to point you in the right direction


Aerial Flylead

An Aerial Flylead is used to connect from a TV aerial socket on the wall to an aerial input socket on a TV or set-top box. They are also used to connect set-top boxes and recorders to TV sets. These will have a male aerial plug at each end. TV Aerial Flylead at Maplin.

Aerial Flylead cable
Co-ax aerial flylead

Aerial cable extender

Aerial lead with a male socket at one end and a female connector at the other end. TV Aerial Lead at Maplin.

TV aerial extender
Co-ax aerial extension lead


Aerial connector

Got a damaged aerial connector? Replace the male connector plug with a co-ax plug. Basic co-ax plug at Maplin – see also all aerial connectors at Maplin.

Aerial Co-ax plug
Co-ax aerial plug
Aerial Co-ax Socket

Co-ax aerial Socket (female)


Aerial Splitters

See our dedicated Aerial Splitter and boosters page.

Need a connector, adapter, lead or splitter? We recommend Maplin Electronics and TV Cables



If you need to connect a set-top box or a DVD player to a TV set, you’ll probably need a male-to-male SCART lead. You can buy a basic SCART connection lead at Maplin, or you may want to invest in a higher-quality SCART lead, which you can get from TV Cables.

SCART lead
SCART plugs

F-Plug connector

F-Plugs are most commonly associated with satellite TV or cable TV systems. They have a screw thread. Pictured below is a male plug on the left, and a female on the right. For cables and connectors, go to a maplin.co.uk or tvcables.co.uk.

SCART lead
Male and Female ‘F’ connectors
An F-Plug (Male) Satellite connector)


HDMI connector

Typically used to connect a High Definition set-top box or DVD player to an HD-Ready TV set. We have a page dedicated to HDMI cables, connectors and converters. See our HDMI advice page.

HDMI plugs

Component Connectors

Can be used to connect some types of set-top box to a TV set. Red, Green and Blue for Y,Pb,Pr component connectivity. Note that these carry video only, not audio. For Component connectors and adapters, go to a maplin.co.uk or tvcables.co.uk.

Component Connectors
Two sets of Component Plugs


Composite Connectors

Three leads – red and white for stereo audio, and yellow for video. For connectors and adapters, go to a maplin.co.uk or tvcables.co.uk.

Composite Connectors
Two sets of composite leads


Connectors Explained

Co-ax Explained Co-ax plugA co-ax plug is the kind you’d expect to find on the end of the wire that comes from your TV aerial.

For a selection of co-ax leads, converters and extensions, go to the Maplin website.

SCART Explained SCART plugYou’ll typically find a SCART socket on most modern TVs, DVD recorders, DVD players and many video recorders. It’s a 21 PIN rectangular connector that carries video and audio signals, as well as switching commands

For a selection of SCART leads and switch boxes, go to the Maplin website.

HDMI explained HDMI plugHDMI stands for “High Definition Media Interface”. This is the connector used to connect most high-definition equipment (such as the Sky+HD , Virgin V+ or BT Vision box) to a hi-def TV set. HDMI cables carry both video and audio. See our HDMI advice page for more.

If you’re looking for an HDMI cable, try TV Cables or Maplin Electronics


Your questions answered

How can I connect my Freeview box to a PC monitor?

Related pages

22 Responses to "TV Connectors and Cables Explained"

  1. Andy Dyson Says:

    I’d like to use remote earphones with my TV but it doesn’t have an earphone socket.
    Can you help please?
    Warm regards,
    Andy Dyson.

  2. Radio&Telly Says:

    What other outputs does your TV have?

  3. Gaz Says:

    I just picked up (in fact,it took 2 of us) a SONY KDE P37XS1 Plasma TV as a second set,and THOUGHT it would be a simple matter to connect up my Desktop Computer,BUT no,as it doesn’t have a VGA socket.

    Some say it can be connected,others say it can’t…got any Aspirin?

    It doesn’t help that I don’t have the manual,and the one I’ve seen on-line doesn’t seem to explain the connections,but just gives “Letters” in the picture,such as


    With what LOOKS like 3 different Ariel connections.

    So,my question to you is…can you please direct me to a site that will explain these cables (unless you can)? and do you think I can get a cable to connect this TV to a computer,such as a VGA to?.

    If you can help,many thanks,if not,NO problem…I’ll work it out :-)

    All the best


  4. Kate Says:

    Hi We had Scart leads put into the walls so that when we hung the flat screen tv there would be no wires until much lower down where we would place the tv hub and recorder etc. I now have a new tv provider which only gives an HDMI lead. Is there a converter that allows a male scart to plug in and then have an HDMI lead which will plug into the TV provider?

  5. Clare Says:

    I lost the TV cable when we moved for my daughter’s room. The problem is the whole for the cable is not like a kettle lead. It is round with wholes for pins in it and I don’t know how to find one of these. Could you help please :-)

  6. David Hunter Says:

    How do i covert TV ariel for use on my uniden ubc 355clt

  7. helen spendlove Says:

    can I run x3 tv sets from one outside ariel?

  8. Alfred lee Says:

    the wall plug is a F connector. How do one connect to a HDMI port?

    My problem is that the building manage supply TV programs to my apartment thro’ this F plug, thinking of buying a darblet day 5000 to improve the picture.

  9. Giovanni Benedetti Says:

    Hello I just moved to UK from Italy and need advice on how to plug my TV. there’s a Co-ax aerial Socket in the wall, I connected it with a co-ax cable to my TV but there is no signal.

    on the wall there is also a F plug connector. does this mean the co-ax cable does not work anymore and I need to try and plug on the F plug?
    so what should I do in order to see the standard channels of british TV?


  10. Giovanni Benedetti Says:

    I forgot to mention, it is an italian TV with only co-ax plugh and SCART plug.

  11. Darren Says:

    Wondered if you could help please?
    I have bought a 2nd hand technika 19″ tv/dvd combo. I would like to use it with headphones but it has no headphone jack. I am not bothered about using the tv, just dvd.

    I have read about various converters etc and tried a few things but all without success.

    The set has scart, y/pb/pr, hdmi, vga and s-video sockets and also two audio in sockets but no output.

    Would a scart block with 3 phono sockets do the trick as I am not using the scart lead?

    Any help most appreciated!

  12. Dave Says:

    I have a dish on the side of my house and would like to know
    If we’re the lead comes in and is two wires can an adapter be bought
    so I can have one lead into the back of the set .
    I have changed from a sky box back to freebies.

  13. Dave Says:

    Can I buy an adapter to change my two lead aerial lead for sky box to a one lead for free view.

  14. Dave Says:

    I have a dish on the side of my house and would like to know
    If we’re the lead comes in and is two wires can an adapter be bought
    so I can have one lead into the back of the set .
    I have changed from a sky box back to free view.

  15. Grag Says:

    Hi! I have a question. Is it possible to solder two wires in one. If I have abb (http://hardware.eu/abb) and inside it there are 4 wires more? How to know which wires should be connected to each other?

  16. Shane Says:

    Hello, is there anyway possible of converting a sega megadrive/genesis (coax) to an HDMI output?

  17. Mark Watts Says:

    Trying to solve a friends problem. Taking a coax cable out of any of the 3 televisions means the other 2 stop receiving a signal…

  18. bernard frankland Says:

    hi I have an old tv i want to use in my den so my wife doesn’t have to watch all the . [her words] crap sport.the skybox only has a hdmi socket and the tv doesn’t can I do what I want to do and how.Hope you can help or no sport for me. thanks Bernard Frankland

  19. Charles Says:

    Hi I have broke off aerial connection to rear of tv,can I convert aerial lead to hdmi regards Charles

  20. Chris Says:

    My TV aerial lead is male one end and female the other. However, the TV and the socket on the wall are both the same, male or female, not sure which, how can I connect my TV?

  21. Steven Says:

    What is the knob you can twist on a both
    Ends of the lead?

  22. juke Says:

    I need wireless headphones that I can use from my tv my wife listenes to the tv in the same room but I am hard of hearing and need the sound higher than she does . is this possible and what do I require and how do I connect these tnanks juke

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