The picture on left is self-explanatory.
Typical RCA cables will have two or three color coded connectors. RCA audio cables have two connectors: red (right stereo) and white or black for left stereo. An additional third connector on an RCA cable will be yellow for composite video.
Connections are made by pushing the cable's plug into the female jack on the device. The signal-carrying pin protrudes from the plug, and often comes into contact with the socket before the grounded rings meet, resulting in loud hum or buzz if the audio components are powered while making connections. Continuous noise can occur if the plug partially falls out of the jack, breaking ground connection but not the signal.
Here is a typical color coding of RCA connectors:
|Composite analog video
|Left/Mono (record if 4 connector tape cable)
|Right (record if 4 connector tape cable)
|Left tape play if 4 connector tape cable
|Right tape play if 4 connector tape cable
|Left back surround
|Right back surround
|Component analog video (YPBPR)
|Component analog video/VGA (RGB/HV)
|H(Horizontal sync)/S(Composite Sync)