Monday, December 06, 2010

Video cable for Samsung Galaxy S

Disclaimer: Although this should just apply for any other SGS, this has been tested only on SGS Vibrant, India model.

If you didn't know how this cable looks, here it is. Note the 4 terminal stereo plug (stereo plug normally has only 3 terminals).

Although one can build a cable from scratch, it is usually cheaper or same to get a read-made cable like this, instead of trying to build our own cable with just the plugs. Ok, so what is there to be done if I get the ready-made cable -- the reason is that, all cables aren't compatible with SGS video output. This post anyway has all the info to build your own cable, if you are interested.

The common confusion that prevails in the forums is that some cables work and some don't; so how do we buy the right cable. The answer is that, you don't have to worry as long as the terminals are exactly these (ie., 4 pin stereo on one end, RCA on the other end). I had bought one such cable from ebay India for just Rs. 100. You can search for "Camcorder RCA cable" and you might end up on one such item.

If you get a camcorder cable, it most likely won't work. If it doesn't work in the normal configuration (ie., Yellow to Video, Red/White to Audio), try connecting the White to Video, and Yellow/Red to Audio. This should just work.


This is how a 4-terminal stereo plug looks. Lets name the terminals as T1..T4 as in figure. The camcorder cables send T4 to Video, but the SGS sends out video on T2. On Camcorder cables, T2 is the Left/Mono Audio (White) -- thus swapping that for Video works.

T1 is the Ground. As long as the ground is not changed, you should be able to convert any cable to be compatible with SGS video out. T1 usually gets in contact with the case/body of the device, so I would think it would be always ground on any such cables for consumer devices. I also don't see any reason for a cable to insert the video terminal between the two audio terminals. Going by these rules, it is most likely that, it is either T4 (T2, T3 are audio) or T2 (T3, T4 are audio) which is the video terminal.

If you have a multimeter, just connect this cable to your phone, turn on Video out on settings and measure the DC voltage (0-20V range) on each of the RCA plugs (make sure the phone isn't playing any audio). Only the video plug will sense a voltage of ~1.5V at this point. This should identify the video plug safely without having to try out various plugs on the TV directly.

To summarize, so you can build one if required. The SGS video output pin out is:

T1: Ground
T2: Video
T3: Left/Mono
T4: Right


  1. Nokia N97 video out cable matches your diagram but did not work on my Galaxy S despite swapping output wires, you also have to go to your video settings and enable TV out, I used ommeter to test cable connections, thanks for the article though.

  2. Oh Yes, you also need to turn ON your TV :)

    Dude, this article is about the video cable, the rest are assumed, of course.

  3. Agreed, even after turning on TV setting, i get the scrambled video out. No it's not NTSC/PAL setting. I think either cable is swapped or the 4 terminal might be at different lengths. I can hear the sound but again with loud noise.

  4. OK, finally got it to work. On galaxy S, this pin out will work.

    I used old camcorder cable and it worked. Of-course tested w/ohm meter.

  5. You should have been able to get it working without so much effort. The pin out mentioned in the above site is same as what I have mentioned above : T1-ground, T2-video.