Converting Line In on Laptop to Record External Audio

My gut tells me this isn’t going to work, but here goes.

I have a Panasonic HD TV with no RCA A/V outputs. There’s a digital input/output, but I’m not using it.

I have a Windows 8 Lenovo Y40 Laptop with Realtek Soundcard, capable of recording.

I have Audacity.

I need to be able to record television audio into my Laptop.

I have connected the RCA cables with 3.5 mini-jack to the xfinity cable box, which does have the output. When I plug the mini-jack into a portable speaker I am getting audio. But when I plug the mini-jack into my “Line In”, Audacity will not pickup the audio.

I believe I have done what is necessary to convert the Line in to receive audio, but that may be the problem. If that’s not the problem, then I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

Something tells me I’ll need to buy a cable for the digital audio output as well as a converter to create analog audio, and then feed that through the line in.

Any help would be great.

Just want to record Television into my Laptop for editing sound clips.

Moderator: duplicate topics merged

I have audacity.

My computer is a Lenovo Y40. There’s an internal speaker, but I’d like to use the Line In for the audio source. I know it operates as a microphone for a headset, so the recording capability is present.

I’m having a real problem getting this setup. The audio source is the TV.

Have a look at this tutorial from the Audacity Manual:


Please see my reply in you second post on the same subject.

Please don’t double post - it only annoys the forum elves :wink:

Did you read the Lenovo manual about how to make the audio port an input? Bi-directional audio ports are rarely proper stereo line-ins. Such an input is usually just a mic port for amplifying computer microphones. So don’t be surprised if you record mono and/or distorted audio even after choosing the correct recording source in Audacity’s Device Toolbar.

If you get mono or distorted audio you will need to buy a USB audio interface such as those on to connect the TV into, then connect the interface to the USB port of the computer.


Right… The Internet tells me your Lenovo has an “Audio Combo Jack (headphone and mic)”. Like most laptops, there is no line input.

You can make a low-quality mono recording with a line-level signal into the mic input, but you need a special 4-conductor [u]TRRS adapter[/u] to get a connection to the mic input. (A regular 3-contact TRS headphone plug will work if want to plug-in headphones or speakers.)