Record TV with laptop microphone jack (jack/jack cable)

Windows 7
Audacity 2.0.5
exe (not certain)

Dear Support!
I am attempting the following:

TV earphone jack ← jack/jack cable → laptop microphone jack

Backstory: i have an old functioning SEGA Master System II from around '91, and i would like to record the 16-bit music of a game, this seems the only possible way :smiley:

The funny thing is im halfway succeeded, since when i turn up the TV volume to maximum, the sound (music im trying to record) begins to mysteriously emanate from my laptop, really quietly, and i can assure it DOES NOT come from the SPEAKERS ! :astonished:
More mysteriously, in that case the quietly emanating sound (no idea where it comes from) plays correctly, however when i press Record in Audacity the result is always the same:

  • crunchy clipping like noise
  • i tried every possible permutation of volume on TV, as well as the Input Volume in Audacity, always same result, i assume its not actualy clipping
  • i set the Quality down to Fastest/Low Quality, sample rate and format much lower too
  • echo/‘canon’ effect: the sound is recorded doubly with 2 seconds delay…
  • it is definetely not the latency i did the click track test and adjusted Latency correction… (which wasnt 2 seconds, around 0.145, implying the issue at hand is of different source)

These problems are both absent with the magically appearing sound :confused: so i assume, that both the jack bays and my jack/jack cable is intact, and the issue occurs somewhere after the signal gets into my PC, so i would like to ask if You could advise something ? Is this possible, to put raw earphone jackoutline into laptop microphone jackinline, and record it with Audacity?
best regards

The Mic-In connection of your laptop is designed for an actual computer microphone or headset system such as this.

Or this.

Other connections will produced damaged sound or not work at all. Some laptops can be adjusted to work, but if you already tried, chances are good yours isn’t one of them.

A headphone connection can be plugged in to a Stereo Line-In adapter such as the Behringer UCA-202.

This is one adapting my stereo sound mixer.

There are other adapters available.


Thanks for the really quick reply!

There is a small coil (indcutance) on the pip power connection of the mic input in your laptop. With the headphones out of the TV all the way up, the coil is probably vibrating as one channel goes to the power end.

This could potentially burn out the coil if the power from the TV is high enough and you let it run long enough…

Unless you could find a demodulator there is no way to get separate sound out, so you solution is probably the best/easiest way.

And, as Koz already stated, you need a line-in port on the laptop, or a USB audio adapter with a line-in. You’ll notice then that you don’t need to turn the TV up all the way, which should allow for better audio quality.

I’m also pretty certain that the sound from this console is 8-bit. 16 is CD quality audio :smiley:

Alright, thanks for the info, could you pls tell me if there is cheaper way/device to perform this tv-pc transfer? By name i should look for ‘demodulators’ or ‘audio adapters’ ? because what i found until now feels a bit off my course in price :smiley: :frowning: im not likely to ever get into professional levels of this, i use audacity for most basic stuff too, i really only need it to just do this single function…

The $30 UCA-202 is pretty basic. That and an adapter cable and you’re in. It’s the cheapest way I found that still does a good job.

Be careful not to fall for one of the ultra-cheap USB adapters such as the ICUSBAUDIO by Startech.

Turn a USB port into a Stereo Sound Card. Sounds terrific, doesn’t it? It doesn’t. It has a stereo headphone connection and a mono microphone connection. It’s not stereo Line-In. I use one of these for a microphone connection for minor recording jobs that don’t need a full studio.