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What is Component Video?

What is Component Video?

Updated May 2020

Component Video is the highest picture resolution one could obtain via analog video.

Component video consists of three video signals.

It is often referred to as YUV video signals and they come in different channels. Simply put, they could also be defined as RGB (Red, Green, Blue)  channels.

Component Video quality is far superior (sharper) to composite (RCA) video and S-video.

Both these formats combine video signals into one single channel (multiplexing of video signals) instead of separating them like component video.

Analog component video is popularly used in:

  • DVD players ,
  • flat screen (analog) television 
  • satellite /cable TV boxes 
  • video projectors

A Total of 5 Cables Needed for Component Video Playback

Three separate cables are needed for component video alone. They are named  Y, Pb and Pr.

On your DVD player or television the input or output terminals are colored Green (Y), Pb (Blue) and Pr (Red)

Another two separate cables are needed for audio, much like composite video.

Component Video and Audio Cable Connector Set

Component video cable connectors  are no different from that of  composite video cables. Actually, you can use composite video cables to connect component video output to your TV set or projector. However, to obtain higher  image quality you’re advised to use component video cables dedicated for that purpose.

An analog component video connection would therefore need 5 cables – 3 for video and 2 for audio.

Is Component Video Capable of Carrying HD Video Signals?

You may think not, owing to their analog nature. However, they are capable of carrying up to 720p HD signals as explained in the video below.

However, if you’ve a choice between component video and HDMI, you should opt for the latter.

HDMI Rules

With the advent of HDTVs, component video is giving way to  HDMI video.  With HDMI  only a single cable is needed to carry digital video and audio signals.

Most HDTV models have component connection input to facilitate the use of DVD players. However, these days most Blu-ray players come with HDMI output. So, there’s no need to connect five different cables to enjoy high-quality video playback.

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