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What is Composite Video?

Composite Video Explained

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 02:34 am

Updated 17.1.23

Composite video is the first analog color video signal.

It combined the luminance (brightness) (Y) and chrominance (C) aspects of a video signal into a single channel using a single cable.

What Does Composite Mean?

Composite means combining two or more elements to make into one.

Composite video is usually marked as a yellow cable or input port in the receiver equipment.

Composite video is also known as Radio Corporation of America (RCA) video.

It is also called CVBS video. CVBS stands for composite video broadband signal or color, video, blanking, and sync.

Composite Video History

The composite video came into being when black and white TV was converted to color in 1954.

Two color signals were introduced. They were referred to as U and V. There was already a monochrome signal called Y.

Y represents brightness.

All three Y, U, and V were combined into a single-channel analog video to display color images on the TV screen.

Video Resolution

Composite video offers standard-definition video at 480i (NTSC) and 576i (PAL).

Composite video is still the oldest type of A/V connection in use.

The design of the connector has changed over the years, but its function remains the same and they come with coaxial cables.

Composite Audio

The audio signal that accompanies a composite video signal is split into two. Audio Left (L) has a white-colored port. Audio Right (R) comes with a red-colored port.

Composite video connections are still found in older and newer television sets to facilitate the use of older equipment like VCRs or cable boxes.

However, those desiring higher quality analog video have dispensed with it to use S-Video or component video.

S-Video is a two-channel video system. Component video supports three video channels or more.

The main advantage of composite video is bandwidth is saved and fewer connection ports are required.

Component video for instance uses three coaxial cables just for video and two for audio, making it five cables altogether.

Anyway, composite, S-Video and component video connections are slowly giving way to the versatile HDMI connection in this age of HD video.

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