This article is comprised of three different sections. In this article we are going to explain Component Video in the last section. The first two sections provide some background on the types of connection cables which lead up to the eventual introduction of the Component video cable. As well, we’ll explain the various uses of all 3 connection cable types.
Composite Video

Composite Video Cable

This cable is commonly supplied inside every box of electronic we buy today but this trend is slowly fading and giving way to HDMI. Composite video cables are the three cables colored Yellow, Red and White. Yellow is video and the other are Left and Right audio. This cable makes for a very simple connection however the picture quality is often of lesser clarity.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            S-S-Video Cable  

The S-Video cable was introduced in 1987, back when VHS tape players were hitting their stride. The S-Video cable has since been fading in popularity but is still a viable way to connect certain electronics. It began fading only after it also made its way as a connection method between PC’s and televisions.

S Video

S-Video typically has a 4 pin connection and was a step up from Composite video’s single channel of video signal. With S-Video, more information can travel from the device such as VHS player, older DVD, etc. to the television using an S-Video cable. Generally however, only around 450 – 550 lines of resolution is all you can expect and that’s only Standard definition, a far cry from High Def.

S Video Jack

Compared to a Composite video connection S-Video simply carries more information to the TV thus producing a slightly better picture than composite; however, S-Video’s 4 pin connection design standard was short lived.

Because an S-video cable only carries the video signal you still need the old stand by RCA left right (red/white) audio cables in order to hear sound.

 When selecting which S-video cable to buy & use make sure you pay close attention to whether you need a male or female connection. Refer to the pictures in this article to see what a male plug looks like and what a female jack looks like. Also, look at the pieces of equipment you are connecting to make sure both pieces have this jack; otherwise, this connection probably won’t work out for you.

Component VideoComponent Video Cable 

A Component Video Cable is used to reproduce a very clear, and with the right TV and programming source, even a high definition picture. Typically a component video cable consists of either 3 or 5 RCA cables which are held together as one (you can typically take any three RCA cables to make your own component cable). Each of these cables are RCA cables but with the use of 3… more information can flow to the TV thus producing pictures as good as High definition. Each of the 3 cables performance one of the following important functions: color, luminescence, brilliance.

The Component video cable consists of a Red, Blue and Green RCA Connector; this is often referred to as YPbBr. When using a component video cable it is vital that the correct wire connects into the same color RCA jack on both ends. What this means is, if you are connecting into the Blue RCA component jack on the back of a DVD player the other end of the same wire must be plugged into the blue RCA jack on the back of the TV or AVR you are connecting. Its important you match color for color on both ends of each wire otherwise the picture that displays will have the wrong coloration or there will not be any picture visible at all.

In order for the picture to display as an actual High Definition picture several other things must be in place. One, you must have a High Definition television to view content in High Definition.  Second, the content, whether it’s a DVD movie or a television broadcast program must also be High Definition content. If any factor is missing then typically you’ll only enjoy a standard definition experience. Just because you are using a high def. Component video cable does not automatically mean you get to watch something in High Def.

RCA AudioWhen you connect just the 3 Component Video Cables then you will only see a picture but you will not hear sound until you connect the audio cables. There are two ways to connect audio. The first is by using Red &White RCA cables and the other is with a Digital Toslink cable.

RCA audio cables are carry an analog signal just as the component cabling does. The Toslink audio cable however transmits a digital audio signal which tends to be a clearer, cleaner sounding audio track.