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Updated 25/11/2012Home » Video Glossary » Component Video

Component Video

Component video is a video signal that has been split into two or more component channels. It refers to a type of component analog video (CAV) information that is transmitted or stored as three separate signals.

Component video can be contrasted with composite video (NTSC, PAL or SECAM) in which all the video information is combined into a single line-level signal that is used in analog television. Like composite, component-video cables do not carry audio and are often paired with audio cables.

Component Video vs Composite Video

In a composite signal, the luminance, Brightness (Y) signal and the chrominance, Color (C) signals are encoded together into one signal. When the color components are kept as separate signals, the video is called component analog video (CAV), which requires three separate signals: the luminance signal (Y) and the color difference signals (R-Y and B-Y).

Component video does not undergo the encoding process, the color quality is noticeably better than composite video.

Component video connectors are not unique in that the same connectors are used for several different standards; hence, making a component video connection often does not lead to a satisfactory video signal being transferred. Many DVD players and TVs may need to be set to indicate the type of input/output being used, and if set incorrectly the image may not be properly displayed. Progressive scan, for example, is often not enabled by default, even when component video output is selected.