Composite Video

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What Does Composite Video Mean?

Composite video combines chrominance (color) and luminance (brightness) information into a single analog video transmission. It contrasts with component video, which separates moving picture information into basic elements and transmits them individually. While component video is good for optimizing signal quality, composite video saves bandwidth and requires fewer connection ports.

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Techopedia Explains Composite Video

Like component video, composite video was developed concurrently with the advent of color television. Also like component video, composite video is often transmitted via coaxial cables, but with only one connector (since all color and brightness information is encoded into one stream) and often paired with stereo audio connectors. In RCA format, these connectors are usually identified by color: yellow for the composite video signal, red for the right audio signal and white for the left audio signal.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.