NICE AND EASY: Tell me again the difference between component and composite

Component Video. Composite Video. Why do they have to sound so similar? Here’s the simplest way we can think of to explain the difference.

Component Video is designed for HDTVs and has five plugs – red/green/blue for video and red/white for audio. Yep, two of them are red. if you connect the wrong thing to the wrong thing you’ll have a REALLY funky picture.

Composite Video is designed for older TVs and has 3 plugs – yellow for video and red/white for audio.

Most TVs made before 2005 don’t have component video. Most TVs made between 2005 and 2010 have component AND composite. Most TVs made today don’t have either.

Simple enough?

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.