Component vs Composite Cables: What is the Difference?

Televisions are associated with watching movies, listening to music, and playing games. In today’s world, when streaming services combined with the internet are challenging the dominance of TV, they are still popular as ever. Several TVs use several types of cables to transfer data. In older TVs, transmissions were done using analog signals. While modern TVs use digital signals to transmit audio and video. Back in the day, two types of cables were used to transmit audio and video. And these were Component and Composite cables. But how do Component vs Composite cables compare with each other? In this article, we will find out the difference between Component vs RCA cables, along with the pros and cons of Component vs Composite video cables.

Component vs Composite Cables: What is the Difference?

Component vs Composite Cables: What is the Difference?

As TVs advanced, manufacturers had to figure out a way to connect devices like video game consoles and DVD players to TVs. The solution was Component and Composite cables. Both were capable of transmitting video through an analog signal, but they have their own differences. Let us begin the comparison between Component vs Composite video cables.

What are the Differences between Component vs Composite Cables?

Below are the differences between the Composite and Component cables:

Component Cables

Component Cable

Component cables are advanced and deliver high-quality video output. They work by dividing video signals into three parts.

  • Each of these parts is transmitted through a separate cable which means they use three cables in total.
  • The cables are Red, Green, and Blue in color also known as Pr, Y, and Pb cables respectively. Each cable transfers a particular section of the signal they receive.
  • Red (Pr) cable and Blue (Pb) cable, as their name suggests, transfer the red and blue colors of the picture or video components.
  • Green (Y) cable contains and transmits information about how bright the signal is. The green color component of the signal is transmitted by all three cables combined.
  • The cables are connected via RCA connectors which go to the input device. The colors indicate which cable is to be connected to which plug or port.

Also Read: 4 Ways to Watch Hallmark Channel Without Cable

Composite Cables

Composite Video Cable

Composite cables have been around since the beginning of TVs. They were the first cables used to transfer a video signal from one device to another.

  • Composite cables transfer signals on a single cable, which is often yellow.
  • They were popular at the time when TVs were mostly black and white, and the signal had little information to carry over. Hence, a single cable and plug were sufficient.
  • It can be said when comparing Component vs Composite cables that composite cables pave the way and create the basic structure and components using which component cables works.
  • Composite cable usually came with the device and had the same RCA plug on both ends. It could be attached from any end, and it would work seamlessly.
  • As they were yellow and had RCA jack, these cables were also called a yellow plug or RCA cable. Thus, this comparison can also be called Component vs RCA cable.
  • These cables displayed signals from an input device like a DVD player to an output device like a TV. These signals were analog composite video signals through a single channel as there was only one cable.

Pros & Cons of Component Cables


Let us continue our comparison of Component vs Composite cables with some pros and cons of Component cables.


  • They are multi-scan format, i.e., they can transfer different frequency rates and lines regardless of their mode of the scan.
  • They can support HD videos up to 1080p.
  • They work with DVD players, set-top boxes, and Blu-ray players.


  • Sometimes their signal can be affected by other electronic signals like radio waves.
  • They don’t work with many modern devices and are getting replaced by HDMI cables which are more efficient and have superior output quality.

Also Read: Difference between USB 2.0, USB 3.0, eSATA, Thunderbolt, and FireWire ports

Pros & Cons of Composite Cables


Let’s look at the pros and cons of composite cables to compare Component vs Composite video cables in a better way.


  • Easy to use.
  • They can be used to run old video games and VCRs.
  • They were multipurpose and can be used to connect devices other than TVs. For example, a camera to computer, etc.


  • They only supported Standard Definition videos as signal components like chrominance and luminance were compressed in one cable, which degraded output video quality.
  • They did not offer any vibrant color in images or videos.
  • They are not compatible with the majority of modern devices.
  • Just like component cables, their signal could get disturbed by other electronic signals present nearby.


We hope you enjoyed this comparison of Component vs Composite cables and learned the key differences between them. Even though they are not used these days, they played an important role in popularizing TVs. If you have any queries or suggestions then feel free to drop them in the comments section.

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