The term "composite video" indicates a video signal of which the luminance (luminosity) and chrominance (color) components and the synchronization pulses are mixed within the same signal.
Composite signals are usually carried by cables whose connectors are yellow RCA connectors (CINCH):
The RCA cable carrying the composite video signal is usually accompanied by two other RCA cables, red and white, which carry the stereo audio signal (left and right)
Since the various components of the signal are mixed, the resulting video signal is of a poor quality. It is enough to compare a video signal containing text, in composite form, to the same video and text coded with separate components (RGB, YUV or S-Video) to see that the text in the composite signal will be coarsely cut out.
Video signals with separate components were developed in order to overcome the limitations of the composite video signals, so that the various video components can circulate along different logical (coding) and physical (cables) paths.
The main video signals with components are:
- S-video (Y/C)
- YCbCr (YUV)