Composite or Component cable? Which is better?
Being a self-proclaimed techie, I kinda felt incompetent for not knowing the difference between a composite and a component cable. Not having a PS3 is my excuse. Hehehe.
You see when I received my digital media player, I found out that I’ve ran out of sockets for the typical RED, YELLOW, WHITE cable (composite) on my TV.
My media player has a component cable (RED, GREEN, BLUE) included and I noticed that my TV can also accept those as input. I tried them out and was amazed at the clarity and vividness of the video on my TV.
So it got me thinking, what’s the difference between the composite and component cable? Here’s what my research got me:
Composite is the widely used cable with RED, YELLOW and WHITE jacks that people have been using for years. Yellow is for the video and red and white is for the stereo audio.
Since it only uses one cable for video, the Luminance (brightness/contrast) and Chroma (color) signals are mixed thus reducing the image quality it produces.
What’s nice about composite is that almost all TV’s and other Audio/Video equipments have it.
Component cables have three wires as well but all of them outputs video. Green is for the Luminance and Chroma signals is split between the Red and Blue wires. This makes it the best analog cable to output high quality video.
The drawback with the component cable is that you need a separate cable for the audio. Either use the red and white cable from a composite or an S/PDIF data cable.
What about S-Video?
An S-Video cable is composed of 4 pins to handle the video from your analog signal (luminance and chroma). Just like component cables, you need a separate cable to handle your audio.
Among the three, S-Video is better than Composite but poorer compared to Component.
HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) cables are used for transmitting uncompressed audio and video digital signals. PS3’s and Blu-ray players needs this connection to output the best possible quality.
If your TV can handle HDMI and your player has it, use it over the three analog cables I mentioned.
So do yourself a favor, if your audio/video system can use component cable, use it instead of composite. You will be surprised with the change in image quality.