How to Convert Composite Video to Component Video

Written by david ward
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How to Convert Composite Video to Component Video
Composite video cable. (video cable image by Richard Seeney from

In a component system, the video signal is split into three wires that carry red, green and blue signals. The black and white signal is carried on the green wire. Composite video puts all these signals together into a single wire. Converting between these two formats may be necessary if trying to hook two machines together, one having a composite output and one having a component input. Converters are capable of doing that.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Composite to component converter
  • Composite cable
  • Component cable

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  1. 1

    Choose the composite to component converter that you wish to use. Ensure that the converter has input jacks for composite cables and output jacks for component cables. Many converters allow conversion of other types of video as well, but if price is a concern, look for one that only converts composite to component.

  2. 2

    Connect the converter to a power source. Connect the converter to the composite source and component output. Ensure that the composite cable runs into the input jack and the component cable runs out of the output jack. Note which colour cable end is connected to which colour jack. For example, in the image, make a note if the green cable in the middle is connected to a yellow jack.

    How to Convert Composite Video to Component Video
    Three-Pronged Component Cable (multucoloured cable image by Galyna Andrushko from
  3. 3

    Connect the other end of the cable to the screen on which you will be displaying the video signal. When attaching to the display, be sure that the RGB cables each connect to the same colour jack that they attached to on the converter. For example, if the green cable above is connected to a yellow jack on the converter, be sure it is attached to a yellow jack on the device to which you are attaching it. Do this for all three cables.

  4. 4

    If attaching the component wire to another video device, such as a VCR or DVD player, ensure that it is plugged into an input jack on the other device. This is unlikely to be a concern on a monitor or television, as few displays have output jacks.

Tips and warnings

  • Depending on the device to which you are attaching a component wire, it may be less expensive to simply buy a new device. For example, if you are trying to attach a camera with a composite output to a DVD player that only has a component input, the cost of a new DVD player may be less than the cost of a converter box.
  • • It may be possible to find a cable that has one composite end and one component end. However, the signals are transmitted differently, as noted in the introduction. Thus, using a converter box that changes the signal is necessary for decent video quality.
  • • While component cables transmit red, green, and blue signals, the three cables do not necessarily have red, green, and blue ends. When plugging in component cables, it is important that each cable attach to the same colour jack, but the colour of the cable does not matter. For example, plugging a green cable into a white jack is perfectly acceptable as long as both white jacks are connected to the green cable.

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