Home Theater & Entertainment TV & Displays 171 171 people found this article helpful Shared Composite/Component Video Input Connections Be prepared for less flexible TV connection options By Robert Silva Writer Robert Silva has written about audio, video, and home theater topics since 1998. Robert has written for Dishinfo.com, and made appearances on the YouTube series Home Theater Geeks. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Robert Silva Updated March 02, 2020 TV & Displays HDMI & Connections Samsung Projectors Antennas Remote Controls Tweet Share Email As TV and home entertainment technologies move forward with new connection options, older, less-used connections are no longer a priority for inclusion. As a result, they are decreased in number, consolidated, or eliminated. This affects the vast majority of LCD and OLED TVs and other home entertainment devices. S-Video and DVI connections are already gone, and the number of component video and composite video connections is now few in number. The trend on "modern TVs" is to consolidate both a composite and component video connection into a single video input option. This is referred to as a "shared connection" which is illustrated in the above photo. However, before going into more details, let's review what composite and component video connections are. Lifewire / Robert Silva Composite Video The composite video connection is that familiar connection that uses a "yellow tipped RCA cable" (shown in the above photo). The composite video connection sends an analog video signal in which both the Color and B/W portions are transferred together. This connection has been used for decades on TVs, video projectors, home theater receivers, cable/satellite boxes, and is also found as a secondary connection on DVD players/recorders, and even older Blu-ray Disc players. Composite video is associated with low resolution (also referred to as standard definition) video. On many TVs, the composite video input is often times just labeled "video", "video line-in", and, if paired with analog stereo audio inputs, "AV-in". Component Video A component video connection consists of three separate "RCA type" connections and cables with Red, Blue, and Green colored connection tips (included in the above photo), which need to be connected to corresponding inputs or outputs that have the same colors. On devices with component video inputs and outputs, the connections may also carry the designations of Y, Pb, Pr or Y, Cb, Cr. What these initials mean is that the red and blue cables carry the color information of the video signal, while the green cable carries the B&W or "Luminance" (brightness) portion of the video signal. Component video is flexible. Even though the cable connections pass analog video, the capabilities are more extensive than composite video connections as they are technically able to pass resolutions up to 1080p and can also pass video signals that are either interlaced and progressive. However, due to copy-protection requirements imposed by content providers, the high-definition capabilities of component video connections were sunset on January 1, 2011, via the Image Constraint Token. The Image Constraint Token is a signal that can be encoded on a content source, such as a Blu-ray Disc, that detects the use of component video connections. The token can then disable high-definition (720p, 1080i, 1080p) signal pass-through on unauthorized devices, such as a TV or video projector. However, this does not affect content sources that existed before this limitation was implemented. In 2013 component video was officially eliminated as a connection option for Blu-ray Disc players, and manufacturers are being encouraged to limit or eliminate this option on other video source devices. Although many home theater receivers still being made and sold offering the component video connection option, you may see the number of available connections reduced, or eliminated, with each successive model year. Composite and Component Video Input Sharing With the adoption of HDMI as the connection standard for home theater, TV manufacturers have pulled a fast one on unaware consumers - the "Shared Composite/Component Video Input" — which is illustrated in the above photo. The way the shared input works is that the TV's video input circuitry has been modified so that both a composite and component video source connection (and associated analog audio input) can be accommodated. As shown in the above photo illustration, component video cables can be connected as they would normally, but you can also use the Green component video input connection to connect a composite video connection. However, there is a catch — with this type of "shared" configuration, you can't plug in both a composite and component video signal source (with associated analog stereo audio) to the TV at the same time. What this means is that if you have a VCR, older camcorder (composite video source) and an older DVD player or cable box (component video source), you can't connect both of them in at the same on a TV that only provides a shared composite/component video connection. In almost all cases, TVs with a shared composite/component video connection only provide one set. If you want to connect both your old VCR and DVD player to the TV at the same time, you are out of luck - unless. The Home Theater Receiver Workaround If you have a home theater receiver that provides composite, S-video, and, or component video input options, as well as analog-to-HDMI conversion or said conversion with video upscaling, then the best option would be to connect all your composite, S-video, and component video sources (and associated analog audio) to your home theater receiver and then connect the home theater receiver to your TV via its HDMI output. if your receiver has built-in upscaling, the video signal from your composite and component video sources would actually be improved somewhat before going into your TV. However, there are an increasing number of home theater receivers that only provide HDMI inputs for video, or just provide HDMI and composite, but no component video connection option, so if you need to still plug older AV gear, make sure that when shopping for a new home theater receiver, that has the connection options you need. Additional Suggestions Faced with the dilemma of the consolidation of composite/component video inputs on most TVs available (with the added prospect of their eventual disappearance), you might think about doing some long-term planning. Consider copying all your homemade VHS tapes to DVD (you can't make copies of most commercially available VHS movie tapes released since 1984 due to copy-protection).If you have an older DVD player that does not have an HDMI output, it is time to upgrade to a Blu-ray Disc player. These players not only play Blu-ray Discs, but DVDs (upscaled to boot!), and CDs as well. With the current state of pricing, you should be able to find a Blu-ray Disc player for less than you paid for that old DVD player when it was new. Even if you aren't interested in buying Blu-ray Discs, the player will extend the playback life of your DVDs, and they will look better too.Upgrade your cable/satellite box to one that has HDMI outputs. Also, consider DVR service to replace that aging VCR or DVD recorder. Due to increased copy-protection DVD recorders are not as practical for recording TV programs as they were when they first came out, and are now very hard to find. However, you can still use them to copy your VHS tapes, which you might consider before that VCR bites the dust. The Bottom Line With all the changes on how we access our home entertainment, what lies ahead for you to be on the lookout for? Although DVDs and Blu-ray Disc will still be around for some time, the trend is definitely going towards internet streaming. Eventually, physical media will be more of a niche market as broadband infrastructure increases in availability, stability, and affordability.There is a developing trend to eliminate the need for physical connections between components via several wireless connection options.Strides are being made for wireless speaker options that can even be used in high-end home theater setups. The consolidation of composite and component video connections on TVs is just one, very small, part of what is in store going forward with home theater connectivity.