Component video is a video signal containing two or more separate signals (components), as opposed to composite video in which all data is contained in a single signal. There are various types of component video, including:
- RGB (Red, Green, Blue). Uses three components — one for each of the primary colors.
- Color-difference component (YCbCr, YPbPr or YUV). Also uses three components, but one is used for luminance (brightness) and two are used for chrominance (color).
- S-Video. Uses two components — one for luminance and one for chrominance.
Component video inputs became widely available on high-end televisions and DVD players during the first decade of the 21st Century, providing a signal quality that is superior to older systems such as RF, composite, etc. If you have the choice between component, s-video, composite and RF, component is the best option.
Despite its advantages over older systems, component video is still an analog technology and has gradually being overtaken by digital signals such as HDMI.