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composite video (baseband video or RCA video)

Composite video, also called baseband video or RCA video, is the analog waveform that conveys the image data in a conventional National Television Standards Committee (NTSC) television signal. Composite video contains chrominance (hue and saturation) and luminance (brightness) information, along with synchronization and blanking pulses, all together in a single signal.

In fast-scan NTSC television, a very high frequency (VHF) or ultra high frequency (UHF) carriercoaxial cables. Some DVD players and video cassette recorders (VCRs) accommodate composite video input or output through a phono jack, also known as an RCA connector.

In composite video, interference between the chrominance and luminance information is inevitable, and tends to be worst when the signal is weak. This is why a distant NTSC television station at VHF or UHF, received with an old-fashioned whip antenna, "rabbit ears," or outdoor "aerial" often contains false or fluctuating colors.

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This was last updated in September 2005

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