How to Buy Composite Video Cables on eBay

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How to Buy Composite Video Cables on eBay

Composite video cables are used for DVD players, Blu-ray players, video recorders, TVs, and games consoles. Composite video is an analogue input type that carries video signals on a single cable. The colour and brightness information for the picture are both carried by the cable. This means that there is a slightly lower picture quality when compared to RGB video signals, where red, green, and blue are combined to produce a range of colours, or S-video, which transmits high-quality signals and separates the colour and brightness. Composite video is not able to carry high-definition signals. However, it is the most common method used to transfer video signals and is therefore compatible with most video devices.

Composite video cables are available in varying lengths and some feature adaptors that allow for the conversion of one input type to another. When choosing a composite video cable, it is important to know exactly what kind of cable is needed to match the devices, especially if they have different inputs and outputs. Once the buyer has made an informed choice about the correct type, it is possible to find the right composite video cable on eBay.

Composite Video Signals Explained

Composite video signals consist of three components: horizontal-retrace signals, vertical-retrace signals, and intensity information. These components are used to generate a picture and reproduce the scene accurately. The brightness information is combined with the colour information, as well as any details required to synchronise the signals. The composite video signal combines all three components, which means that only one wire is required in order to transmit the signal.

Composite video cables only send the picture information from one device to another. Audio signals of, say a film, are transmitted through separate wires that can be often combined with the composite video cable.

Connecting Composite Video Cables With Devices

Composite video cables are used with DVD players, Blu-ray players, video recorders, TVs, and games consoles. They have an RCA type of connector, which is the type often used for transmitting video and audio signals. Older video projectors may have a BNC connector, which can be used for quick connections. Commonly, the composite video cable is inserted into the ports labelled "video in" and "video out". These are used when there is no S-video port. S-video transmits high-quality signals and separates the colour and brightness to provide better picture quality. Once the cable is plugged in, the devices should be turned on in order to establish a connection. The cable can usually be attached while the devices are already switched on.

Using Composite Video Cables to Connect a DVD Player

Newer TV models benefit from the S-video connection. However, older models require the use of a composite video cable to connect to a DVD player.

Using Composite Video Cables to Connect a Computer

Computers can be connected to a TV with the composite video cable in order to transform the TV screen into a computer monitor. Older computers have a video card that can be connected to a composite video cable. Video capture cards allow the buyer to convert VHS tapes into other file formats on the computer when used with the composite video cable, so this may be useful when backing up old video tapes.

Features of Composite Video Cables

Composite video cables are simply types of connectors, but they have some features that should be considered before buying. They can be made of several materials and their gender, which is defined by the configuration of the plugs and sockets, also plays a role. It may be necessary to use an adaptor or signal converter with the cable.

Materials for Composite Video Cables

Composite video cables can be plated with various metals, including gold and nickel. Gold is known for its conductivity, so it ensures good quality connections. Composite video cables are usually covered with a durable PVC jacket that protects the wires.

Gender of the Connectors for a Composite Video Cable

Electrical connectors are referred to by two genders: female and male. The differences of these are significant and it is necessary to know which connector is required when shopping on eBay. The female connector is the socket where other plugs can be inserted, while the male counterpart is the plug that is inserted into the sockets. For a socket to socket connection, a composite cable with male connectors on both ends is required. Many connectors are different genders on each end of the cable.

Adaptors for a Composite Video Cable

An adaptors, called the gender changer, adds versatility to the cable as it allows it to be used with a wider range of devices. So, if the composite video cable purchased is not right for the device because the connector types are of the wrong gender, it is possible to buy an adaptor rather than a new cable. This is especially useful as the sockets across a range of devices may vary, for instance a TV or video camera may have different sockets. In this case, adaptors could be used. Adaptors are also useful when a composite video cable already exists in the household, but a different configuration of connectors is needed for a newly purchased device.

Combining a Composite Video Cable With Audio

Composite video cables are often coupled with audio cables in a triple wire cable. In this case, the composite video cable is yellow and the audio cables are red and white.

Buying Composite Video Cables on eBay

If you are looking for composite video cables on eBay, you can start by searching for "composite video cable". This results in a long list of available products. So, it is helpful to know your specific requirements in order to buy the correct composite video cable. Bear in mind which devices the cable is to be used with. Know the gender of the connector ends for your devices and whether you need to buy an adaptor to make the cable usable. Choose your keywords carefully because a search that is too specific may leave you with very few results or even none. You may also sort the results by price in order to find the right cables for your budget.

Item Description

Once you are presented with the initial results, you can browse the listings and read the item descriptions to see if a composite video cable meets your requirements. When you have decided which cable to buy, study the item description carefully. The seller should provide information about the connectors for the cable, the cable length, and whether it is new or used. Look at the photos carefully to see whether they are of the actual item, or are a generic manufacturer's image. The photos can give the buyer information about any wear and tear on the cable, especially if it is used. If the photos are unclear, or if more images are required, then contact the seller.

The item description should also contain details about the postage and packaging costs, the accepted payment methods, and the seller's returns policy. Always pay using a secure method such as a credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Avoid using cash or cheque.

Know the Seller

Get to know the seller by reading their feedback. Feedback is provided by previous buyers and gives a good indication of the level of customer service and the quality of products offered by the seller. Top-rated sellers are known in the eBay community for having an excellent reputation. If you have any questions, contact the seller directly using the "Ask a question" feature that can be found with the item listing. Good sellers respond quickly and are happy to provide further information.


Composite video cables transmit an analogue video signal that is commonly used with many video devices. Devices that can be connected with composite video cables include Blu-ray players, DVD players, TVs, computers, and video recorders. As the composite video cable combines the colour and brightness information in one cable, it means that there are fewer cables and therefore less fuss. However, it also means that there is a lower picture quality. Although composite video cables do not produce the best picture quality, they are useful when converting DVDs to VHS or VHS to more modern electronic formats.

eBay stocks many different composite video cables in various lengths, as well as connector types. The ends of the cables can be either female or male, with the female being the socket and the male the plug. When one of the devices that needs to be connected does not have the right gender of connector, an adaptor can be used in order to make transmitting the signal possible. Often, composite video cables comes with two audio cables attached to enable the transfer of sound together with pictures. Composite video cables are made of metals that offer good conductivity and are covered with a durable PVC jacket that protects the wires. Understanding the features of composite video cables helps the buyer to make an informed purchase on eBay.

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