What's recorded on a DVD?

Component video /RGB /YUV (Very good )
Finally, component is rarely seen on DVD players but will start to appear with increasing regularity as projection systems and Plasma become more popular. Basically, the picture is spilt to it's component parts and passed via three different connectors to the TV/Projector. Component can only be used when there is a dedicated component input on the TV/Projector


  • Labelled as: Either RGB or YUV, YPbPr, YCbCr or Y/B-Y/R-Y.
  • Some U.S. and Japanese players output interlaced component YUV video via 3 Phono or BNC connectors
  • European players usually provide RGB via scart or 3 Phono.
  • 80% of European TV may lose control of colour saturation.
  • Note: RGB (European) and YUV (US) are non-compatible variants of component video. A transcoder is needed to link up the YUV player and RGB equipment.

DVD stores a component video signal in digital format. Since this is the native video format that is stored on DVD, this is also the best format to use to display the picture, if your equipment is capable of dealing with this type of signal. In Australia, virtually no equipment exists that is compatible with a component signal, though there is some that is compatible with an RGB signal. Many DVD players are capable of converting their native component signal to an RGB signal, but this varies on a player-by-player basis.

Problems with the Component signal

 As discussed above, DVD stores its video information in the component form, but unfortunately the great majority of us cannot take advantage of this format. The designers of the DVD format anticipated this, and made allowances for it in the specification. All DVD players are capable of downconverting a component video signal into a more suitable format for display on the current generation of consumer display devices. The first such downconversion step is to S-Video, which is a connector that will always be found on any DVD player.

What comes out of a TV camera?

    A TV camera outputs a video signal that is split into the three primary colours; red, green and blue (RGB). The entire colour spectrum can be represented by varying intensities of these three colours. This signal needs to be modified before it can be further processed or broadcast. Why?


Problems with the RGB signal
The RGB signal has two specific problems associated with it in the professional video world. Firstly, it has a very high bandwidth. Secondly, the colour and the black and white picture information are combined within the RGB signal. This is dealt with in the professional video world by converting the RGB signal into a component signal, also referred to as a YPbPr or YCbCr signal. The Y component of this signal is the black and white information contained within the original RGB signal. The Pb and Pr signals are colour difference signals, which are mathematically derived from the original RGB signal. For our purposes, it is sufficient to understand that the Y signal contains full bandwidth black and white picture information, and the colour difference signals contain bandwidth reduced colour information.

    It is important to realize that component video output and RGB video output are not the same and are not directly compatible with each other, however, they are easily converted either way using a transcoder.