Composite Video

Luminance and chrominance are combined along with the timing reference sync and color burst information using one of the color coding standards – NTSC, PAL or SECAM – to make composite video. The process, which is an analog form of video compression, restricts the bandwidths (image detail) of the color components. In the composite result color is literally added to the monochrome (luminance or Y) information using a visually acceptable technique. As our eyes have far more luminance resolving power than for color, the sharpness (bandwidth) of the coded color signal is reduced to well below that of the luminance.

This provides a good solution for transmission and viewing but it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to accurately reverse the process (decode) back into pure luminance and chrominance. This limits its use in post production as repetitive decode, recode cycles severely impair the pictures. Deriving keys from composite video gives poor results.

See also: 4fsc, D2, D3