Raspberry Pi 2 Composite video

This is a note-to-self on outputting Raspberry Pi 2 (RPi) audio/video to CRT NTSC televisions with Raspbian OS via NOOBS. This was much easier than I thought it was going to be — the Retropie distribution even worked immediately.

RPi 2 combines analog audio and video onto the same port. You need a TRRS cable with the correct pinout that splits into yellow, white and red cables — a normal single yellow cable won’t work. There is a Zune AV cable which is known to work, but it’s pretty expensive and there are also much cheaper cables available as well.

Plug the TRRS cable in and make sure HDMI is unplugged, and then power up the RPI 2. If it doesn’t work immediately, Try making the following changes to the boot config (you can SSH into the RPi 2 over your LAN while testing) :

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

  • Comment out hdmi_force_hotplug=1.
  • NOOBS may add a second instance of this line at the bottom of the config file, comment that out as well. Save and exit nano, and reboot.

If you’re hunting for an old glass tube television, check whether you can change the video input from the front control panel. Some models require a remote control to do that and access the menu.

 

Links

RPi post about RCA: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=91&t=82560

Using an alligator pin for video out: http://www.instructables.com/id/Raspberry-Pi-2-Quick-n-Easy-RCA/

Element14 forum thread on RPi 2 RCA output: https://www.element14.com/community/thread/43364/l/raspberry-pi-2-av-output-via-rca-question?displayFullThread=true