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I connected my Gamecube to my HDTV using a PS3 composite cable (shown below). However, the image displayed is blurry, in black and white, and without sound. The cable fits perfectly on the analog AV out port, so I'm not sure whether this is a problem of incompatibility. Before buying a new cable I was wondering: are there any known issues when connecting Gamecubes to newer TVs? Does the Gamecube composite output have some proprietary hardware that will only allow Nintendo AV cables to work with the console?

PS3 composite cable Gamecube rear ports

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Your links don't work. –  Fluttershy Sep 30 '13 at 1:18
    
What is the exact make and model of your HDTV? –  SevenSidedDie Sep 30 '13 at 1:42
    
Does your TV have a composite only function on the HDTV plugs? For instance, I have a Y\Pb\Pr\L\R Component plug that doubles as a Y\L\R Composite plug. The Yellow plugs into the green port on my TV and then the audio plugs are the same. But when you attempt to watch the Composite feed in Component then you get the same issue. TL;DR Check your inputs on the TV for the correct Input selection. –  Cole Busby Sep 30 '13 at 1:44
    
I fixed the links @Fluttershy –  Oniros Sep 30 '13 at 4:41
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As per the manual (files.sharpusa.com/Downloads/ForHome/HomeEntertainment/LCDTVs/…), you would need to connect it to the left side of input 1 or to input 3 on the side of your display, making sure that the colors are the same (yellow to yellow, etc.) - see the directions in the manual for composite. The composite signal itself cannot be incompatible because it is analog. If you have plugged into the correct connectors on your TV, then clearly the cable is incompatible with the gamecube. If you have the wrong ports, then SevenSidedDie's answer is correct. –  skovacs1 Sep 30 '13 at 9:52
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

This is what you see when you plug a composite video output (yellow cable) into a component video luminance input (green port).

Put simply, a Yellow/Red/White cable does not connect to Green/Red/Blue ports because Yellow (Video) and Red/White (Audio) do not match the signals for Green/Red/Blue (all Video).

(For a full explanation, read on; or for the fix, just skip to the bottom.)

Technical background

Composite and component, though confusingly having very similar names, are not compatible with each other.

Composite is a single-cable video signal. The main signal is luminance, which is the black/grey/white or "brightness" signal. There is a hidden sub-signal on the same cable that carries colour (chrominance) information, but it is weak and needs dedicated hardware to find and decode it so it can be combined with the brightness information. There's also some other buried signals about frame timing that aren't relevant here.

Component is a three-cable video signal. The green cable carries only luminance information, the blue carries the delta-from-luminance needed for the blue-spectrum colour information, and the red cable carries the delta-from-luminance needed to reconstruct the colours from the red end of the spectrum.

(The way I remember the difference is that "composite" combines all the information in one cable [that's what composite means, sorta], while "component" splits the components into separate cables. It's not a great mneumonic, but it works for me.)

Your problem

So what's happening is that your HDTV is expecting to consume a luminance-only signal in the green input port, and you're plugging in a combined luminance-chrominance-timing signal which just accidentally happens to have a very strong luminance signal. The HDTV is happily consuming the brightness part of the signal and ignoring the rest because it doesn't know to look for the colour on the same carrier signal, instead of where it is expecting it (the blue and red ports), so it's showing you the black-and-white signal you're feeding it. (It's blurry because some of the edges are only visible when luminance is combined with the colour signals that the TV is not receiving.)

Fixing it

There are some HDTVs that have combined composite/component inputs, and these will either intelligently look for the extra composite signals and internally switch how they decode, or you have to use a menu/remote setting to tell it what kind of signal to decode. Your HDTV is obviously not one of the auto-switching ones, but if it's a menu-switchable one then you just need to figure out the settings and it'll work.

If your HDTV doesn't have a feature to switch the input though, you have to somehow contrive to get it a proper 3-cable component signal. Either you need a composite-to-component converter box, or you need to buy a component cable for your GameCube. The latter is probably challenging because the hardware is so old. The converter is going to be a matter of shopping around, since there are a lot of them, and a specific recommendation is something this site isn't really suited to.

Since your HDTV (a Sharp Aquos LC-46D65U) has an S-Video input, another possibility is using a composite to S-Video converter. (These are cheaper/simpler than composite to component converters, because the composite and S-Video signals are very similar and the conversion can be done with much simpler circuitry.)

What about sound?

The lack of sound is because you're probably plugging the red/white audio cables into something that's not an audio input, such as the red/blue component video inputs. If your HDTV has red/white audio inputs (they will be labelled as Audio In or similar if it does) then you just have to move the red/white cables to those.

If the HDTV doesn't have red/white RCA audio ports, then it either doesn't accept audio input at all, or it only accepts something like HDMI or optical audio inputs. In that case, you'll have to hook the audio cables up directly to your speaker system, get a converter of some kind, or some other way of getting the audio into speakers or headphones.

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It's also possible that the audio cables might be connected to ports associated with a different input channel. –  skovacs1 Sep 30 '13 at 2:17
    
@skovacs1 Yeah, that's possible. I'd be able to make a more educated guess if I knew the exact model of HDTV. –  SevenSidedDie Sep 30 '13 at 2:19
    
This explanation's a bit lengthy and may be too technical for some. Perhaps a simplified summary might be helpful to users. Something indicating that Yellow/Red/White does not connect to Red/Green/Blue because Yellow (Video) and Red/White (Audio) do not match the signals for Red/Green/Blue (Video). –  skovacs1 Sep 30 '13 at 2:26
    
@skovacs1 I was hoping the first sentence would serve as the simple summary, but that's a good suggestion. Mind if I borrow those words? –  SevenSidedDie Sep 30 '13 at 2:33
    
Feel free. I felt that's what the first sentence was getting at, but it didn't seem to overtly say it. I just feel that there shouldn't be any room for ambiguity, especially in the event that a user has no clue about component v. composite. –  skovacs1 Sep 30 '13 at 2:38
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The problem is due to using a PLAYSTATION VIDEO CABLE for a NINTENDO GAMECUBE. I just now tried it on my normal tiny composite TV and it yields the same result. It's the cable not getting all of the channels because they don't line up just right probably, so it gets the basic stuff. It's an incompatibility issue. Not with your TV, but your console and the cable.

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Composite is composite. The only difference would be the end connecting to the console. –  Frank Mar 17 at 1:54
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