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Configure Raspberry Pi Composite Video Output for old TVs

Raspberry Pi comes with the composite video output configured to NTSC by default and older TVs aren’t able to detect that and change the format to PAL for example. In that case in a PAL TV youl’ll see the image in black and white:

ntsc-signal-on-an-old-pal-tv

You can reconfigure the output mode using the “sdtv_mode” option in /boot/config.txt. This are the available options:

  • 0: Normal NTSC
  • 1: Japanese version of NTSC – no pedestal
  • 2: Normal PAL
  • 3: Brazilian version of PAL – 525/60 rather than 625/50, different subcarrier

So for my TV I configured it to 2:

sdtv_mode=2

There are more configuration options for composite video in the official RPiconfig documentation.