My Pi (1 version B, running OpenELEC and Raspian installed via NOOBS) works like a charm via HDMI (mind you, I also happen to use an HDMI to DVI adapter and I have no problems with that). But I cannot get any kind of video signal when using the yellow video cable. I set the tv to A/V, get a black screen, power up the Pi, the screen stays black. Does not even blink.

I tried to connect the yellow cable to the yellow adapter on my tv (works to display pictures from my Canon camera) and I have a black screen. I tried to connect the yellow cable to a scart adapter and with that to the scart input of my TV and still get a black screen. I tried this on two tvs - always black.

I also tried to change PAL and NTSC on the newer TV: still black.

Pressing "3" at boot won't help.

(All of this from a freshly powered up RasPi without HDMI cable). Right now I have hooked up the hdmi output to my Samsung monitor - I can get picture and video, and the analog output to my TV (yellow to yellow). TV is black.

In Openelec I have changed video resolution from 1280x1024 of the Samsung monitor to "desktop", thinking that maybe the tv was trying to eat more than it could chew, but... I do not get the boot screen either. Shouldn't I be at least seeing that?

I want to stress that I get absolutely nothing on screen. It's not black and white video. It's utter darkness.

Can someone shed some light on this?

  • I haven't done it but you need to force the pi to use the composite output instead of HDMI. I thought there was a better answer to link but start here raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/a/36208/19485
    – Tyson
    Dec 27, 2015 at 21:07
  • Thanks, pressing buttons at boot apparently did nothing for me (I'll try again in a more systematic way). But editing the config.txt file in Raspian by adding sdtv_mode=2 and hdmi_ignore_hotplug=1 did the trick, at least in Raspian. I'll have to figure out how to do that for OpenELEC but at least now I know all my hardware is in working order. I will edit my question when I have found a clean-cut way to switch between modes. Dec 27, 2015 at 22:21

1 Answer 1


As a follow-up to Tyson's very helpful comment and for future reference, here's what the problem was.

From this page: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=87619, an answer from user rpdom states:

If you used NOOBS and setup up on your [HDMI device] then the Pi has been forced to HDMI output and will not switch to RCA.

What you need to do is boot up on your [HDMI device], then using a terminal and

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

comment out the line that says


by putting a # in front of the line to make


Then your Pi should detect if an HDMI screen is connected and use RCA if it isn't.

(I edited "TV" into "HDMI device" to avoid confusion). The force directive above is forcing output on HDMI even if there is no HDMI cable detected.

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