Being a newbie, I am not sure what is even going since the display is scrambled. I am using a television as a monitor that accepts composite video. I boot the pi and hold shift then press 1 2 3 4. 3 and 4 change the display but it is distorted and I have no idea what is shown on the screen. I have tried 2 monitors with the same results. I am using the 4 pin plug and 3 rca plugs. Please help, I am lost. Reply was to edit a file on the first partition. Where exactly is that? What is see does not have a config file there. I haven't figured out how to access the larger partition. (US and NTSC)

  • What country are you in? (More specifically what TV system do you use?)
    – Milliways
    Jan 29, 2016 at 0:52
  • You should press 4 to select NTSC as listed in INSTRUCTIONS-README.txt. If that does not work you have limited options. NOTE there are many different TRRS connection options and not all work with the Pi. It is possible you have a cable which is unsuitable.
    – Milliways
    Jan 29, 2016 at 7:11
  • I created a config.txt and placed it the root as well as in a folder named boot. I tried several selections of aspect ratio and this didn't seem to change. It appears the start of the trace is 1/3 screen down and 1/3 screen to left. Far right goes about 2/3 way and dead ends, where going left it runs off screen and continues on the right. It is shifted both down and left. Aspect ratio change didn't appear to effect it. Using 4.
    – Donbo
    Jan 29, 2016 at 15:16
  • The following may help with the connection. raspberrypi-spy.co.uk/2014/07/… Nothing you do with config.txt, wherever you put it, will help - NOOBS does not read it.
    – Milliways
    Jan 30, 2016 at 23:37
  • This was the breakthrough I needed! My cables ground is in the wrong position. I decided to try HDMI to composite, kind of pricey, but it works. Thanks for all the suggestions and help.
    – Donbo
    Feb 1, 2016 at 3:53

1 Answer 1


There's a file called /boot/config.txt on the first partition of your SD card. Edit the file as below to force the RPi to use the 4 pin plug.

  1. Uncomment the line that starts with sdtv_mode=2.

  2. Add the line hdmi_ignore_hotplug=1

  3. Comment out the line that starts with hdmi_force_hotplug=1

  4. Save the file and reboot the device.

If you're having problems with this, you may need to set the sdtv_aspect ratio.

sdtv_aspect=1 #  4:3
sdtv_aspect=2 # 14:9
sdtv_aspect=3 # 16:9

Note: commented lines start with a # character. Uncomment means to remove this character, and to comment the line means to add it.

A more in-depth tutorial can be found here, and you get can get more information about the config.txt file in general here.

  • This answer is misleading. Most users who buy preinstalled cards will have NOOBS. NOOBS does not have a config.txt (and even on Raspbian it is not /boot/config.txt).
    – Milliways
    Jan 29, 2016 at 5:45
  • That is where config.txt is stored, at least on my instance of Jesse. NOOBS will install Raspbian, and gives you an editor to change the config file if you select it.
    – Jacobm001
    Jan 29, 2016 at 5:54
  • You state "on the first partition of your SD card" which will be mounted in \boot if you can get as far as installing Raspbian. The OP is still trying to fiddle with it on Windows, and can't install.
    – Milliways
    Jan 29, 2016 at 7:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.