How do I connect my Pi to a TV, using the composite jack instead of the HDMI socket?

So far, I have tried using a composite-to-cinch cable, adding a cinch-to-SCART cable to the composite-to-cinch cable, holding shift and pressing 3 on boot - with no avail. The HDMI cable has to be unplugged, otherwise the Pi tries to use HDMI. The config.txt file has to be altered so that the composite jack is used instead of HDMI. Using SSH I altered the following settings within the config.txt file:
- uncommented the sdtv_mode setting and set it to sdtv_mode=2
- commented out the hdmi_force_hotplug=1 setting
- added the line: hdmi_ignore_hotplug=1

However, there is still no picture.

  • Have you disconnected the HDMI cable? If not it will default to HDMI. – Steve Robillard Feb 21 '17 at 22:02
  • You should edit your question to make that clear. We can then clear up the comment thread. – Steve Robillard Feb 21 '17 at 22:37

I use that same setup on both a Pi 1 with the stock composite video output and a Pi2 with the 3.5mm 4 pin jack. Mine worked out the box in raspbian since the pi1 and on Arch, the only change I made was to set the SDTV_MODE flag to 2 as my TV is PAL rather than the default NTSC.

I have however had problems with composite adapters (Nokia phone ones) in the past that are the wrong pin out and were putting the video component onto the ground pin of the audio components so you couldn't even rearrange the pins on the SCART adapter to work. This post on raspberrypi-spy.co.uk includes an image of the correct pinout:

Raspberrypi-spy.co.uk guide to Pi 3.5mm pinout

This should enable you to test your one - you might be able to swap an audio plug with a video one and have it work.

  • My pinout matches this one... however, still no picture. – rimes Feb 22 '17 at 17:35
  • Are you able to test this with a completely vanilla config.txt file? – tobyd Feb 22 '17 at 18:14

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