The Raspberry Pi Zero has an HDMI port, so connecting it to your TV should be pretty easy, right?
Well yes… But what if you don’t want to use HDMI?
Standard Raspberry Pis have an HDMI alternative, but at first glance you wouldn’t think this was the case with the Raspberry Pi Zero. Here’s what you need to know about connecting your Raspberry Pi Zero to a TV using a composite HDMI and RCA interface.
How to Connect Raspberry Pi Zero to TV: HDMI
An easier option to connect your Raspberry Pi Zero to your TV is to use HDMI.
The device has a mini HDMI port and comes with an adapter so you can easily connect an HDMI cable. If not, then you should be able to purchase an affordable Mini HDMI to HDMI Adapter on Amazon with no problem.
In most cases this should be sufficient. The Raspberry Pi Zero has the same display quality as the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3, and of course audio is also output through this connection. In short, HDMI should be your default option.
How to Connect Raspberry Pi Zero to TV: RCA
But not every project will let you use HDMI. Despite the smaller connection, adapters and adapters mostly remain bulky. With Raspberry Pi Zero designs designed for compact sizes, this essentially eliminates HDMI as an option.
Luckily, there is an alternative: the Raspberry Pi Zero is equipped with a «TV Out» where you can connect a custom-made cable (or even solder an existing cable).
You’ll find this to the right of the raspberry logo; it’s labeled «TV» so it shouldn’t be hard to spot. Note that this is a pair of connections; the square is the signal and the round connector is the ground.
This can be used to output video to a composite RCA connector on a Raspberry Pi Zero.
What You Need to Create a Composite Connection
Unless you’re cannibalizing an existing RCA cable, you’ll need to create your own. For this you will need:
- 2 x jumpers
- 2 × 1 pin connector
- 1x RCA screw terminal
- soldering iron
- wire cutters
You should be able to put these pieces back together without too much trouble. However, don’t start until you’ve got them all!