System of signal recording and processing that maintains the original video elements separately rather than combined (encoded) into a single, composite video signal.
Three signals: Y , R-Y and B-Y provides higher quality than a composite signal but also requires a higher bandwidth. The normal interpretation of a component video signal is one in which the luminance and chrominance remain as separate components, e.g. analogue components in MII and Betacam VTRs, digital components Y,C r ,C b in CCIR 601. RGB is also a component signal. Component video signals retain maximum luminance and chrominance bandwidth.
Kodak: A Concise Glossary for the Non-Technician
Pank, B., Editor, 1994, The Digital Fact Book, 7th Ed, Quantel, Newbury, UK