This article is from the Apple II Csa2 FAQ, by Jeff Hurlburt with numerous contributions by others.
A composite video monitor is a display which requires a composite video signal such as that output by an Apple II computer. The signal is called "composite" because it is a mix of Video, Horizontal Sync, and Vertical Sync signals. A color composite video signal will, also, include Color Burst. These signals are separated inside the monitor. The cable for connecting such a monitor is a single wire surrounded by insulation with an outer shield (usually braided copper) covered by insulation. The inner wire carries the signal, the shield is at 'ground'. Often, each end of the cable has a standard RCA plug-- so; the cable looks much like a normal audio hi-fi cable. (In fact, a decent hi-fi cable will, often, work fine for connecting your Apple II to a composite color monitor.) The main differences between a hi-fi cable and one intended to carry video signals are 1) the video cable usually has a better, tighter shield; 2) the video cable is characterized for impedance matching at, usually, 50 or 75 Ohms; and 3) the video cable exhibits lower capacitance between the center lead and the shield. You can connect your Apple II to a Monochrome or Color composite video monitor. By: Rubywand By: Michael Pender and Rubywand