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A Guide To SCART Connections And Cables

SCART connections are still fairly common in Europe as a method of connecting AV components. Although it is being used less, you may well find your AV equipment still has one of these.

However they are being made more redundant by the introduction of digital technology and connection types such as HDMI and DVI.

So what do we need to know about this type of connection and when should we use it?

What does a SCART connector look like?

SCART connection

The SCART connector on your device looks like this.

It is a female connection that takes the male pins from the SCART cable.

As you can see from the shape of the connector, SCART leads are designed so they will only fit one way round, so make sure you pay attention when plugging it in.

What does a SCART cable look like?

SCART cable

SCART cables that are used to connect two devices look like this.

It has 21 pins that transfer various signals - although some cables are not fully wired so might not be suitable for transferring some types of video - especially RGB.

Therefore, if you are trying to make an RGB connection and it isn't working, check that you have a fully wired SCART cable.

With a SCART lead, you need to make sure you push it in firmly or you may not get a good image.

What does a SCART video interface do?

SCART connections send analog video and audio signals between devices. It is not compatible with modern-day digital signals.

They are mainly used for standard definition video signals like RGB, composite and S-Video - plus stereo and mono audio signals.

SCART can actually support high definition video signals, however with the introduction of digital HDMI connections, there were hardly any devices built for this.

When should I use a SCART connector?

This type of connector is quite old now, and is becoming less common in new AV equipment. In modern equipment, there are usually better ways of connecting devices such as with digital  HDMI or DVI connections.

However, if you have devices with SCART sockets then this can be an easy way to sending the video and audio signals between the two using just one cable.

What else can you tell me about SCART connections?

SCART connections are mainly used in Europe and Asia to connect AV devices. Throughout the world they are also known by other names such as the Euroconnector and the EIA Multiport.

SCART stands for Syndicat des Constructeurs d'Appareils Radiorécepteurs et Téléviseurs - which is the French television manufacturers association that developed this connection type.

It has always had a poor reputation in the AV world because, although it is quite versatile in transferring different types of signals, it never fitted very well and it was sometimes hard to make a good reliable connection.

With the introduction of digital high-definition images and multi-channel audio this connection will mainly be found in older AV equipment.

A fully wired SCART cable is compatible with a composite signal, as well as component RGB  - although if your devices support it then many people prefer to use a dedicated component connection rather than SCART.


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