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Gold Plated Scart leads v "normal" scart leads: Worth the money?

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by Paul Cooksley, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. Paul Cooksley

    Paul Cooksley
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    Apologies if this is the wrong forum to ask this, only I am posting as I am sure I will get some good answers!

    I think I need a new scart lead. The scart lead that goes from my Sony GX300 DVD Recorder (line 3) into my freeview box is not very good - you only have to tap it a bit and the picture is lost completely through the DVD tuner...

    My question is: Are gold plated scarts worth the extra money? Do they make any difference to the picture quality at all? My picture quality through the DVD tuner is fine, but a bit fuzzy round the edge of objects.... Wondering really if it's worth spending out the extra cash ???

    Thanks

    Paul
     
  2. DRGL

    DRGL
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    Leads DO make a difference but IMO there is no point spending £££££££ over the top on them. My system at the moment which is prob. worth over £4K is connected together with FREE scart leads-lol.The picture is superb(and i am VERY picky) sometimes i wonder what it could be like with £50+ SCART leads but when you've got around 6 SCART leads it starts getting expensive!! I would buy one decent one and do some experimenting ;)
     
  3. loz

    loz
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    It isn't gold plating that is the essential element, but well constructed, properly shielded cables. These will cut down interference.

    Don't spend too much, the law of diminishing returns soon sets in.
    Look for something like Thor or Profi Gold - around £20.
     
  4. schnipps

    schnipps
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    I agree spend about 30 quid max on one cable, and as loz said gold plating has nothing to do with enhancing the quality its to do with stopping corossion. A well shielded strongly put together cable is what you need. The thor is a good choice and can be had for 17.99
     
  5. andyAV

    andyAV
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    There are some flat cable IXOS scarts available for about £30 going - got mine from tvcables.co.uk and they made noticable difference over a (albeit old) £20 profigold. The fit was much better in the back as it suited wiring two stacked boxes one on top the other so might also suit your predicament. Previous cables were what I would describe as good but the newer ones I'd say were excellent. On a 42 plasma (via scart to rgb coverter box) I noticed a definate improvement in that stray colour pixels at the edge of a block of colour were completely iradicated and the image seemed better defined (better brightness? or just sharper edges - I'm not sure). I'm a cable sceptic and only bought these for the fact they were flat. Needless to say was pleased at the unexpected improvement.

    If you want RGB/Audio only there is a £15 IXOS also available but I doubt that would suit a recorder - usually require all pins (and therefore £30 cable).

    Andy
     
  6. Paul Cooksley

    Paul Cooksley
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    Andy

    Would you reckon, in your opinion that a better, more expensive scart, like the one you suggest would help cure something ... that is the fact that when viewing images from the freeview box I have on the internal DVD tuner (as if you are monitoring what you want to record) - text and outside edges of things kind of shimmer - for example the text on BBC3 before it starts up at 7pm (you know the white text/red background) looks very shimmery compared with watching it directly without the tuner..

    I have tried a couple of "normal/cheap" scart leads which all produce the same effect, so I am toying with the idea of a better, more expensive scart to try and eradicate the "shimmering" i get...

    What do you think?
     
  7. Laurel&Hardy

    Laurel&Hardy
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    Yeah the IXOS ones are good value, they give good performance for not too much expenditure - all my SCARTS are IXOS and I did notice the colours were much more vibrant compared to the standard lead.

    I think the main thing with them is construction as opposed to materials. Gold plating helps but I think its benefits are sometimes overplayed. I'd love to try one of the mega expensive leads just to see if there really is any difference between them and my IXOS ones. As correctly pointed out the law of diminishing returns sets in pretty quickly with cables.
     
  8. gypsyboy70

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  9. dAVefaulkner

    dAVefaulkner
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    Paul, some other possible causes of the effect you're seeing:
    You say that you're "monitoring what you want to record". I don't know what freeview box you're using but I believe most of them (like Sky box) only provide a composite video output from the VCR SCART socket, the RGB/S-video output is only available on the TV output SCART socket. So a posh gold plated cable may be no better if you've only got the composite signal coming out the box.

    The other problem may be because not all SCART inputs on the television will be able to make use of the RGB or S-video signal (because they're cheap-skates and don't wire up all the pins on all the SCARTs inside the TV!), so you end up only being able to view the composite signal.

    Some background info:
    There are three formats in which a SCART cable can transport the video signal. In order of quality:

    RGB
    S-video
    Composite

    There is minimal difference between RGB and S-video* but you will notice a more significant difference in the lack of quality of the composite signal. Very cheap and nasty SCART leads don't bother having the wiring to do RGB or S-video formats, so you end up viewing a composite signal. A reasonable SCART lead will have all pins wired and individual screening on each signal wire to eliminate cross-talk interference. A posh gold one will provide:

    - a more reliable connection
    - may have better quality screening
    - better impedance matching to eliminate reflections or ringing (cleaner edges on detail, with no ghost edges)

    VHS video recorders always use the composite signal
    S-VHS video recorders can use the S-video signal, if available
    DVD recorders can use the RGB signal, if available

    The shimmering that you are seeing is the artifact of the composite signal. The technical explanation of this is: "the colour signal interferes with the luminance and high resolution luminance will interfere with the colour signal. This is most noticeable in strong colour transitions. The 4.43MHz PAL chroma carrier is not locked to the 15625Hz horizontal line frequency, hence the shimmering or "dot crawl" pattern does not stay still.

    * This is due to the colour resolution used by broadcasters and DVDs being half that of the luminance signal. It may be more noticeable on EPG/GUI graphics though, as these may generate full colour resolution.
     
  10. Paul Cooksley

    Paul Cooksley
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    DAVefaulkner

    Yes - you are spot on - someone from here has kindly explained that this is the cause - and indeed - it is !
     

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