Plasma and Scart/RGB input, the infinite dilemma?



Hi chaps,

again, I need some advices on a connectivity kinda issue, so let's get started.
Plasmas historically, dunno why, have always had poor scart socket support, especially lack of a good pure RGB input.

Lastest dilemma in my equipment is:
Im going to buy a digital freeview box, yeah I'll probably enter the magic world of the TV licence guys, fact is, as it stands now, all freeview boxes has got scart sockets and optional, some of them, s-video, thru scart, output.
So what's the best way to hook up your freeview box to your plasma that hasnt got any scart input?

Option number1:

- Scart to s-video cable / converter, so I loose RGB output but at least I've got a s-video signal, which is not bad after all

Option number2:

- Internal/USB HTPC freeview box, no need any cable and output can go directly with the already exisiting VGA HTPC-Plasma connection.

Option number3:

- Forget about PQ, just run the freeview box into the composite input (unused still) of the plasma.

Option number4:

- Something I havent thought of...

Option 3 is the one I hate, but final question is:

Is there a noticable difference in quality between a RGB/S-Video freeview box output and a normal composite output?
Can the composite output running into a DScaler magic filter got the same quality as a pure RGB/S-Video output?

At the end of the day watching normal television doesnt require all this pedantic QA quest? :)


SCARTs never used to exist on plasma monitors because the only place that uses SCART is Europe and plasmas generally come from the far east - the majority going to the states.

Also I would suggest that Scart (although very flexible) is a very cumbersome connection that is very bulky and easily falls out.

An alternative to Scart RGB would be an RGB Scart to vga convertor.

You don't mention a plasma but Keene electronics and JS technology both produce these - you need a convertor because RGB on a Scart uses a composite sync for the RGB out whereas most vga inputs on plasmas are designed for computers and therefore use a horizontal and vertical sync.

IMHO this is the best alternative when a SCART isn't available and will keep the RGB quality.


Active Member
also RGB 2 component converter.....

may also want to consider switching component through an AV amp if you have one that supports it...

many people on the forum seem to think that the JS ones are excellent quality..

may I also suggest that you post what equipment you have or propose to buy as this will help people in advising you the optimum connectivity


netgem iplayer will output component. i think its the only freeview that will


Originally posted by depsi
may I also suggest that you post what equipment you have or propose to buy as this will help people in advising you the optimum connectivity [/B]

Right sure, I've got:

Hitachi PMA400E,
Sony STRDE685 amp.
HTPC running a geforce1 (!!!) on a windowsXP. (athlon 2200+)
(Consoles etc...)

Plasma board has got:

2 vga imput:
1 component input
1 s-video
1 composite

(composite and s-video cant work togheter, so there are only 2 input at a time possible, apart from the VGA)

first VGA input is free

- second VGA is busy (HTPC, dreamcast)
- Component is busy (PS2, GC)
- S-video is busy (XBOX, DVD)


Active Member
I'm running a very similar setup....

PMA400E, Sony STR940, HTPC, SKY+.

Forget the composite option, quality is crap, and you can't have a plug in composite & s-vhs at the same time (a real pain) !!!!!

I tried the dscaler option for SKy via a Packard Bell TV-100 on S-VHS - I just couldn't get a picture that I was happy with (very soft / dull images).

Quality via s-vhs for sky is very good, I used it for nearly a year (and was happy enough),
but I've just installed a JS-Tech YUV converter - excellent, but only after adding a QED AV41 sqart lead - well worth the investment.:smashin:

Remember that the 400E does not work with the JS-Tech VGA....


Active Member
For the Hitachi screens, I'd recomment the RGB to Component converter. Unfortunately, the Hitachi isn't compatible with the RGB to Plasma VGA unit. However, the VGA socket can be configured as a second component input!

All the best,

Dr John Sim.

David PluggedIn

Active Member
Hi ziocleto
As you are already an HTPC owner then the dscaler option is a good starting point, as Paul said you can go the cheap and cheerful route with the Svideo capture card or you can go for premium quality and connectivity with a more high end solution (we have an overview at
On the other hand, the format converters such as the JS units offer plug and play convenience, so you pays your money and takes your choice ;-)
good luck

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