Scart Questions........(and an angry rant!)


Pygmy Hippo

I've moaned about this before - but it gets me a little irked!!
With all the industry heading towards convergence, with the likes of Windows and its Freestyle (or Media Center Edition) initiative and ATI with the All-In-Wonder editions of its cards - why is it that nobody seems to be using Scart?
I, like most people, can't afford to upgrade my tele to an rear projection set with a VGA socket or have fancy component inputs (would that i could), but do have a tele with an RGB Scart.
Isn't one of the idea's of an HTPC is to have the best possible picture? And isn't S-Video below RGB Scart with regards to quality? I know there are problems with timing issues, but these can be sorted out with a combination of hardware and software can't they?
The only card that seems to support RGB is the Sigma Designs X-Card, through an extra daughter card, but i'd rather stay with ATI - am i completely deluded or are there other people out there that would like something similar on the next 9700 based AIW?
Of course - i could just be talking out of my bum! :)

Nic Rhodes

Distinguished Member
Scart is NOT where we want to go really. It can, just like SVideo, can only do interlaced signals. HCPC gets a good poicture because they do progressive, normally with RGBHV but occasionally with component. As the UK is 'interlaced' then there is no benefit in HCPC unless you go plasma / projector.

Thankfully things are just changing and a 'few', the emphasis on few, tv manufacturers now have PS componnt inputs that some HCPC video card could address directly here in the UK.


My understanding is that SCART is a connection type not a signal type so yes that could be your botty speaking ;)

Personally I prefer Component.


Staff member
I guess the main reason why PC/Video card manufacturers don't "standardise" on SCARTs is that they aren't "standard".

They are pretty well exclusive to Europe. They were invented by the French and have the sole advantage of being convenient.

They are rarely if ever found on AV Amplifiers and are not found on other equipment which is designed for other markets eg the far east, USA etc.

They have disadvantages including, but not limited to:
> lack of connection flexibility
> risk of unwanted crosstalk effects (unless made to a very high standard)
> risk of unwanted loopthrough effects (related to inflexibility)
> users are confused by them - beleiving them to be fundamentally different to other connection types when the only difference is in their physical shape - the signals carried are exactly the same as those carried by discrete audio, video, SVideo etc., cables

I dislike them intensely and try to avoid using them wherever possible. On equipment that has no other type of connector - I tend to use adaptors.

Chris Muriel

Distinguished Member
Quite right - they were designed (in early 1980's) for the original (terrestrial) version of French Canal+ TV. THis is why they also go by the name of "Peritel" - and why SCART abbreiviates some French words (Syndicat x x x radio et Televiseurs or something similar).
Working for a USA IC company , I am regularly asked to explain SCART & provide diagrams or links to the pinouts. They suffer from all of the problems mentioned in the previous post.
The American idea of A/V bus is probably better. The sheer physical size of a SCART socket makes it pretty impractical for PC use anyhow. Also there is more than one way of implementing a SCART (which is why Philips used to have different colours to represent Type 1, type 2 & type 3 SCARTS).
Far too much room for confusion here.

Chris Muriel, Manchester.


Established Member
What we really need is something like firewire (maybe firewire b) so that you have a digital connection with easy connection for all devices.

Nic Rhodes

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by zoolap
What we really need is something like firewire (maybe firewire b) so that you have a digital connection with easy connection for all devices.

but audio only. They are developing a separed digital interface for video. Nuts. Lets go with DVI for everything in one interface from DVD to projector and forget this IEEE rubbish.

Pygmy Hippo

I wasn't talking about it being the last word in quality, but its just that as someone posted, Scart has "the sole advantage of being convenient".
With the likes of Microsoft and ATI with the All In Wonder setup pushing for an all in one entertainment machine that plays DVD's, MP3's, AVI's and allows you to record TV onto HDD then they surely want to employ the setup that will be on most of the TV's sold?
I take it on board that other parts of the world don't use scart and have a far superior system, but in Europe a lot of TV's and video equipment come with scart as the recommended connection.
The great unwashed public isn't going to want to bother with cables hanging out of the front of the tele (S-Video) and have been told constantly that composite is a bag of washing, and sadly component only seems to be available on tv's costing well in advance of £1000.
Nearly 100% of DVD's you see available in the shops and in magazines have a Scart connection and people know where they stand with them.
BTW The bit about the scart being a connection and not a signal type was from an website i was reading about making a homemade VGA to Scart adapter and saying the signal timing would be all screwed up and would need Powerstrip or something to sort it out. (I didn't understand the rest of it cos i'm totally thick when it comes to electronics!)

Nic Rhodes

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by Pygmy Hippo
Nearly 100% of DVD's you see available in the shops and in magazines have a Scart connection and people know where they stand with them.

I know exactly where you are coming from with this but frankly the SCART is a horrible quality connection / interface what ever you want to call it. It may be convenient but it just doesn't work very well. Nigel summed it nicely.

I don't buy into Joe public understands it however, if I had £1 for every time I've tweaked a SCART connection to RGB or SVideo, I would be able to afford an awful lot more in the way of goodies.;)

Pygmy Hippo

Whats the best way to go then if you are on a budget? Sadly my tele (which will be replaced next year after i've finished saving for a new house!) doesn't have S-Video enabled Scart and looks an unsightly mess at the front.
Thats the big problem i have - also i have friends (whose actions i don't condone in any way ;) ) who want to be able to have an attractive little setup that will still let them watch the dodgy copy of Triple X that they've downloaded for "preview" purposes!

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