What is a SCART socket?.
A SCART socket is a 21 pin connector fitted on many European TV, VCR, and
Satellite products, it provides stereo sound and video signals both in and out
of the item of equipment (obviously depending on the particular type of equipment), it can also
provide RGB signals, which can be useful for connecting Video Game Consoles or
Digital TV Set Top Boxes (STB's). The main reason for using a SCART lead is to
provide stereo sound from a stereo VCR, STB or satellite receiver, this is the
only way to get stereo from these sources via your TV, a NICAM (or other kind of
stereo TV) won't provide stereo sound unless the source includes a stereo
encoder (NICAM or other), and these are too expensive for domestic equipment. It may also provide
slightly better picture quality, but with the high quality modulators used these
days it often doesn't - and in fact sometimes seems slightly worse.
The SCART connector was developed by the French, originally for the sole purpose of preventing foreign TV imports, previously the French had legislation that prevented any TV imports unless the set was capable of receiving the old French 819 line monochrome system. This effectively stopped any foreign sets from being imported, but the demise of the 819 line system prevented this from being a valid reason for banning imports, so in order to try and maintain their private market they introduced the SCART socket, and passed legislation that said all TV's sold in France since 1980 must have a SCART socket. This was obviously much less of a deterrent, it was far simpler for TV manufacturers to add a SCART socket than to produce a dual-standard set, and the SCART was actually useful elsewhere with the development of cheap home video recorders.
SCART stands for Syndicat des Constructeurs d’Appareils Radio Recepteurs et
Televisieurs, it is also known as a PERITEL Socket, or a Euro Connector.
|Pin||Function||Signal||Impedance||CVBS stands for ‘Composite video, blanking,
and sync’ - a standard video signal as output by VCR’s and satellite
SVHS inputs were not included in the original specification, but are usually added (where fitted) using ‘CVBS In’ (pin 20) for the luminance, and ‘Red In’ (pin 15) for the chrominance signal. Depending on the set this may prevent RGB being available on the SCART socket, however some sets allow the use of both RGB and SVHS on the same socket. On a two SCART socket set, it's usual for only one of the sockets to have RGB inputs.
The Intercom. lines are used by different manufacturers in different ways, for instance pin 12 of the Decoder SCART on Pace PRD series receivers (among others) is used to connect to an external positioner, and pin 12 of the VCR SCART on a Grundig STR1 Satellite (PRD clone) is used for timer recording from a Grundig VCR - where the VCR selects the Satellite channel at the correct time.
|1||Right Audio Out||0.5V||1KOhm|
|2||Right Audio In||0.5V||10KOhm|
|3||Left Audio Out||0.5V||1KOhm|
|6||Left Audio In||0.5V||10KOhm|
|16||Fast RGB Blanking||varies||varies|
|18||Fast blanking earth||-||-|
In general use, most of the connections are not used, from a VCR to a TV the only ones that would require connecting would be the Right and Left Audio Out, and CVBS Out (on the VCR end), and Right and Left Audio In, and CVBS In (on the TV end) plus the relevant earth connections. Normally pin 8 would be connected as well, this forces the TV to accept input from the SCART socket when it goes high, pin 8 from a VCR SCART switches high when play is pressed (or Menu selected on modern VCR's), however, this can give rise to problems. Some TV's are totally overridden when pin 8 is high, preventing any viewing of normal channels, for this reason I would usually advise disconnecting pin 8. It's not normally too bad with VCR's, but with Satellite receivers it can be a real problem, whenever the Satellite receiver is turned on the TV will switch to SCART - a huge problem if (like many people) you feed the Satellite receiver around your aerial distribution system, so never normally turn it off.
There are two normal types of lead that can be bought, a fully wired lead
(hardly ever needed) and a partially wired lead (does for almost all
The partially wired lead has the video and audio connections both ways, plus the pin 8 switching wire, if you have problems disconnect pin 8. This lead would be suitable for connecting from a VCR to a TV, from a Satellite Receiver to a TV, and from a Satellite Receiver to a VCR.
The fully wired lead has all the pins connected, and is only really used if you are using RGB, the main sources for this are Games Consoles and Digital STB's (and some D-MAC decoders), however, there are many problems with RGB from STB's, including horizontal picture shift, and disablement of Teletext on the TV. I've tried a number of different TV's from STB's and haven't seen one yet which gives as good a picture via RGB as it does via composite video. It certainly has the capability of far better quality, but the MPEG compression used seems to reduce the quality well below that possible, and, of course, very little of the programming comes from a sufficiently high quality source.
My personal view - don't bother with RGB, except for Games Consoles - it makes a Sony PlayStation look superb!.
There are more SCART details (particularly for Satellite) available on Martin Pickering's Satcure Site - Link To Satcure
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Last Updated 25/04/07