SCART connector

A SCART connector is a physical and electrical interconnection between two pieces of audio-visual equipment, such as a television set and a video cassette recorder (VCR).

A SCART connector is a physical and electrical interconnection between two pieces of audio-visual equipment, such as a television set and a video cassette recorder (VCR). Each device has a female 21-pin connector interface. A cable with a male plug at each end is used to connect the devices. (The 21st pin is actually not a pin but a ground shield contact.) Stereo audio, composite video, and control signals are provided in both directions. RGB video signals are input only. The interface is an industry standard originated by the French company, Peritel. Today, most new television sets and VCRs in the European market and other countries that use the PAL video standard come equipped with a SCART connector. SCART stands for Syndicat francais des Constructeurs d'Appareils Radio et Television. The connector is also known as a Euro-connector.

Although it is possible to build your own connecting cable, knowledgable people recommend buying a commercial cable because of the detailed pin-crossovers and close pin connections. Differerent cables serve different purposes. A cable for connecting a VCR or a TV set to a high-fidelity audio system needs to use only three of the 21 pins.

It is more difficult to use the SCART connector to interconnect a VCR to a computer monitor because of the difficulty of synchronizing the composite video signal (which is companded into red, green, and blue) from the VCR with the RGB signals needed by the monitor.

A user reports that the torsional load of the cable can in time lead to difficulty getting all the connections to align properly.

This was first published in April 2005

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