After its first appearance, the SCART adapter caused, to put it mildly, ambiguous impressions from most users. The fact is that such connectors suddenly began to be used on TVs or tape recorders of a modern type, while the vast majority of residents of the CIS countries are used to using standard "tulips". Of course, today such a situation will make many people smile.
At the same time, it is worth noting the fact that the main reason why the SCART adapter did not become widespread at that time was not even that few people knew about it, but also the banal lack of appropriate cables on sale. Today you can buy any cable products on almost every corner, but in those days their cost was quite high.
What is this connector?
SCART-adapter is a 21-pin connector, with which users can coordinate different types of TVs and media devices. After its appearance, this interface won the hearts of most European consumers. Manufacturers of consumer media equipment immediately began to use it in theirdevices. At the same time, it is worth noting the fact that the developers of this standard were very far-sighted, because their device is still actively used by leading companies to this day.
Just 10 years ago, almost every video or television device that was manufactured for the European market was equipped with at least one such connector. So, to connect media equipment to a TV, the user had to buy a SCART adapter. The reason for such a wide distribution of this connector is its versatility. Despite the fact that it is provided quite straightforwardly, that is, due to the number of contacts, the interface, although it has many negative sides, is quite convenient.
What are its benefits?
First of all, it is worth noting the fact that with a single cable, users can record or play various video programs. This advantage was immediately appreciated by manufacturers of home computers, and over time, also game consoles.
It is also worth noting the fact that the quality of sound and image that is fed through the SCART adapter is noticeably better compared to the signal of a standard RF modulator. At the same time, do not forget that the RF modulator does not provide for the possibility of transmitting stereo sound, introduces extraneous noise, and also provides for the need for extremely precise tuning of the TV.
However, this was not enough, due towhich the developers have also incorporated a large number of potential features into the interface, reserving a place for new features for the future. Since the VGA-SCART adapter has become one of the most popular in Europe, this standard has just begun to acquire new properties. For example, using this interface today, various TV modes can be controlled, such as switching it to monitor mode and vice versa, switching the mode of operation with RGB signals, and much more. At the same time, these capabilities were previously very simple, while today SCART has received the ability to transmit digital data, as a result of which the total number of commands has become almost unlimited.
Today, you can find a large number of systems that provide information exchange using SCART, as a result of which the VGA-SCART adapter, as well as many others, have become very popular.
It is worth noting a few interesting features that have become available through the use of this interface.
After you turn on the DVD player (or tape recorder, as it was originally), the TV automatically turns on as well. At the same time, if in the process of watching a certain television program you have a desire to record it, you start recording this program with a single click. The FollowTV feature provides users with the ability to "rewrite" tuner settings from the TV to the media device. It also provides control over the operation of devices through the screenTV and automatically selects the best aspect ratio. After the playback recording ends, not only the player turns off, but the TV itself, which is also configurable and is a very, very interesting feature.
If the number of connectors that a SCART adapter can have directly depends on its class, then even a standard satellite tuner has three of them:
- the first one is for connecting to TV;
- the second is used to connect players;
- the third one provides for the possibility of connecting a decoder of various "closed" programs.
For the latter, it is especially convenient to use the SCART connector. An adapter from any other cables of this type can also be used - through them the encoded signal will enter the decoder, and then come back in an “open” form. The same is the case with cable decoders of various paid programs, the use of which can now be carried out using a single cable of this interface.
Many people who want to make a SCART-"tulip" adapter with their own hands try to understand the design of this interface.
First of all, it is worth noting that there are 20 needle contacts in such a connector, and the role of the 21st contact is assigned to a specialized metal screen, which is located around the entire perimeter of this connector. Its second purpose isensuring the protection of contacts from any mechanical influences from the outside, and the counterpart is made using molding from plastic. It is worth noting that it can have not only lugs for self-tapping screws and screws, but also lugs designed for installation on printed circuit boards.
The design that cable connectors of this type have can hardly be called original, however, there are three main types that differ from each other in the design of the case - the cable can be output straight, at an angle or sideways. Retention of the connector in the socket is ensured by specialized spring-loaded plug contacts, thanks to which even the SCART-USB adapter is famous for its incredible reliability and durability of fasteners. Even inserting such cables has to be quite careful not to budge the device.
With the help of SCART contacts, not only audio, but also video and RGB signals are transmitted. The frequency range of the audio channels in this case is approximately 20-20000 Hz, while the video signal occupies the frequency band from 6 MHz to 8 MHz.
It's hard to imagine that a multi-pin connector, which is made from standard polystyrene, has approximately the same frequency response as a specialized coaxial BNC or even a tulip. However, in fact, an attempt was made to increase the frequency properties of the connector, and in the SCART adapter, each individual transmission channel is equipped with its own shielded conductor, which allowsachieve much more efficient decoupling between signals.
Pretty much any cord you buy cheaply on the corner will degrade the picture quality significantly. Since it is customary to use cheap shielded wires in them, while a full-fledged coaxial cable must be used for high-quality video signal transmission. The characteristic impedance of such a device is 75 ohms.
Well-known manufacturers of cable products are actively offering their customers to purchase a SCART cable, which they are trying in every possible way to deprive of the disadvantages inherent in this standard. Such devices are significantly different from those that you can buy in some small local stores. Indeed, instead of the standard black insulation on a regular wire, they use a thick shiny bundle, which includes completely separate video and audio cables, as well as gold-plated contacts and metal or metallized connectors. The cost of such products is an order of magnitude higher compared to conventional products, but it should be said right away that its purchase does not guarantee you a better image, because, in addition to the cable, the connector itself also affects the quality.
Considering the signals that are transmitted using SCART cables, it is also worth noting separately S-Video, through which two signals are transmitted - brightness and color. After the emergence of this standard, the SCART developers immediately added the ability to interact with it in their cables, and the video channel came up for the brightness signal, whilehow, in order to ensure normal operation with the color signal, it was necessary to completely sacrifice RGB, or rather, the “red” channel. This feature can only be implemented in those TV models that use two SCART connectors at once, since a separate RGB source will already have to be connected through the second in this case, but almost always a mini-DIN connector is also used with this connection method.
How are adapters used?
In the event that only one device uses a SCART connector, while the other uses some other interface option, you need to use some kind of adapter. It is worth noting that today the most common is the SCART-"tulip" adapter, but there are also a large number of other options for adapters for other types of connectors.
It is worth noting that today there are both standard adapters and cables. The former are standard SCART connectors that accept other connectors like S-Video or RCA, making it easy to find a SCART-3RCA adapter today.
What could they be?
The adapters themselves can be bidirectional or unidirectional, stereo or mono, with or without switches, not to mention how wide the variety of adapter cables can be. In the event that you need to connect to a specific device at the same timea few others, you can use a specialized SCART splitter that can split into two or even three directions at the same time.
What can I buy?
Today, there are almost any types of cables and adapters on sale. At the same time, it is worth noting the fact that some large companies (such as JVC, Sony and others) provide their customers with such products absolutely free of charge so that consumers do not have to think about how to make a SCART-VGA adapter with their own hands. The scheme of such devices is also freely available today, so you can always check your engineering skills, but if you try, you can always find on sale exactly the version of the adapter that you need.
All the known inconveniences of SCART are fully offset by the versatility of this connector. If necessary, you can find almost any adapter, including the SCART-“bells” adapter, but at the same time, you can only realize the capabilities of this interface if both devices have similar functions.
So you can use SCART with almost any modern multimedia device. To this day, manufacturers are introducing this connector into various types of equipment, and therefore you can be sure that the purchased or assembled adapter will definitely be useful to you in the future.