SCART Cables

SCART leads are regularly used within AV systems and in various ways. Most European satellite receivers, video recorders, DVD players and televisions have one or two SCART sockets. This is the simplest of ways to connect these equipment to your TV. SCART is a 21 pin device that carries picture and sound - as well as allowing other information to be communicated to the TV. SCART is a high quality connection (provided you use a good quality version) and also supports RGB output. This is an option which is normally selected from the set-up menu of a DVD player and enables the three colours red, green and blue to be fed to the TV independently to maintain maximum picture quality


A SCART lead can have SCART plugs at both ends or a range of other plugs at the other end. These are:

  • S-VHS
  • S-VHS and two RCA
  • 1 RCA
  • 3 RCA

The reason for this wide range of options is that a SCART lead is used either to carry a video signal or to carry both the video signal and a stereo audio signal. In addition it can carry the video signal using three different methods:

  • Composite video
  • RGB video
  • S-VHS video

Except for SCART to SCART leads, all other SCART connections are directional. So a SCART to S-VHS cable can not be used as a S-VHS to SCART cable.

In order to use a SCART cable you need to understand the following:

  • What sockets are available on each of the devices you want to connect together. If both devices have SCART sockets, use a SCART to SCART lead.
  • The safest option is to buy a SCART to SCART lead with all 21 pins wired. This is certain to work as it can handle all requirements.
  • If you cannot use SCART to SCART then you need to consider the following:
    • Look in the manuals that came with the devices to see which types of video are supported ( composite or S-VHS) and therefore what type of plug you will be using (PHONO or S-VHS)
    • Avoid composite if you can as the quality is not the best.
    • Confirm whether you need to carry the audio signal via seperate leads (if yes then you will need two PHONO plugs)
    • Finally decide which direction the signal is going (from the SCART or to the SCART)
    • You should now know what plugs you want on the other end of the SCART interconnect, and which direction of wiring you need.