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SCART connections, cables and adaptors used for video input and output

SCART is a common method of connecting audio/video equipment together in Europe. Therefore in most cases this FAQ only applies to customers in Europe.


When trying to capture or output a video signal from or to an analog video source like a VHS player (VCR) and using a SCART connection / adaptor in you may find you do not get a video signal in your capture screen or video output. In many situations this is because of incorrect use of the SCART connection.

A SCART adaptor can work if it’s the right type of SCART adaptor and has been correctly connected.

If you used a three-way SCART adaptor that is of the “input only” type then it would not work to send out a signal from a VCR to the capture hardware in the PC. These SCART adaptors often come with a camcorder so that it can be connected to a television to view the camcorder’s video output on it. These SCART adaptors generally do not have an input/output switch on them, so they would not allow you to send out a signal to the capture hardware connected to your PC.

See the following image for an example of such an adaptor.

If you wanted to capture to your PC and used a three-way SCART adaptor that has an INPUT/OUTPUT selection switch then it could work if it was set to OUTPUT and all the cables / SCART adaptor are correctly connected.

See the following image for an example of such an adaptor.

If you use a six-way SCART adaptor cable then it will have video input / output connections and audio (left & right) input and audio (left & right) output connection, then that also would work if correctly connected.

See the following image for an example of such an adaptor cable.

Note: If using a SCART six-way cable please pay careful attention to the cable labeling for input and output, this will be written on or near the cable connection. If you make a mistake and make the wrong connection then the audio or video signal will not reach its destination.

If you try to use a SCART adaptor like the one in the image below

That has an S-Video connection on it like this:

and connect an S-Video cable from the SCART adaptor to your capture / output hardware, then you will get an incorrect video image when capturing and in the captured file (such as black/red and white with strange lines). The same will happen for any video output you try to do in the same way.

Such connection conversions will not work for video capture or output on your PC.
SCART connections should only be used with composite cable connections (also known as RCA, phono and cinch) as shown in the image below, where yellow is the video connection, red is the right audio connection and black (or white) is the left audio connection.

If you wish to use an S-Video connection on your video capture/output hardware then the video source/recorder must also have an S-Video connection that is used. (And of course must be of the correct input/output type)


More information about RCA connections can be found on Wikipedia here

More information about SCART connections can be found on Wikipedia here

More information about S-Video connections can be found on Wikipedia here

 

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