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SCART connectors are commonly used to connect equipment like TV sets, digital TV boxes, DVD players and video recorders together. SCART sockets and plus use 21 pins to connect video and audio between two devices.
A SCART socket
A SCART plug
When you're looking to buy a new set-top box, you may have the choice of a box with one SCART socket, or two SCART sockets. If you wanted to connect your set-top box to both a TV set and to a recorder, then you may find that a set-top box with two SCART sockets is the way to go.
If you need a SCART lead or extension cable, you can pick these up quite cheaply on the high street from the likes of Currys and Argos. For a wider choice, you can buy online from at maplin.co.uk and at tvcables.co.uk
Note that the SCART leads supplied free with equipment tend to be quite cheap. For the best performance, look for a SCART lead with gold-plated connectors (for a good connection), and a lead with good screening (a thick cable) to prevent interference. Also, don't use leads are longer than you need, as long leads are more likely to pick up interference.
If your TV set does have enough SCART sockets, and you want to connect extra equipment, then you will need a SCART switch.
Pictured below is a basic SCART switch that allows you to connect two devices (such as a DVD player and Freeview box) to a TV that only has one SCART socket. This model is available direct from Maplin (Cat Ref: N47CK)
An alternative to this is the range of SCART switches from Nikkai Connect - which support 2, 3 or 5 devices connecting to one SCART socket. Also available from Maplin
The boxes we mention above all have a physical switch, so you manually select which device is switched through to your telly. If you don't fancy getting up from your comfy sofa to select the feed, you could go for an automatic SCART switch, like the one pictured below from Bluedelta.
This Smart-SCART switch detects when you've turned on a piece of connected equipment (by sensing voltage over the SCART lead). A clever solution for connecting lots of equipment to one telly, and it also has a signal amplifier. The Smart-SCART switch is also available from Maplin.
See our No SCART Sockets FAQ.
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