What is SCART

What is SCART

The SCART connection system is an older connection standard used mainly within Europe to connect different audio and video systems together. It appears on televisions, video recorders, DVD players and many other items enabling the video to be streamed from one unit to another.

The name for the SCART connector comes from the group that devised it: Syndicat des Constructeurs d’Appareils Radiorécepteurs et Téléviseurs. As the name of the organisation indicates, this was a French consortium of television manufacturers.

Although the connector is rather unwieldy and the cables are thick and difficult to manage, the SCART standard caught on and was used for many early televisions, video cassette recorders, VCRs, early gaming systems and the like. It was even used for some professional equipment as well.

The advantage of SCART is that it is able to handle composite, audio, and RGB data. Additionally using wide flat pins the connections are less prone to damage than the round pins used in some other connectors. With SCART connectors and cables being used in many areas, a robust connector is a great advantage.

What is SCART

SCART connectors and cables are mainly used for standard definition video signals like RGB, composite and S-Video - plus stereo and mono audio signals.

In view of the fact that SCART was designed to carry analog standard-definition content in the days before digital television became commonplace its use is now declining. Digital television and other more compact systems like HDMI have increased in use and SCART use has significantly dropped as it cannot carry digital signals. Nevertheless SCART connectors are still incorporated into most modern televisions to enable connectivity with older AV equipment.

SCART was first released on equipment in 1977 and it was standardised as CENELEC document number EN 50049-1, but is also sometimes referred to as IEC 933-1.

There is also a Japanese version of the SCART connector. This is often referred to as Japanese RGB-21 connector, and it is standardised under the Japanese organisation EIAJ TTC-003, and sometimes called JP-21. It uses similar signals and the same connector, but it has a different pinout. If a picture with red video with no audio is experienced, this is indicative of mismatching JP-21 SCART with European SCART connectors.

European SCART connector pinout

The SCART connector pinout is useful in determining any errors that may occur and for wiring any new connections.

Pinout for European SCART EN 50049-1
SCART Connector Pin NumberSCART Pin Function
1Audio output (right)
2Audio input (right)
3Audio output (left/mono)
4Audio ground (pins 1, 2, 3 & 6 ground)
5RGB Blue ground (pin 7 ground)
6Audio input (left/mono)
7RGB Blue up
8Status & Aspect Ratio
9RGB Green ground (pin 11 ground)
10Control bus (
11RGB Green up
12Reserved / Data 1 (non-standard)
13RGB Red ground (pin 15 ground)
14Normally Data signal ground (pins 8, 10 & 12 ground)
15RGB Red up
16Blanking signal up
17Composite video ground (pin 19 & 20 ground)
18Blanking signal ground (pin 16 ground)
19Composite video output
20Composite video input

Japanese SCART connector JP21 pinout

The pin connections or pinout for the Japanese SCART connector also known as JP21 is different to that of the original French or European SCART

Pinout for Japanese SCART JP21
SCART Connector Pin NumberSCART Pin Function
1Audio input (left)
2Audio output (left)
3Audio ground
4Audio ground
5Audio input (right)
6Audio output (right)
7Video ground
8Video ground
9Composite video input
10Composite video output
11AV control input
12Ym input
13Red signal ground
15Red signal I/O
16Ys input
17Green signal ground
18Blue signal ground
19Green signal I/O
20Blue signal I/O

Watch the video: Retro Gaming Cables Comparision Explained RGB Cable RGB SCART s-video Component Composite (November 2021).