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 Post subject: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:10 pm 



Joined: 01 Mar 2018
Posts: 728
Says Bob...
https://www.retrorgb.com/theres-nothing ... scart.html


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:17 pm 


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The only thing I dislike about SCART is its size and clunkiness. That said, its still much more compact for carrying RGBs + Audio than most other analog era connector types. Start wrestling with 5 or 6 RCA or BNC connectors per system and the annoyance with SCART will start to ease a bit. :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:20 pm 


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There's nothing wrong with a good working SCART setup. However, there are so many variables. Different consoles/regions requiring different wiring even if they use the same console-side connector (how many different SCART cables are there that have a Nintendo AV connector on one end?), all the different sometimes incompatible sync outputs (TTL vs 75ohm vs cvbs vs luma vs SoG), the directionality, the problem with chroma from cvbs coupling into the RGB lines if they're not properly shielded, the fact that sync strippers exist at all...

Seriously, there are at least the following variants of Nintendo AV cable sold by RGC alone:

PAL GameCube (cvbs)
PAL GameCube (csync via stripper)
NTSC N64 (luma)
NTSC N64 (csync via stripper)
NTSC SNES (cvbs)
NTSC SNES (csync 75ohm)
NTSC SNES (csync TTL)
NTSC SNES (luma)
PAL SNES (csync, not clear if 75ohm or TTL)
PAL SNES (luma)

There are other possible variations that they don't even sell, and maybe I missed some they do sell. Some of those combinations can also damage your hardware if you get the wrong one, like if you mix up a PAL/NTSC SNES cable, where the PAL SNES dumps 12v out the same pin the NTSC uses for sync. This also doesn't include all the various options for SCART from an NES (where even the NESRGB might output different sync types depending on jumpers) or getting into Wii RGB cables for the GCHD/Wii/Wii U.

Alternatively, it costs more, but a single HDRV component cable works with all of those consoles and outputs a proper component video signal with the only type of sync used by component video from all of them. Yes, there's a component conversion step, but AFAIK most scalers (Framemeister, RetroTINK, etc) are working in YCbCr, so that conversion away from RGB needs to happen at some point anyhow.

So, if you've already got a perfectly good working SCART setup, then there's nothing wrong with it. You clearly already did all the research to understand exactly what type of cables you need for every one of your consoles, and what exact sync type is required at each point in your setup. But if somebody is starting out new, it's so much easier and less prone to error and problems to just say, go with component video and everything will just work without any risks or worry. Plug it into a gcomspw and enjoy your games, you never need to learn about any of this sync stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:30 pm 


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Why SCART objectively is bad:

1) the connector, physically
2) using 1Vpp composite video for sync (all pro equipment uses TTL clean syncs)
3) using voltage levels to trigger blanking and aspect (not only is this just dumb, it can be damaging if implemented poorly)
4) being "bi-directional"


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:55 pm 


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Personally I don't mind SCART. If people want to use it then let them use it, and keep making these cables and switchers and connectors on retrogaming gear.

It was the home standard after all so it makes sense for most consumers to use. not everybody wants an industrial grade switcher and not everybody needs locked down connectors.

I gotta say, SCART is the tidiest of them, even more so than DSUB with an extra wire for audio. And I do appreciate the ease of soldering it and adding components.

I have a DE-15 setup and my second setup is SCART with good quality cables and it's just fine, I get great video and audio from it
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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:17 pm 



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He also said it's OK to make fun of it in good spirit though, and SHART is just too funny a term not to make the most of it :lol:


maxtherabbit wrote:
Why SCART objectively is bad:

1) the connector, physically


This is really what it comes down to for me, just can't stand how bulky and flimsy it is, plus the directionality.

As a DSub evangelist, I do have to admit that most of the complications and issues that SCART has can also be present in Dsub cables when they are used for the purposes of old RGBS consumer sources. It is also true that a SCART head has more room to add components, but a Dsub cable will also need them less, except for a sync stripper which can fit into any regular "VGA" head without much issue.

Another problem with DSub is the seemingly endless confusion that it can lead to, starting with what to call it (DSub, DB15, DE15, HD15, VGA), and especially the almost immovable association between the connector type and "VGA" as a video standard. When a retro video/game device has this connector, you always see people wondering or assuming that it is for 480p, PC CRTs, etc.

What's more, while regular "VGA" cables of good quality are cheap and easy to find, that's not the same for cables with specific console connections. For those you're on the same boat as SCART, you either have the ability to make your own or you pay premium prices for good quality custom cables.

With all of that said, as someone who has experienced both for quite a few years now, a DSub setup is greatly preferable to a SCART setup for analog video needs.


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:28 pm 



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There is nothing objective about that


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:02 pm 


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Most of the annoying things about SCART cables have nothing to do with SCART itself and more the abusive nature of trying to shoehorn a bunch of different things into one connector.

It's not SCART's fault there's different Nintendo AV cables by region, that's Nintendo's fault for having a different pinout for for the same connector in different regions.
It's not SCART's fault Sega left out components from their console and put them in the cables to save money.
It's not SCART's fault all of these consoles have different sync types that the community shoved into SCART cables

Pick any connector the community would have settled on hacking up for "RGB cables" and it would have inherited these same problems.

But hey... if we already accept we'll have to DIY cables/connectors, insert components, solder, etc., the connector is easy to take apart repeatedly and large enough to contain small DIY circuits. And because of that, I'm going to buck the trend and say we should be, to some degree, appreciative of SCART. Yes, the cheap Chinese ones are flimsy and loose but I have some quality SCART cables with connectors that are sturdy, stay snapped together properly, and couple with other connectors firmly. Living in North America though, most of the SCART stuff I end up seeing is new cheap crap. Again, not SCART's fault itself though.

Quote:
2) using 1Vpp composite video for sync (all pro equipment uses TTL clean syncs)
3) using voltage levels to trigger blanking and aspect (not only is this just dumb, it can be damaging if implemented poorly)
4) being "bi-directional"


I agree about #2 today, but in the context of what it was used for (consumer TV signals which may need composite) it is fine enough and understandable.
Agree with #3 and #4 though.


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:08 pm 


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I assign fault to SCART based on the current situation around it. It doesn't matter who caused that situation, it just matters what people have to deal with when they want to, for example, buy a SCART cable to connect their Nintendo console to their monitor or scaler. The fact that picking the wrong one can fry your monitor just reinforces that fact.

In terms if it not being SCART's fault about Nintendo cables, it really is, because the RGB and cvbs sync pins are close enough to the same in all regions such that one HDRV cable can handle all Nintendo consoles that have the RGB pins wired up. You might say, the connector itself isn't at fault, and I say, the person who wants to use SCART to connect a Nintendo console to a RetroTINK doesn't care if the fault lies in the connector or the console manufacturers, the end result is the same. Now in another thread you have people in a panic trying to use multimeters on bright screens to test their SCART cables to figure out what kind of sync they have, when if they had a component cable, there would be no question about sync.


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:13 pm 



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maxtherabbit wrote:
4) being "bi-directional"


I'm just delivering the info from Bob's site, not saying I agree or not. Maybe I'm terribly confused, but how does a SCART cable differ from an HDMI cable in directionality? I tried googling this but what does SCART specific directionality mean? There's only one way to insert the cable so it's not that. Is it sync related? Why would you need to pass information from the display (or switch, wherever the cable terminates) back to the console? I don't understand a basic conceptual terminology here..


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:26 pm 


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SCART is directional because there are separate input/output pins for cvbs/sync and left/right audio. This isn't usually a problem with console cables, but it's a problem with various adapters.

For example, a BNC-to-SCART cable can't be used as a SCART-to-BNC cable, and the XRGB connector is also used for the default NESRGB installs, but you can't use the same cable to go SCART-to-XRGB and XRGB-to-SCART.


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:37 pm 


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darcagn wrote:
Most of the annoying things about SCART cables have nothing to do with SCART itself and more the abusive nature of trying to shoehorn a bunch of different things into one connector.

Shoehorning a bunch of bullshit into one connector is the SCART design intent, so it is very much to blame for that

darcagn wrote:
It's not SCART's fault all of these consoles have different sync types that the community shoved into SCART cables

Yeah it pretty much is. All consoles use TTL clean sync internally. Different manufacturers had different approaches to translating between that and SCART compliant sync. If the SCART spec had called for TTL sync none of this would have ever happened.

darcagn wrote:
Quote:
2) using 1Vpp composite video for sync (all pro equipment uses TTL clean syncs)

I agree about #2 today, but in the context of what it was used for (consumer TV signals which may need composite) it is fine enough and understandable.

Not really. The reason that consumer TVs "need" composite is only because they were following the SCART spec when designed. SCART used composite video as sync not because it was better for the TV, but because they wanted to make the connector backwards compatible with composite video.

If SCART had been designed from the ground up as a unidirectional RGBS cable without composite video support, we would not have ANY of these issues today


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:39 pm 



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maxtherabbit wrote:
If SCART had been designed from the ground up as a unidirectional RGBS cable without composite video support, we would not have ANY of these issues today


So... VGA?


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:42 pm 



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mikechi2 wrote:
maxtherabbit wrote:
If SCART had been designed from the ground up as a unidirectional RGBS cable without composite video support, we would not have ANY of these issues today


So... VGA?


<< Insert joke here about SCART having a leg up because audio >>


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:11 pm 


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I think the amount of links in your setup relying on SCART you have is inversely proportional to your acceptance of it. If you just have one TV with a scart plug that you hook different things up to, then it's perfectly fine. If you have a setup with multiple switches, splitters and extenders, then you'll spend way more time than acceptable trying to identify weak links in your setup.

The fact that it's almost impossible to correctly insert the cable without looking directly at the connector (which is almost always on the back of the thing you're trying to hook up), and that a majority of connectors have a real hard time maintaining a decent connection after even minor nudges, is enough to not want to ever use SCART if I can avoid it. Unfortunately, avoiding scart for me would mean an impossibly massive job of refetting every single cable and device I have, with the biggest issue being my switches.


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:16 pm 


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I love SCART simply because if I go all component, I'll have like, 10 consoles which means 50 wires with component. LOL! That said, if HD Retrovision cables were a little more affordable, I'd switch over. But, at this point, if I wanted to go all HD Retrovision, I'd be looking at like, $500 in upgrade costs. LOL!


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:28 pm 



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Posts: 74
SCART makes a lot more sense when you remember that it was originally designed for things like VCRs. The RGB signals were intended for captions and overlays, not necessarily to display the whole picture with. Given that, there was no reason to use a dedicated TTL sync signal.

SCART does the job it was designed for perfectly well. The problems arise when you start trying to use it to make high-end videophile-grade RGB cables that would really benefit from a more professional connector without all the VCR baggage. In particular, once you start using properly thick cabling, SCART's mechanical shortcomings really start to become an issue. It's also hard to even get cabling with six coaxial conductors if you're not ordering in bulk like Retro Access.

As an aside, I've been working on some things to make it easier to transition my setup away from SCART:
Spoiler: show
Image

I don't like how far it sticks out, so I'm currently redesigning it with a 3D-printed shell so I can make it smaller and add support.


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:30 pm 


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Guspaz wrote:
I assign fault to SCART based on the current situation around it. It doesn't matter who caused that situation, it just matters what people have to deal with when they want to, for example, buy a SCART cable to connect their Nintendo console to their monitor or scaler. The fact that picking the wrong one can fry your monitor just reinforces that fact.


It does matter who caused that situation, because if we proposed a solution to fix this by replacing the connector, we'd just be moving the same set of problems to a new connector. If I used a DE15 connector to make Nintendo AV cables I'd still risk frying my monitor sending 12V to the sync pin on my equipment if I used an incorrect cable on a Nintendo console. Because it's Nintendo who has 12V and csync on the same exact pin on their console in different regions.

Guspaz wrote:
In terms if it not being SCART's fault about Nintendo cables, it really is, because the RGB and cvbs sync pins are close enough to the same in all regions such that one HDRV cable can handle all Nintendo consoles that have the RGB pins wired up.


HDRV strips sync from composite sync. You can do the same thing with SCART cables, and SCART cables that do this are available for sale.
Then there are hobbyists who make cables using straight csync instead of stripping it from composite sync. These hobbyists are doing something dangerous (and stupid on Nintendo's part) because in a different region that pin is 12V.
HDRV just as easily could have done this too, btw, and sold separate NTSC and PAL YPbPr cables that were dangerous to mix up. But they chose to strip sync from composite video because 1) that's the same pin in different regions 2) they've already got an RGB->YPbPr circuit in there so it's not much to add one more thing to it.
This is a good decision by HDRV that fixes a bad decision by Nintendo, and has little to do with the SCART connector, and the same good decision would benefit cables using the SCART connector

Guspaz wrote:
I say, the person who wants to use SCART to connect a Nintendo console to a RetroTINK doesn't care if the fault lies in the connector or the console manufacturers, the end result is the same.


Yes, because the abused SCART ecosystem sucks, just like the ecosystem of any abused connection standard sucks.
I don't really care if the end user does or doesn't understand why. If I have a problem I try to identify the solution so that I can solve it.

maxtherabbit wrote:
darcagn wrote:
Most of the annoying things about SCART cables have nothing to do with SCART itself and more the abusive nature of trying to shoehorn a bunch of different things into one connector.

Shoehorning a bunch of bullshit into one connector is the SCART design intent, so it is very much to blame for that


SCART does try to do a lot, and it's clunky because of it, and I'm not excusing that. But the examples I gave, which have already been used against SCART above in this thread, have nothing to do with SCART design intent.

maxtherabbit wrote:
All consoles use TTL clean sync internally. Different manufacturers had different approaches to translating between that and SCART compliant sync. If the SCART spec had called for TTL sync none of this would have ever happened.


If we're judging SCART by its design/spec.... SCART is a connector intending to unify existing consumer video standards to simplify connectivity. Saying "SCART compliant sync" sort of implies that SCART was designed to be something more than that, as if it's a video signal standard. AV equipment already had standard composite video, and TVs were accepting standard composite video, so the connector carried composite video. Adding yet another wire for TTL sync when it wasn't an existing consumer standard wouldn't have made much sense. But yes, had they had the forethought to know that decades in the future hobbyists would start hooking up pro equipment with a different standard using this connector instead, maybe they could have accounted for that and maybe none of this would have ever happened.

darcagn wrote:
If SCART had been designed from the ground up as a unidirectional RGBS cable without composite video support, we would not have ANY of these issues today


If SCART had been designed from the ground up as a rocketship I'd be in space right now with the number of them I own at this point. I blame the Radio and Television Receiver Manufacturers' Association of France for holding back human spaceflight.


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:52 pm 



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Did JP21 just copy the design of SCART, or the other way around? Either way, for our retro gaming/RGB purposes, our plight is largely due to the Japanese manufacturers.


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:59 pm 


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fernan1234 wrote:
Did JP21 just copy the design of SCART, or the other way around? Either way, for our retro gaming/RGB purposes, our plight is largely due to the Japanese manufacturers.


It was designed in the mid-70s in France by the Radio and Television Receiver Manufacturers' Association. The Japanese standard wasn't published until 1983. It's in Japanese though so I haven't bothered to read too much into it. I don't know why they changed the pinout.


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:07 pm 


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For my 2 cents, I ditched SCART as soon as I realized there were no decent options for switches. I forget if gscartsw existed yet at the time, but SCART never being a professional standard meant no high-end switches available for it; same goes for component, where I tried several switches from reputable brands and they all disappointed in one way or another.

So the choice was BNC or DB15. And then you see that a 12 port VGA switch from Extron is 1/3 the size of a Crosspoint, and it seemed like a fairly obvious choice...

Of course I don't gain anything by ragging on SCART. Anyone who already owns a SCART cable for all their consoles, and a nice switch, has already sorted out their problems and they aren't going to run out and replace them all. I still had to learn about sync types and voltages and be aware of what's going on. And I was lucky enough to only have to replace two SCART cables when I switched over.


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:08 pm 



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fernan1234 wrote:
Did JP21 just copy the design of SCART, or the other way around? Either way, for our retro gaming/RGB purposes, our plight is largely due to the Japanese manufacturers.

JP21 pinout was changed to avoid licensing fees
america outright refused to pay anything because NIH, see RCA Dimensia EIA
same reason US credit card stayed magnetic only and no PIN code, with banks justifying that it would be too hard to remember a PIN code.


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:10 pm 


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darcagn wrote:
If we're judging SCART by its design/spec.... SCART is a connector intending to unify existing consumer video standards to simplify connectivity.

and that's exactly why it fails - instead of trying to do one thing well they chose a hodge podge approach to cater to people who don't understand what hole the wire goes in

darcagn wrote:
Saying "SCART compliant sync" sort of implies that SCART was designed to be something more than that, as if it's a video signal standard. AV equipment already had standard composite video, and TVs were accepting standard composite video, so the connector carried composite video. Adding yet another wire for TTL sync when it wasn't an existing consumer standard wouldn't have made much sense.

Prior to SCART, RGB in the consumer AV space was not an existing standard either. They were already introducing something "new" with the RGB, it's not much of a stretch to think they could have introduced an appropriate sync source. But no, instead they chose backwards compatibility, and now we live with the fallout from that.

darcagn wrote:
Because it's Nintendo who has 12V and csync on the same exact pin on their console in different regions.

They never would have had a reason to put 12V on the multi-out if the SCART spec didn't call for using 12V as an aspect ratio sense signal. Because oh no we can't expect the user to simply select the appropriate AR manually that would be hard


Last edited by maxtherabbit on Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:14 pm 



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maxtherabbit wrote:
But no, instead they chose backwards compatibility, and now we live with the fallout from that.

60/1.001 says hi btw


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:19 pm 



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bobrocks95 wrote:
So the choice was BNC or DB15. And then you see that a 12 port VGA switch from Extron is 1/3 the size of a Crosspoint, and it seemed like a fairly obvious choice...


Yep. The 12 port switch is very hard to find, and the 8 port one is also not that common, but the 6-port and 4-port ones are easy to find and for very cheap. Chaining a couple together is not a big deal and still more convenient than any SCART switch. And they auto switch.

The more people that make this switch (pun intended) to DB15, the more incentive for future hobby projects to default to DB15 connectors instead of SCART (when a choice has to be made) as well as the more that high quality cable makers will have incentive and ability to offer more DB15 console cables or adapters at a lower cost.

This IMO is the best reason to "rag" on SCART, to bring more awareness to better alternatives.


Ryoandr wrote:
JP21 pinout was changed to avoid licensing fees


Makes sense. And when I say that Japanese manufacturers are responsible for all the current scene, can't forget about Micomsoft. Their products were great and sorely needed at the time, and opened up a path to RGB for many, but they also did more than anyone else in getting a larger and global audience used to the JP21/SCART form factor, eventually becoming the most widely used in this hobby.


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:23 pm 



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I only hate it since it a wired shielded cable is heavy and low quality sockets don't hold connections as securely as dsub.

Who cares what Bob says. Honestly, he wrote an entire article about it.
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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:39 pm 



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BTW, anyone unsure about switching away from a SCART setup because you've invested in high quality cables and switches, you can easily sell them and get pretty much all your original investment cost back. Back when I switched 2-3 years ago I had 10 Retro-Access coax cables, a gscart, and a Auxunworks switch, and sold everything within 1-2 weeks, most sold within a couple of days from listing it. And now the scene is bigger so selling this stuff should be even faster. There will always be newbies who only know about SCART so demand won't go away any time soon :D


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:00 pm 



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fernan1234 wrote:
BTW, anyone unsure about switching away from a SCART setup because you've invested in high quality cables and switches, you can easily sell them and get pretty much all your original investment cost back. Back when I switched 2-3 years ago I had 10 Retro-Access coax cables, a gscart, and a Auxunworks switch, and sold everything within 1-2 weeks, most sold within a couple of days from listing it. And now the scene is bigger so selling this stuff should be even faster. There will always be newbies who only know about SCART so demand won't go away any time soon :D


where did you sell them? The only acceptable answer when considering "ease" is EBAY. Hustling on retro forums and marketplaces don't count.


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:17 pm 



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ldeveraux wrote:
where did you sell them? The only acceptable answer when considering "ease" is EBAY. Hustling on retro forums and marketplaces don't count.


Yes of course it was ebay. Of course they take fees there but you can price things to make up for that too since these cables are often not in stock ready to ship, or even available for pre-order, and other times people buy from abroad and find it easier/cheaper to order on ebay.

And even if you have to loose a bit of money overall, it's worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: Stop ragging on SCART!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:26 pm 



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fernan1234 wrote:
ldeveraux wrote:
where did you sell them? The only acceptable answer when considering "ease" is EBAY. Hustling on retro forums and marketplaces don't count.


Yes of course it was ebay. Of course they take fees there but you can price things to make up for that too since these cables are often not in stock ready to ship, or even available for pre-order, and other times people buy from abroad and find it easier/cheaper to order on ebay.

And even if you have to loose a bit of money overall, it's worth it.


I don't know why I ever would have doubted you :wink:


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