SCART to HDMI – Old devices on new televisions

New TVs only have a SCART connection in very rare cases. This means that you no longer have a chance to connect your old consoles or video equipment, as they do not have the necessary HDMI connection.

SCART to HDMI - Old devices on new televisions. Is it worth it? Quality differences in the converters. Better alternatives?

The SCART plug – A dying breed

Fortunately, manufacturers like J-Tech or Portta offer an effective and inexpensive way to get rid of this annoying intergenerational problem.

SCART – The old stager

The SCART technology (Syndicat des Constructeurs d’Appareils Radiorécepteurs et Téléviseurs) was developed in the 1970s and has become the new standard in the European home entertainment sector in the following years. The SCART is a plug connection that transmits analog video and audio signals simultaneously. Thanks to SCART technology, a single connection is all that is needed to play back picture and sound.

HDMI – The successor

Since 2002, HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) has been co-developed by television manufacturers such as Sony, Toshiba and Philips and integrated as new standard in their devices. HDMI is a technology that can receive and play video and sound signals simultaneously. In its function, it is the modern counterpart of the SCART connection, with the big difference that HDMI transmits digital signals and not, like the SCART connection, analog signals. HDMI has now completely replaced the SCART connection and established itself as the new standard for video and audio transmission.

HDMI – The new man in town

How to solve this intergenerational problem? SCART to HDMI!

In order to be able to use your old consoles or video equipment, which are equipped with a SCART connection, on your new, HDMI based television, you need a so-called ”SCART to HDMI converter’‘.

The SCART to HDMI converters from deleyCON, Neoteck or Steelplay convert the analog signal of the SCART connector into a digital signal which can then be output via HDMI.

The technology used for this is not particularly complex. All converters use the same process to convert from analog to digital, so you won’t see big differences in quality between the products. Whichever converter is chosen, it must be clear in advance that no improvement of the original image signal is to be expected. The converters convert the analog signal, but do not improve it. The maximum picture resolution that SCART can transmit only reaches the PAL standard of 720 x 576 pixels. In times of HDMI, where a picture resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 is possible without any problems, the converter must be expected to produce a blurred picture. Another disadvantage is that when playing on your old consoles, you have to expect a significant increase in the input lag, as an analogue signal has to be converted into a digital one and the converters can only do this with a minimal delay.

SCART to HDMI the best choice?

If you are not comfortable with the above mentioned disadvantages and want to use the SCART to HDMI converter mainly for your old consoles, then there is an alternative which allows you to solve the problem with the input lag.

There are still some TVs on the market that have an analog connection (e.g. Philips Ambilight 55OLED804). Here you don’t need a converter and can use the SCART cables supplied to connect your old consoles directly to the TV. This way there is no input lag. Those who have lost their old cables need not worry, because you can get them at Amazon pretty cheap.

In conclusion, it can be said that the SCART to HDMI Converter is well suited for VHS and DVD playback. However, if you’re planning to connect your old consoles, it’s better to buy a new TV with an analogue connection, as this way you won’t be plagued by annoying input lag.

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* Approximate price incl. VAT, plus shipping costs. Please note that prices shown here may have changed in the meantime. All data without guarantee.