Scart Leads

    Hi, was just wondering after reading another thread, if there much difference between scart leads, and are the more expensive ones reflect a better quality? I ask this after reading numerous HDMI lead threads about the cost and difference in qualities

    So my question is does this also apply to scarts? As I'm in need of another couple, so a few recommendations if there are any rated leads would be appreciated

    Thanks in advance


    Scart Leads

    Scart leads come in various brands and qualities, this page will help you to identify high a quality cable and shows our range of high quality leads.

    Choosing a Scart Lead

    The Signs of a poor lead

    When choosing scart leads for home cinema, home theatre or television there are some important things to consider. If you have a large screen television such as a plasma tv, rear projection tv or a standard CRT type television with a large screen, you are really going to notice the problems caused by poor quality leads. The most common problem with low end leads is picture ghosting, this is caused by poor shielding of the video conductors within the cable, poor shielding will also result in crosstalk between the audio channels. Shielding is key to getting the best audio visual performance from your home cinema or home theatre system.

    The OEM supplied Scart Lead

    Most consumer DVD players, DVD recorders, VCRs, Digiboxes, Freeview boxes, Sky+ (Sky Plus) boxes etc are supplied with an OEM scart lead. The fierce price competition with these types audio visual devices often means the manufacturers are trying to save every penny, in so doing it is items like the lead which tend to suffer. The typical OEM lead is a far from a glamorous looking item, usually identified by nickel plated connectors with plastic connector shells and a thin cable joining them. The majority of these leads perform as they look, very poorly.

    Identifying a Quality Scart lead

    There some key points to follow when looking for a high quality lead, firstly look at the connectors. The best scart leads have metal body connectors and high quality gold plating but is this important? If you are looking for the ultimate in shielding then the metal plug is a must, metal body plugs mean the lead is fully shielded from end to end, plastic plugs do not provide this level of shielding, metalised plastic plugs go someway to helping with screening but if you want the best audio and video performance from your lead then choose the leads with cast metal plugs. Gold plated plug contacts have two benefits over nickel, they provide a lower contact resistance and are less prone to tarnishing, ultimately providing a more reliable connection over time.

    Identifying the screening level of a cable is more difficult, for round cable leads the diameter of the cable will give a clue but be careful, some of the cheaper scart leads use a thicker plastic jacket to fool the unsuspecting buyer. Flat cable leads tend to have better isolation by design because the audio and video carrying conductors are spaced further apart, even so you should still make sure they are individually screened. If a retailer is unwilling to provide a statement on a leads screening, it probably isn't very well screened. Quality scart leads tend to have oxygen free copper conductors, oxygen free copper has better conduction properties ultimately reducing signal loss within the cable conductors.

    Branded Vs Unbranded Scart Leads

    When you buy a branded lead from a manufacturer like Profigold or Ixos you are getting a high quality product that they have spent a long time developing. Beyond the fancy retail packing you will find a well bred lead made using state of the art materials. But don't discount the cheaper leads, the cheaper range we sell provide excellent performance at a true bargain price and many customers have provided feedback stating they noticed an immediate picture quality increase. The choice of scart lead comes down to personal taste and the quality of your system, if you've just spent £4000 on a plasma tv or lcd tv then you really should be looking at the branded range of leads such as the Profigold, Profigold Oxypure or IXOS.

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    Yes it will make a difference but depend what you are using it for, but lets assume you want it for RGB. Fully screened cable will have less signal loss as will the purity of the copper used. There is also the use of Gold or silver for the connections that also help. As for expensive is better than cheap you cant say but some are better value than others.
    The thin ones that come in the box with the DVD player and the like are of poor quality so a better quality one will help. Look out for 'fully screened' and a high copper content of over 99%.If you dont know what you are looking for the general rule is the fatter the cable the better.

    Did you see the gadget programme on TV last night. They tested HMDI leads and said there was no difference between the cheap ones and the expensive ones. Don't know if this applies to scart leads too. Have a look if you have sky plus or anything similar.

    There is little or no difference over HDMI, as the signal is digital - zeros and ones transmitted from A-B; a zero will still be a zero at the other end - likewise with the ones.
    Scart is a different ball game as it deals with an analogue signal of varying frequencies, so a 'strong' signal at one end of the able may not still be 'strong' at the other end if the cable being used does not transport the signal very well - Imagine trying to cross a river carrying a couple of trays of eggs! Using a nice sturdy bridge will mean you get to the other side with most if not all of the eggs intact. Using a single rope to shimmy across the river will probably result in you dropping most of the eggs!

    Original Poster

    Thanks for all the replies, makes some very interesting reading, basically I'll have Sky+ next month on my Sony wide screen CRT, so just wanted to the best to get the most out of Sky+ in terms of picture quality…tml

    Was looking at this one, price seems good and meets the tick boxes in the article unless anybody has a better alternative???

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