SCART may have been the de-facto standard for consumer RGB, but when it came to professional or broadcast quality equipment, BNC cables were far more common. Now that older analogue RGB switches, monitors and other devices are becoming affordable on the second hand market, many gamers are purchasing displays such as Sony’s PVM and BVM monitors specifically for use with their retro consoles. Bridging the gap between SCART and BNC connections requires a simple adapter cable and for those of us who don’t fancy a fiddly soldering job, our friends at Retro Gaming Cables have once again come to our rescue.
Breaking out of SCART
Retro Gaming Cables provide the SCART to BNC breakout cables in two varieties. The basic cable has a female SCART on one end and 4 BNC connectors plus 2 RCA (for audio) on the other. This cable is entirely passive. For an extra £10 you can buy a cable with an integrated sync stripper. While composite video for sync is very common in consumer grade hardware, much professional grade equipment will require clean sync, which the sync stripper cable can provide. This will only work if your RGB cable carries enough voltage to power the sync stripper circuit however. If it does not, you will need to buy a more sophisticated sync cleaner such as ArcadeForge’s Sync Strike.
Although it’s not currently listed on Retro Gaming Cables website, for the same price you can also obtain either of these cables with a Phoenix audio connector rather than the 2 RCA connectors. This is the kind of connector typically used on Extron devices, such as the Extron Crosspoint switch. This makes it super easy to integrate complex multi input output RGB switches or devices such as RGB interfaces into your setup.
Picture quality wise there’s simply no faulting the cables. Internally all the grounds are connected and the BNC connectors are high quality and stay firmly connected. The Female SCART connectors’ sockets feel a little shallow, so make sure your male SCART cable is firmly inserted. Otherwise the cables are as simple to use as you would expect.
In conclusion then, this is a great and affordable way to connect your SCART equipment to a wide range of affordable, broadcast quality used hardware. If you need several of the cables (for instance for connecting up an Extron or other matrix switch) you should contact Retro Gaming Cables first and ask about bulk discounts. You can order the standard cable here and the cable with integrated sync stripper here.