SCART to Component!

One of the problems with my computers imported from the UK (CPC 464 and ZX Spectrum +2 Grey Model) was around the video signal.

The only option I found for the CPC (besides getting the monitor which would be incredibly expensive to import) was to get this package from RetroComputerShack which comes with a RGB to SCART cable. That didn’t help me much since TVs in the US have no SCART connectors. My initial workaround was to use this SCART to Composite adapter (see pic below) but the result was a black and white image, which really sucked.

The situation for the ZX +2 was similar. I found a RGB to SCART cable similar to the one I got for the CPC but when I tried to use the SCART to Composite adapter I got nothing. I was lucky enough then to get a customized video cable (RGB to Composite – see pic below) so I could connect it directly to my LCD TV. The image is not perfect but it is a lot better than what I was getting from RF.

Recently though, I came across this SCART RGB to YUV Component Video Converter/Scaler. It sounded like just what I needed… But it was not cheap ($50) and if you read the reviews about this kind of converter you get the same feedback that you get for the SCART to Composite adapters: Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. You might get color, you might get black and white.

I decided to give it a shot and was very happy to see the results: not only I got both computers working but the image quality is amazing! Check it out how the component (bottom) is much cleaner and sharper than the composite (top):

For the CPC, now I get color and the definition is also great! Here are some pics:

One word of caution here: I tried this exact setup in my 2 LCD TVs. It worked fine in one (Multi-System with NTSC/PAL/SECAM) and it does not work at all on the other (NTSC only). I am not sure if this is related with the fact that both computers were designed for PAL… I kind of doubt it because the composite cable for the ZX for example works in both TVs… But in any case, I was very happy to get this to work. If you are as desperate as I was it is at least worth trying. I now can really enjoy much more both computers.

Here is a picture of both SCART cables and the SCART/Component converter:

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11 thoughts on “SCART to Component!

  1. sergio says:

    Hello,

    i’ve just bought a zx spectrum +2, the grey one…

    I’ve connected to my tv with a scart cable, but the image is diagonally distorced.

    Is there anyone can tell what could be the problem ?

    Thank you

    • Exin says:

      sergio: You need to bridge a resistor with a bit of normal wire. Just search for a rgb fix on google, then you can connect it to RGB Scart and to Commodore monitors like the 1084.

  2. VintageCPU says:

    Hey Sergio

    It has to be something related with the TV signal. Remember than the Speccy uses the European PAL while other countries have either NTSC or variants of PAL.

    Also, I did have some issues with SCART cables where one cable worked great while the other didn’t work at all… It looks like these cables are very sensitive to details. i recomend the cables from RetroComputerShack which are a bit more expensive but very reliable.

  3. Antonio Luque y Muñoz says:

    i will like 2 know how to make a cable from and amstrad cpc 464 to a euro conector

  4. VintageCPU says:

    Hi Antonio,
    I bet you could look for pinouts and info on how to build the cable. But if you are like me, it is probably easier to buy the cable here:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/AMSTRAD-CPC-464-664-6128-RGB-STEREO-SCART-LEAD-2M-/320751238369

  5. Many huge thanks for pointing this out to me, man! Just ordered this on eBay today, so hopefully this will be the solution I’ve been looking for with my many PAL SCART systems. Had the exact same problem as you with the sucky B&W composite converters, so this looks great. Can’t wait to try it out.

    • VintageCPU says:

      No problem Clint. Hopefully this setup will work for you! Can’t wait to see some cool MSX game reviews on your site 🙂

      • Well I’ve been testing this SCART to component, and it’s provided very mixed results. Like you mentioned, it seems to depend on what the display is capable of. It also seems to depend on the machine’s output. For instance, it won’t accept my Amiga 500 or MSX2 SCART at all, while it accepts my Thomson MO5 just fine. It will show the MSX2 in black and white on one of my TVs, but not at all one my other TV. It just says “signal not supported”. And it doesn’t show up with my AVerMedia capture card with any machine at all! So yes, the results are quite varied, but it works nicely when it works 🙂 My quest for an all-around SCART solution continues, looking into some that detect and convert signals hopefully a little better. Argh, just having a true PAL/SECAM compatible TV with SCART would be awesome.

      • VintageCPU says:

        Oh man, this kind of sucks! The only reason I can think of here is the fact that the MSX (and probably the Amiga?) are sending PAL and your TVs are NTSC. The TV I got to work best here is a multi-system (NTSC/PAL/SECAM) so maybe that makes the difference? I have a MSX very similar to yours and it works great on this setup!

        What is weird is that the MO5 is also PAL so it shouldn’t work any different than the MSX at least. Well, if you find any alternative solution let me know!

  6. Alex says:

    “I was lucky enough then to get a customized video cable (RGB to Composite – see pic below) so I could connect it directly to my LCD TV. ”
    Where did you get it? I have very same problem. Just bought Spectrum +3. Thanks!

  7. Ken W. says:

    It sounds very much like it’s more on account of your multi-sync TV than this gadget that you’re able to view video output from your Speccy and CPC in full color. I have both models myself and hardly ever use them on account of the washed out, incorrect colors I have to endure with my cheap signal converter. I even bought a supposed multi-system monitor and was very dissapointed to find that, although it displayed a PAL signal crystal clear it was in B&W. Those TV’s always cost a damn fortune though. Which one do you have and was it pricey?

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