* Prices may differ from that shown
These days most modern televisions use a few sockets in order to conncet different devices to them, with one type being what is called a HDMI, which is designed to send better quality image and audio through the system from one device to another. So most modern televisions are dropping the number of other sockets on the rear of sides of their televisions, such as scart, which is an older way of cabling up your television to an external device such as a DVD player.
But when it come to those external devices, having more than one that you want connected to your television, your are now left with the problem of swapping the scart leads every time you want to use another device. For instance, if you have a DVD player connected and you want to use your play station, then you have to unplug the scart lead of the DVD player and slot in the one for the games system, which is not only time consuming and, depending on where the scart socket is, can be a little tricky at times, it is also not too good for the scart socket or the pins of the leads as they can bend out of shape and cause some damage. Which is not good at all if the damage happens inside the socket on the single scart in you television.
There are other ports to connect to, such as the HDMI, which requires a special lead, or there's even the good old 'AV' which usually comes in the form of three holes, red, yellow and white, which can then be used in the same way as the scart only on a different place on the list of inputs on your television.
However, when I got my hands on a television a while back, swapping it for the slightly broken one in the kids bedroom, I discovered that it not only had one scart socket, which I expected, but it also only has the white and red ports for the AV, labelling it 'audio out', with no yellow port at all, which made the triple 'AV' connection method useless.
I tried everything, slotting the yellow cable into the mini 'AV' port and even a port which was labelled ' mini YPBPR', but nothing happened. I then realised that I had to go out and buy a special mini AV lead so that I could plug a second system into the television in order to connect the devices together.
Then I hit on another idea when I was on the search through the amazon, seeing something that would do the job of connecting not only the single scart of the DVD to the television but would also connected the game station as well, keeping them both connected at the same time without having to risk damaging the delicate pins inside the connectors.
The idea I had was to get what is called in the trade as double scart socket switch box, or something like that, which is, in this case, designed to take two scart leads and make them into one, sort of. So that you can connect two leads into one scart port in your television.
One box I came across, as there are many out there, some I have used before, with ups and downs, but the one I am using now is one I got from amazon, with the easy to remember name of Bob... no, kidding, it's actually called a HQ High Quality Scart Switch Box in the lovely shade of silver.
* What does it look like..?
As I said, it's a rather fine silver colour, being a solid plastic moulded casing with some rather sexy curves, (easy now), if you were a scart lead on the look out for something with curves to be seen out on the town with. I mean, what well educated scart lead doesn't want to be connected to the television with a curvy, sexy model on the end of their arms?
It has two 'female' ports on the top side with a short, 500mm lead, that leads to a 'male' connector that slots into the televisions scart socket. So there's two female to one male... I bet he feels out numbered and has to put the bins out or face the wrath of two females scorned...
On each of the scart sockets there is a name! sort of, 'scart 1' and 'scart 2'. I said it was a name, I did not say it was a good name, but it sort of helps you remember which lead leads to which device.
On the left side of the unit there is a small button, which is made of the small grey plastic as the rest of the unit making it fit in with the smooth design. This button is fro swapping from 'scart 1' to 'scart 2', or the other way round.
The pins are all gold plated, or that's what they say they are and that's what they look like anyway, which is supposed to give for a better connection through the lead, both audio and visual.
And that's what it looks like.
* Is it well made..?
Yes it is. It looks it and it actually feels it too.
There are many units of this type out there, some costing less, some costing more, which look and feel as though they were thrown together in a dark room, by a spotty teenager, using old cassette cases and some nail glue, which don't even take the scart socket that they're supposed to do, or fall apart when you look at it.
But this one not only looks the part it feels the part to, feeling like it's been well made, out together in a real factory and not just in an underground dungeon in some small town in the forgotten parts of Dundee.
It feels solid in the hand and the wire, albeit short, feels as though it won't be pulled out of the main unit in a hurry.
The scart adaptor itself looks quality too, gold colouring pins and trim, which not only makes it look nice it also improves connection, even if it's only gold plated, so I won't be putting it into one of those 'discrete' bags that come through the post offering to buy your gold.
The little selection button on the side slides in like a well oiled piston inside a Rolls Royce engine, which makes bouncing from the DVD to the games system a simple matter of a gentle press without having to think about it too much, which I like as thinking too much can lead to trouble.
* What about the quality it gives..?
This is were some scart units fail, once connected to your television, leaving you with a low quality picture or sound instead of what you got with a direct single scart connection straight from one device to another.
Some units I've used have given ghost images on the screen, which is where the image of a person, or thing, appears more than once, behind itself, as if it is a colourful shadow of sorts. If you're from the 1980's or 90's then think about the time you used a wire coat hanger to get a reception on your bedroom potable, spending ages moving it about, with the best image being the one where the Patrick and Jennifer seem to be dancing with three other doppelgangers in perfect formation. Then you get the idea.
Or there's the quality of sound that some units of this type fail in, causing the sound to drop to such a level that only dogs can hear what lies the Prime Minister is spouting out on Question Time. Forcing you to turn up the volume to full blast only to then be frightened half to death as the unit suddenly begins to work well for a second or two and give you the true volume, blasting out all over the house, shaking the walls, and your ear drums. So you turn down the volume only for the scart to go back to failure mode and cause you to think that you've gone deaf.
But this one is different. This one gives a connection that makes your television think that it's a direct connection from one device to another. There's no ghosting, and no scaring the bejesus out of the budgie either with the sudden shout out of some twenty something who honestly believe they're still a teenager on one of those music channels.
This unit gives both visual and audio quality that you only get from either high cost scart units or that one to one, direct connection. And aall at a good price.
* What do I think of this unit..?
In one word... impressed. Although I was a little miffed when it came to opening the package in the first place but the actual item is impressive.
When I got it it was in that nasty heat welded solid plastic, finger slicing, eye poking wrapping that a lot of thing come in. I know it's there to help protect the product inside but it really is a health and safety issue when it comes to getting into the thing.
Anyway, once I'd opened it, and got back from the hospital with a few extra slices in my fingers, I was very pleased at what the plastic packaging had protected. Even if slightly confused as to what the image of a woman whispering something into another woman's ear has to do with a scart plug?
I have mine with the DVD and a games system as the television I have them connected to has only one scart port, but lots of other ways to connect different devices, such as HDMI ports, AV even USB, but only one scart. I did toy with the idea of using a HDMI for the DVD connection but as I spotted this unit first and though that this would be easier I dropped that idea, for now anyway, as I may go back to it if this scart plug begins to let me down, as others have done in the past.
If I do go for the HDMI connection method then I'll have something else to write about.
The 'female' scart ports are the right size, allowing the scarts of the outside devices to slide into them with ease. I've used some units that you need a hammer to get the scart plug to get into the port, which can cause no end of damage. But this one was a smooth run and I wasted my time searching for my hammer on this occasion. Then there was the 'male' scart which was again a nice smooth motion slotting into the single port on my television, trapping itself in firmly without any signs of flopping out onto the table. Again, I've used some units that the 'male' plug has been so badly made that it was a combination of double sided sticky tape, blu-tack and slithers of lollipop sticks in order to keep the thing in place. But this one needed none of that.
* So what about this good price then..?
Simply put. The good price is about £10.00... Yes, a tenner, that's it, or there abouts anyway, and for that you can connect two scart leads into one port, sort of, without any hassles at all, and not one ghost sighting, which will upset Derek Acorah I supposed.
* Would I recommend this then..?
Yes, without a doubt. It makes other scart boxes look and act like they should be melted down and used to make egg cartons.
This one does exactly what it says it should, and it does it on style. There's no ghosts, no crackles, no stuttering, nothing, except a top quality box that lets the power of the scart miracle through the device so it feels like it's just one wire.
© Blissman70 2013