* Prices may differ from that shown
The Scart Block comes under the Gaming section, but it is useful for non-gamers too. I do play on my old consoles occassionally, but as my TV has just a single Scart socket I find it useful on a daily basis. As the name of the product suggests, it is a block with three scart sockets on it, giving a single socket the ability to accomodate three devices at once.
Although multiple scart blocks have been around for a number of years now, TV's now generally have more than one scart socket as standard, but often even this isn't enough to keep up with demand due to an ever-increasing arrar of gadgets now available for our TV set's. It is common for people to own a couple of games consoles, dvd player, freeview box, blue-ray player. The list is endless as to the need of scart sockets.
The scart block I own has three sockets, which allows me to plug in a number of appliances at once. The compact and lighweight design of the scart block gives the impression of a good quality product and it has lasted me over a year now of constant use. I am regularly plugging in and removing scart leads from the scart block, so quality isn't an issue. I paid around £7 for the Belkin scart block. The lead is covered in thick plastic and has a robust scart plug on the end. The scart block has a silver finish to it, and I have never had any issues with it stopping working. The Belkin scart block is value for money over the constant hassle of having to plug the required appliance into the scart socket. The lead isn't the most generous of lengths, but I find that it sits neatly at the back of my TV, and long cables can sometimes be more hassle than benefit.
Overall it depends very much on how many scart sockets your TV has, but with a growing number of appliances requiring scart sockets the scart block is becoming more useful than ever. At £7 the Belkin scart block is well priced and as it holds three scart leads it offers an instant solution to an ongoing problem for some people.
'They' - 'they' of course being the mainly-Japanese-owned electronics companies who manufacture new television sets - are apparently, as we found out yesterday currently in the process of "phasing out SCART technology". This is according to information given to us by a variety of TV shop sales assistants in and around the Cribbs Causeway retail park near Bristol.
New televisions rarely have more than one SCART socket on the back; the SCART being the (now old-fashioned) slot-in mechanism whereby you connect your various pieces of electronic home-entertainment equipment together. You have an old-style (ie. not 'HD ready') TV with an equally old-style (ie. 'not HD ready') DVD player connected to it? The connecting lead between the two is most likely a SCART cable. This is a chunky-headed, thick plastic-coated lead, with metal-toothed 'heads' on either end, which slots into the large, rectangular ports on the back of your TV / DVD player respectively, thus connecting the two pieces of kit together.
Of course the problem with new TVs having only one SCART socket on the back of them comes if you want to connect more than one SCART-bearing electronic gadget to that telly. So if you have a Freeview box, a DVD player, and say an older gaming console, all of which you want to connect to the back of your new only-one-SCART'ed TV, you're in trouble.
That is unless you have a SCART block like this one. The idea is that it acts like a junction-box, splitting the capabilities of the one SCART box on your telly - so that you can connect it simultaneously to up to three pieces of electronic equipment. (The single lead goes into the back of the TV; each SCART cable from each of your three pieces of electronic equipment goes into one of the three slots on the SCART box).
Problem solved, innit?
Well it would be, if 'modern' LED TVs were in any way compatible with this type of electronic gizmo, but unfortunately, in my recent experience, they aren't.
We bought the two-socket version of this block (or something so similar it won't warrant a different 'dooyoo' review page of its own) so that we could connect (1) a hard-disk recorder / Freeview box (2) a DVD player to our new flat-screen telly, which only has one SCART socket at the back.
We were told by all the shop assistants we spoke to - and we toured most of the TV shops at the retail park in search of the perfect two-scart TV - that we only needed the one SCART, plus this junction box, to solve our problem.
Trouble is, our new too-clever-by-half telly works a bit like a computer 'recognizing' plug-in devices; once the TV has 'designated' its single SCART to a single device (in our case the Freeview box) it won't 'accept' any other media plugged in to that port: effectively it won't 'recognize' there's a two-scart splitter plugged in en route.
So that was £10 at Maplin electronics totally wasted in our case, as the two-SCART box is completely and utterly useless. Three-SCART boxes similar to the one shown here are only a couple of quid more; less, on amazon.co.uk in fact (£7.80 at the time of writing) which should tell you something about the way the technology's moving.
My advice is that you shouldn't buy SCART blocks like this unless you know for certain that they'll work for your particular array of electronic equipment. The technology's moved on, and in my (admittedly, limited) experience this type of cable connector is already old hat.