Friday, March 18, 2016

world of scart

yo homies

oh yes, look you see, i know. today was indeed very much a day of release. doubly so, for not just one, and as far as i am aware not three, but two new record albums of the long player variety hit the stores, or if you like "dropped" today. i am listening to one now, and yeah sure a day of release post about them shall surely be a thing here. but not right now.

for now, though, just a little bit of venting from me. as in one of them "spew your bile" things about something you don't particularly care for, or if you would wish to be more civil than that an airing of the grievances. just what has upset me so? as the title suggests, entering into a universe where such a thing as the horrors of SCART connectivity technology still exists as a thing.

people or persons outside of the realm of Federal Europe are likely to have absolutely no idea at all what a SCART actually is. they are in their ignorance of this very lucky, and when they learn of what it is they are likely to say "gee, that's pretty retarded. why would you even think of something as stupid as that, let alone make people use it?". the answer partially to a degree of mostly resides in the point of origin of this monstrosity - and oh, f*****g surprise surprise, it's French.

what is it? i mean, or you mean, what is it other than upsetting technology which was probably out of date when it was invented in 1980, never mind today? theoretically it's a device designed to connect audio video equipment, such as video machines to televisions, etc. no, your eyes do not deceive you, the width of this connector device is as you can see in that picture wider than most of the television sets you would use to connect it to. and yes, to this day, they do make European TV sets have SCART ports on them.

a brief history of SCART? it's a brief history of the Federal European Union, really, as basically it's something sh!t that France got all excited about and, despite absolutely f*** all interest from anyone else, the rest of Europe had to deal with it.

some French twat invented this as "the European way" of connecting devices, rather than the RF cable used normally, or the DIN plugs and RCA / composite / AV cables used in the rest of the world. the best thing you would have hoped someone said of that at the time is "well that's not a bad first draft, but it's bulky and useless compared to the other means, please go back and fix it", but no, SCART was embraced and used as it was.

i say "used" but it is far more sinister than this. due, presumably, to the French kicking off and whining, in many partially independent states within the Federation du Europa, it's actually law that all audio-video devices must be built with SCART ports and connectivity as part of the machinery.  yes, that's right - in a by world standards unusual move, a really stupid, ill thought out idea concerning a useless thing has been legally forced on people. go figure.

what's the big problem or issue with SCART? well, other than it being bulky and cumbersome, the quality of sound and video through it is utter, utter rubbish. there are those who claim that it is "better" than composite / RCA / AV cables. i'm calling bullsh!t on that, and i've been connecting devices for over 30 years now. it's barely OK for VHS, makes the awesome stereo of Beta pointless, downgrades DVD quality and is a disgrace to use in connection with a Blu Ray player.

a bit more of a rant about that just now, but first - do you have any interest in what SCART cables cost? it depends which grocer you use. to be safe, for SCART is prone to breaking, i bought two different types. let me show you what they are and a little cost comparison.

PRODUCT : SCART port adapter
PURPOSE : lets you connect proper wires to a sh!tty SCART port
COST AT TESCO : £8.00 (eight pounds in coins of money that is real money)
COST ON EBAY : £1.49 (one pound forty nine, postage included in that)

so yeah, i have read a claim that you can "play high definition Blu Ray through a SCART connection". this is true, with some conditions. you can get 1080p or 1080i on the basis that you can reconfigure your Blu Ray player to output via the SCART at this quality, can configure your TV to receive it via the SCART port, and use a special "high definition" SCART lead to connect the two which, as it happens, does not exist.

i mentioned a weakness of SCART is it is prone to breaking. it is. the idea of technology advances, right, is to reduce the number of things that can go wrong. to this end, if you use composite wires, one of three could break, and so you replace one. with an HDMI cable, if that breaks you just replace it. with SCART, however, there are 20 (twenty) pins on the connection - one of them breaks and into the bin it all goes.

PRODUCT : SCART to AVI / composite / RCA cables
PURPOSE : connect crappy SCART to proper ports
COST AT TESCO : £10 (ten English pounds of real money)
COST ON EBAY : £1.69 (one sixty nine, postage included)

am i not part of the French hypocrisy in buying and using these SCART leads that i loathe so much? possibly, but believe you me it is not from free choice. as part of my ambitious plans to merrily convert VHS to DVD, i am required and obliged to use an English video machine. 99% of English VHS machines have SCART ports alone. the manufacturers of such machines for the most part, and quite understandably, elected to say "f*** you Europe, if you are making us put SCART ports on then that is all you are having, we are not going to add the proper connectors they use in the real world too". so, i have pretty much had to buy these. buy them, for sure, but as you can see, not from Tesco. there is profiteering and then there is the approach that Tesco has taken to trying to milk the very breasts from which SCART comes until it is flat and dry. 

i don't think it's legal to offer your vote for sale. however, we do have all that referendum stuff coming up about whether or not England, and indeed the UK, remains a province in the Federal States of Europe. i am undecided. if the "stay in" campaign promises that they will successfully eradicate the plague of SCART and other stupid French ideas from Europe i may vote for them. if the "get out of Europe" - the self-styled Brexiters - say "we will outlaw SCART in England and make it offence to speak its name", they will get my vote. 

well, that's that for now. i trust that my unbiased and fairly objective look at SCART has been of use and interest to you. if you are the inventor of SCART, or an advocate of the system and believe it should be used on a universal basis, really - go f*** yourself. for everyone else, 

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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