SCART (from the French Syndicat des Constructeurs d'Appareils Radiorécepteurs et Téléviseurs - (Radio and Television Receiver Manufacturers' Association) - is a French-originated standard and associated 21-pin connector for connecting audio-visual (AV) equipment together. It is also known as Péritel (especially in France), 21-pin EuroSCART, Euroconector or EuroAV. In America, another name for SCART is EIA Multiport (an EIA interface).
In Europe, SCART is the most common method of connecting audio-visual equipment together, and has become a standard connector for such devices; it is far less common elsewhere in the world. Designed to carry analog standard-definition content, SCART is becoming obsolete with the introduction of new digital standards such as HDMI, which can carry High-definition video content and Surround sound.
The official standard for SCART is CENELEC document number EN 50049-1. SCART is sometimes referred to as the IEC 933-1 standard.
The SCART connector first appeared on television sets in 1977. It became compulsory on all new television sets sold in France starting from January 1980.
Before SCART came, consumer TV sets did not offer a standardised way of putting in signals other than RF antenna connectors, and even antenna connectors differed among countries. Assuming other connectors even existed, devices made by various companies could have different and incompatible standards. For example, a domestic VCR could output a composite video signal through a German-originated DIN-style connector, an American-originated RCA connector, an SO239 connector, or a BNC connector.
The SCART system was intended to simplify connecting audio-video equipment (including TVs, VCRs, DVD players and video game console). To achieve this it gathered all of the analogue signal connections into a single cable with a unique connector that made incorrect connections nearly impossible.
The signals carried by SCART include both composite and RGB (with composite synchronisation) video, stereo audio input/output and digital signalling. The standard was extended at the end of the 1980s to support the new S-Video signals. In addition, a TV can be awakened from standby mode or switched to video mode through a SCART connector.