An HDMI to SCART adapter is used to connect an HDMI-capable device, which includes most computers and gadgets, to a monitor that does not support HDMI but does have a SCART input lead. Giving the option, most users prefer Mini or standard DVI, RCA, S-video, component and even VGA. However, this 21-pin standard has the benefit of being in use since the 1970s. An HDMI to SCART interconnect gives us a great deal of flexibility connecting to legacy devices.
The need for this conversion in reverse is more common. Many VCRs, game consoles and even some DVD players used these particular leads. In these cases, we can use a relatively simple and inexpensive passive adapter cable to connect that older device to our newer equipment. A common example of this requirement is transferring our old VCR tapes to digital. The nice thing about this exchange is that it is simple and does not require any conversion.
Converting to this standard, on the other hand, is not nearly so convenient, and you actually need an HDMI to composite converter that scales the video appropriately. Of course, the converter must also have a SCART lead. Most such converters include other audio and video standards too, such as Mini and standard DVI, VGA, RCA, component and so forth. A converter like this is an excellent investment if you have a lot of legacy equipment.
If you already have a converter but it does not support this European standard, you can use a passive adapter, such as SCART-to-S-video or SCART-to-VGA. Then, you would simply connect the S-video or the VGA to the converter. You can even daisy chain, if need be, as long as you are daisy chaining to other analog formats. You cannot, however, daisy chain to avoid the converter. Beware: Some products on the market imply this functionality.
SCART does support audio, but not all sources provide audio this way. In addition, even if the source does deliver audio, you may lose it due to a particular passive connection or because your converter does not support audio. In either of those cases, you can overcome this hurdle by outputting the audio independently. To do that, you may need a splitter that splits the audio line out prior to the connection with an adapter or converter.
The good news in all of this is that inexpensive HDMI to SCART converters cost as little as $50 and a cable will cost a few dollars. However, quality varies quite a bit, so carefully consider usage. If you intend it for some brief presentations, the inexpensive converters will serve you just fine. If you’re planning to actually watch and enjoy the video, then a high-end converter with sophisticated scaling features will make that experience much more enjoyable.