Retro Gaming Cables has opened pre-orders on a 6-1 manual pushbutton SCART switch. The switch was designed to be the perfect fit to a RetroTINK 5x, but it will work with anything that fits against the connector. The price is about $65 plus shipping and it performs really well. Also, since it’s passive, there’s no internal powered circuitry to worry about, which means there’s no compatibility or voltage issues: What goes in, comes out. This is my new favorite budget SCART switch, with the gscartsw still being my favorite fully-featured switch. Pre-orders yours and check out the full, detailed review below (with installation-compatibility pics at the end!):
RGC 6-1 SCART Switch: https://retrorgb.link/rgcscartswitch
The most important thing to remember with all passive switchboxes, is what comes in, goes out. That means you can do things like route RGsB (sync-on-green), component, or composite over SCART, however that also means no voltage protection. So, if you’re planning on using superguns, or cables with untested circuits in them, it’ll be the same as connecting directly to your scaler or monitor. If you have any fear over safety, I strongly recommend getting that $30 scope I recently reviewed! So, the answer to every “will ‘X’ cable work through this?” is: It will work exactly like plugging it directly into the target device.
When tested on a scope, the video voltage didn’t change when powering on multiple consoles at the same time, or when switching inputs with multiple consoles already powered on. I also verified this on both the cheap scope and pro-level Rigol. So, while it’s good practice to only power one console on at a time, there’s no safety issue here.
Audio analysis also showed no discernable interference was added, either by the switch, or if multiple devices were powered on. Here’s an MDFourier graph showing results – On the left, are two recordings done back to back, directly into the recorder (no switch). As you can see, analog recordings will never be perfect, as even the same exact hardware run twice results is a slight variance. With that in mind, check out the results on the right – That is comparing the audio through the switch vs directly connected to the recorder. As you can see, it’s about the same, proving that the switch doesn’t harm the audio you hear, even if another console is powered on:
I also did some more subjective tests using the Konami logo white screen and couldn’t hear a difference. MDF is a far better way to measure, but the bottom line is: This switch will not harm your audio while listening.
The video test results came back equally as good, with one nitpick. Now, before I get to the nitpick, I need to politely remind everyone that this is a NITPICK and not a “problem”. But if you’re an OCD nerd like me, here we go…
When using cables that sync on csync or luma, there was no visible difference in quality. When connecting a sync-on-composite cable to port 6 (closest to the output) there was also no (or nearly no) difference. When connected to port 1 – The farthest port from the output – there was a tiny bit of interference added. Can you even see it, zoomed to 500%?:
Most people would never be able to see this on their display and this would only affect people doing video analysis reviews (but you should always connect direct for those anyway). And if I just put the fear in your head, simply put any CVBS sync (RGB SCART cables that use composite video as sync) cables in the ports closest to the output and move the csync & luma cables to the back.
But once again, this is NOT A PROBLEM!!! It’s just something to note if you use sync on composite cables, which most of us don’t. For everyone else, consider this switch equal to plugging your console directly into your scaler or monitor.
Next, this will work with any receptacle SCART to BNC adapter. This will come in handy if you purchased one to manually connect each console to an RGB monitor and now want to upgrade: Simply plug this switch in its place!:
It also worked near-perfect with the RetroTINK 2x SCART – Simply putting a piece of paper under the TINK (or buying cheap rubber feet like shown here) will be a perfect fit with proper strain relief:
It also worked with the OSSC, however it blocked the YPbPr ports and wasn’t a snug fit. It’s my strong opinion that unless you need all inputs connected to your OSSC, simply use a rubber band, hair tie, or whatever else to hold them together.
I mean, you could also just get a short receptacle-to-plug SCART cable, which would connect the SCART ports and allow the component ports to fit…but why spend money when a perfectly good (and safe!) solution could be free? You can even connect YPbPr this way, with an RCA to SCART adapter. Your call, but I’m 100% happy with this:
So, what didn’t fit? Remember that SCART to HDMI device that I should you should never use for gaming (but has cool alternative uses)? Yeah, that. That was the only thing I found that would be impossible to direct-connect, as the power ports are covered. I’d like to think Rob did this on purpose when designing…
So that sums it up: This is the best budget switch available for purchase today. And while it’s price and lack of extra features make it a “budget” device, quality is what counts the most…and this is a total win. If you’d like to watch a really boring, real-time test of the switch, here’s the livestream showing everything except the MDF testing (although I did other audio tested there too to verify). Honestly though, if you’ve read through this entire review, there’s zero reason to watch the livestream, unless you just feel like hanging out while I nerd out for two hours 🙂