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Do You Know How To Get The Best Out Of An ARC HDMI Channel

ARC, which stands for Audio Return Channel, is an often overlooked and misunderstood HDMI feature for TVs, soundbars and receivers claims Audio Active General Manager Bruce Thierbach and he wants to educate the market.

It’s also said that most people don’t know the difference between artificially generated 8K via a technology called 8KE Shift, but that is a separate story.

Right now, consumers are being urged to upgrade their HDMI cables with many upgrading their TV’s to 4K Ultra High-Definition display but not their HDMI cables which when connected to the ARC channel delivers significant benefits.

What is ARC?

Bruce Thierbach said that ARC is an HDMI two-way communication link between a TV and a soundbar (and/or your receiver) that simplifies set-up and control of your equipment.

Just plug the HDMI ARC input on the TV to the HDMI ARC input on the soundbar. Not only will ARC optimize your sound quality, but the TV’s remote will also now control the soundbar as well.

You’ll have one less remote to deal with. ARC also eliminates lip syncing errors that can happen with other connections, so your shows never look like a badly dubbed movie.


Most TVs only have one dedicated HDMI ARC input, so be sure to reserve that input to connect to your audio component.

Use other HDMI inputs to connect to sources like a cable box, Blu-ray player, etc.

Don’t be confused by the word “input.” ARC is a two-way communication, so the display and the audio component have a two-way link eARC.

With the new HDMI 2.1 specification comes improved audio technology with eARC, or enhanced Audio Return Channel. This new technology is a step-up from the previous ARC by not only simplifying connectivity, but also providing the highest quality audio. It supports the latest high-bitrate audio formats up to192kHz, 24-bit, and uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1, and 32-channel uncompressed audio. It also supports DTS-HD Master Audio™, DTS:X®, Dolby® TrueHD, Dolby Atmos® for a true movie theatre experience in your home.

Setting Up ARC/eARC

Depending on your TV there may be a couple of additional steps involved to set-up your system for ARC/eARC.

Some TVs auto-detect ARC/eARC equipped devices. However, some do not, so you may have to activate the ARC/eARC output on your TV. This setting is usually in the audio menu.

You may also have to activate the CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) function. This is what allows the TV remote to control the audio device.

It is also important to note, that at this time, manufacturers can produce products that are compatible with both ARC and eARC.

However, eARC is not backwards compatible with ARC resulting in ARC not being able to handle the higher audio formats.

HDMI Cables

We recommend our Austere 4K HDMI cable to simplify your setup and take advantage of ARC. And if you have an eARC equipped device, our Austere 8K HDMI cable is the ideal solution for creating a multi-dimensional audio experience at home.

If you have any questions about ARC and eARC technology, go to [email protected].

For further information go here.

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