HDMI ARC: What is this? Why you need this? Explained

Connecting HDMI ARC to port

HDMI ARC and eARC allow audio channels to travel in both directions at the same time. This saves on cables. Especially when you are using the A / V receiver as the center of your home theater setup. It also allows you to adjust the volume from a single remote control. Whereas HDMI ARC can send stereo and 5.1 compressed audio over a return channel. HDMI eARC can send and return up to 8 channels of audio over a single cable.

What is HDMI ARC?

HDMI combines audio and video channels into one cable. This is convenient because it reduces the number of cables that need to be connected between the same two devices. But makes it impossible to separate the audio signal from the video without special equipment (and more cables).

This means that if you want to connect an additional device such as a DVD player to your TV via an AV receiver. You will have to connect your TV twice. Once for the video signal sent from your DVD player through your A / V receiver for your TV and one for the audio from your TV when you are not using your DVD player.

allows audio to be transmitted in both directions. This allowed both of these signal paths to be combined into one cable. This allows you to control your TV and A / V receiver with single volume control.

How does this work?

How does HDMI ARC work?

An HDMI connection has 19 pins, each of which sends a digital signal describing some component of video, audio, or device information. HDMI ARC is transmitted over two of these pins.

If you are familiar with how analog audio and video work, this will not help you here. Two pins do not mean two channels of sound.

When devices are connected via HDMI, they perform a digital handshake, exchanging device information. Which becomes the basis for a shared key passed between devices. This key is used to encrypt all data transmitted between devices. This ensures, among other things, that unauthorized devices do not intercept the signal. It was designed as an anti-piracy measure.

However, it’s important to note here that HDMI connections are originally designed to send information in both directions. Thus, the two-way communication capability provided by HDMI ARC is actually not so incredible.

What’s incredible is that, while transferring data at up to 1Mbps. It can transfer uncompressed stereo audio and compressed surround audio.

When would you use HDMI ARC?


The most common use for HDMI ARC is when you connect all of your devices through an AV receiver or sound bar. In this case, it will transmit any video signals, for example, from a Blu-ray player to your display device.

However, if your display device is broadcasting, for example, a cable connected to your TV. the HDMI ARC channel will send audio from your display device to your sound system or soundbar.

HDMI ARC is also useful because it includes a Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) feature that was largely unused prior to HDMI ARC’s intervention.

What hardware do you need?

First, all equipment that you intend to connect via HDMI ARC must be able to send and receive HDMI ARC signals. It is available since HDMI 1.4. It was released in 2009, so almost all TVs. As well as most soundbars and A / V receivers will be equipped to use it.

In addition, you will need an HDMI 1.4 or higher cable capable of transferring data at high speed. Since HDMI 1.4 has been around since 2009, it would be quite difficult to find an HDMI cable that doesn’t meet these specifications.

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How to set up HDMI ARC

To set up a hardware connection, simply plug an HDMI cable into the HDMI port on your devices that indicate HDMI ARC capability.

To enable HDMI ARC, you need to turn off your display device’s internal speaker and enable the HDMI ARC and CEC controls. This is usually found in the settings menu under system settings, sound settings, or something similar.

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Commercial Names for HDMI CEC

  1. Hitachi: HDMI-CEC
  2. LG: Simulink
  3. Mitsubishi: Net Command
  4. Onkyo: RIHD
  5. Panasonic: HDAVI Control, EZ-Sync, or VIERA Link
  6. Philips: EasyLink
  7. Pioneer: Kuro Link
  8. Roku: 1-Touch-Play
  9. Samsung: Anynet+
  10. Sharp: Aquos Link
  11. Sony: BRAVIA Sync
  12. Toshiba: CE-Link or Regza Link
  13. Vizio: CEC

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