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eARC and ARC: An Extensive Introduction to HDMI

HDMI cables are often used to connect new TVs and audio equipment. Signals for both sound and picture transmission may go via it. Since its introduction in 2002, the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) has regularly introduced new features. In order to enable new advancements in TV, surround sound, gaming, and home theater, HDMI has developed.

The Audio Return Channel (ARC), often known as HDMI ARC, is one of the most useful extensions of HDMI if you have a soundbar or home theater system. It debuted in 2009 along with the HDMI 1.4 standard. By letting you to utilize one cable instead of two for video and sound transmission, it makes connecting your TV and audio equipment simpler. This makes setting up your home entertainment system simpler and prevents you from having unsightly cords dangling from your TV stand or wall mount.

What is HDMI ARC and what are its advantages?

So, what is HDMI ARC? Check TVs employ HDMI ARC, a digital channel, to transmit audio information via an HDMI connection to a soundbar or AV receiver. This implies that you may utilize your current HDMI cable for your audio system rather than switching to a separate connection.

ARC works both ways. Your soundbar or home theater system may use the same HDMI ARC connection to wirelessly transmit sound from its speakers back to the TV, eliminating the need for an additional set of wires. This keeps the visual and sound in better sync, which is important in films and video games that include intense situations like explosions and shooting.

In terms of bandwidth, ARC outperforms earlier techniques for transferring digital audio signals. The ARC channel offers up to 1 megabit per second, while options like optical cables or RCA connections are restricted to a bandwidth of 384 kilobits per second.

At a bandwidth of 1 Mbps and up to 1080p resolution, ARC was capable of broadcasting multichannel soundtracks such as Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. However, even though ARC had previously shown itself to be adequate, it was unable to send high-definition surround sound formats like Dolby TrueHD, Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP), or DTS-HD Master Audio with up to 7.1 channels of uncompressed audio signals. You’ll need HDMI eARC, which we’ll talk about in a moment.

However, since Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime Video contain Dolby Atmos in the lossy Dolby Digital Plus format, which ARC can handle, ARC can enable you to get Dolby Atmos audio from these streaming services.

What is eARC and what advantages does it offer?

The subsequent iteration of ARC is called Enhanced Audio Return Channel (often referred in It was created expressly to broadcast high-quality audio formats without encoding or compression as part of the HDMI 2.1 requirements.

Since there is no requirement for compression, eARC’s key benefit over ARC is a vast boost in bandwidth and speed, which enables the transmission of far more complex audio signals from the television to a soundbar or an AV receiver.

The eARC standard offers uncompressed 24-bit/192kHz data streams at up to 38 Mbps together with up to 32 audio channels. Theoretically, this bandwidth will enable the transmission of all existing audio formats through the eARC channel without compression or coding into a lower bitrate format, including Dolby TrueHD, DTS Master Audio, and even object-based formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

A more seamless handshake between compatible devices is another advantage of HDMI eARC. As a consequence, the user experience is much more simplified since HDMI-CEC no longer has to be activated individually for each device.

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