Question ARC CEC Was working great for 3 years and now it doesn't


Hi, I didn't find anything from searching.
I'm experiencing a strange issue. I have a LG 55uj6200 TV and a Sony Ht CT290 sound bar.
They've been working together great for 3 years. ARC and CEC were good, I could turn on my TV and the sound bar would automatically turn on. The volume button from TV controlled the soundbar. Even if I cast from my Google chromecast it would turn on the TV and the soundbar all automatically. It was great. Then all of the sudden, last week, none of this worked anymore. I don't recall the being any TV update, and when I look at my version, it's from a year ago. 5.80.3 (off memory). I checked all my cables. Did a full power unplug for 20+ min on both. I switched hdmi cables. Nothing.. No sound from soundbar, TV doesn't turn on the soundbar. And trying to use the volume control have a grey x instead of the normal up or down animation. I tried every setting on the TV, the only thing that produced sound is using the built in TV speakers.
When I unplugged my cable TV box and my chromecast from the TV hdmi, the soundbar worked again. Everything was back to normal, and I could watch /listen to the built in apps from the smart TV. But that was the problem... The cable box and chromecast is what I normally use but those wouldn't work if I plugged them in. I tried different ports. But left the soundbar in the marked ARC hdmi port 2. Nada.
In stumped here, my troubleshooting proves that the soundbar and TV are able to talk to each other and work. But as soon as I plug in any other hdmi device it doesn't work anymore. It was fine for years... Could it be the Google chromecast (some recent update? Messing with things?) or even my cable TV box may have updated automatically and screwed things up?
Anyone have any insight on this?
Has anyone had this happen before?
I know arc and cec are buggy, but it made things so convenient without having to use 2 remotes. And the wife really likes the simplicity.
Any ideas on what else I can try? Besides optical? This is working fine, just don't like having to use a separate remote for volume.

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