Dolby Atmos without eARC

GolfDudeOmatic

Novice Member
This simple question has been asked again and again and only seems to get answered when discussing sound bars. "Can I get a true Dolby Atmos lossless audio WITHOUT eARC?" Because the "R" in ARC stands for "return" I never worried about the question because I am receiving the signal directly from my Blu Ray player into my AV receiver. But, the answers were all over the map and many tried to say that you could NOT get a true "uncompressed" Dolby Atmos signal unless you have eARC. Can anyone else weigh in? My opinion is that I do NOT need eARC because I am NOT asking my TV to "return" an audio signal (I guess I am when I'm watching Netflix or Amazon Prime however, my MAIN concern is 4k Blu Ray HDR discs for lossless Dolby Atmos audio.)
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Welcome to the Forum.

You need eARC for full HD audio, this has to be available on the TV as well as the AV amp. If either is just ARC capable then the ARC standard is applied and SD audio with a maximum of Dolby Digital Plus and any associated Atmos metadata can be played.

If you connect a 4K or standard blu ray player direct to the AV amp then that will receive the full HD audio options regardless of eARC capabilities.
 

GolfDudeOmatic

Novice Member
Welcome to the Forum.

You need eARC for full HD audio, this has to be available on the TV as well as the AV amp. If either is just ARC capable then the ARC standard is applied and SD audio with a maximum of Dolby Digital Plus and any associated Atmos metadata can be played.

If you connect a 4K or standard blu ray player direct to the AV amp then that will receive the full HD audio options regardless of eARC capabilities.
Thank you for the reply but it too seems a bit "muddy". Am I correct in saying that you do NOT need eARC unless...you are asking for the "return" signal to contain Dolby Atmos information? In other words if I am using my smart TV to deliver streaming content? As long as I am using my Blu Ray player for content to the AV receiver, I don't even need HDMI ARC because I am not looking for return audio, correct? Thus, my AV receiver is sending me true Dolby Atmos via HDMI, correct? Again Thank you for the reply!!!
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Streaming services do not use HD audio. It uses lossy Dolby Digital Plus and any associated Metadata which can be used on the old ARC format. Netflix nor Prime uses anything higher than compressed lossy DD+. Blu ray and 4K use lossless HD audio and your connection needs to go directly to the AV amp.

To get DD+ and any Atmos you do need to use HDMI ARC from the TV's onboard Apps, certainly worth it even though there are only a handful of programmes in Atmos.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
ARC / eARC is used to get sound from the TV to the AVR, and is mostly used in conjunction with the TV's internal tuner / smart apps, but can also be used (if supported) for devices connected directly to the TV, rather than the AVR. ARC/eARC would likely be used for Netflix and the like.

Any device connected to the AVR will continue to be handled by the AVR - sound extracted and dealt with, video passed on to the TV (sound optionally, usually with significant restrictions, so not recommended). The AVR would likely be inserted between the UHD BD player and the TV.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
ARC and eARC repurpose the HDMI connection between a TV and an AV receiver or soundbar in order to convey audio from the TV to said AV receiver or soundbar.

ARC in its standard form is limited to SD lossy formats such as DTS, Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus and no more than 5.1 channels of audio. You can also convey 2 channel lossless PCM via ARC and you can access Atmos if it was packaged with DD+.

eARC (enhanced) can convey HD lossless formats such as Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio as well as being able to convey multichannel PCM.

Streaming services don't encode anything using HD lossless formats so the only real use for eARC would be if connecting sources that can output such lossless audio to one of the TV's HDMI inputs. You'd then be able to pass the HD formatted audio through the TV and out to an eARC enabled AV receiver or soundbar if the TV eas also eARC enabled. Both the TV and the soundbar would need to be eARC enabled in order to benefit from eARC though. The only real use for eARC is if wanting to pass HD formatted audio through a TV and out to an AV receiver or soundbar when sourced via devices connected to one of the TV's own HDMI inputs.

You do not need eARC or ARC if the source is connected directly to the AV receiver or soundbar because audio would be accessed directly from that source and not via the TV.
 
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