eARC audio only?

jfaubl

Novice Member
I’m upgrading from a 12 year old system. I am getting a LG G2 next week and just wired a Denon Avr x4700h to my speakers. eARC is new to me. Is it only to transmit audio to the receiver from the TV? I have a DVD player hooked up to the receiver right now and I’m wondering if I need to run a separate HDMI cable to my tv for that and possibly a gaming system for the video from both sources or will the video from those two sources return to the TV over the HDMI eARC cable?
If it is only for audio, which it seems it is, can I directly connect the DVD player and gaming system to the TV and have those audio streams go to the receiver over the eARC? I’m a bit confused on what the recommended hookup is to a new TV in 2022.
 

DavidT

Well-known Member
ARC is the audio return channel from the TV to the receiver and is for devices connected direct to the TV. Your devices can all be connected to the receiver and video will go to TV with audio going to the receiver.
 

jfaubl

Novice Member
Thanks for your response. I was doing some reading and realized ARC is for audio only. Thus the abbreviation. 😀 So it is standard to run everything else through the receiver and then a cable to the TV? I then need to upgrade my current HDMI cable to a 4K HDMI cable for the video?
 

two2midnight

Distinguished Member
Thanks for your response. I was doing some reading and realized ARC is for audio only. Thus the abbreviation. 😀 So it is standard to run everything else through the receiver and then a cable to the TV? I then need to upgrade my current HDMI cable to a 4K HDMI cable for the video?
Yes.
You only need the one HDMI cable to carry all the video sources to the TV from the 4700. The same cable will return the (TV) audio to your 4700 as long as it is plugged into the 4700 and TV HDMI ARC port. You would want that HDMI cable to be capable of carrying 4K.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Prior to ARC, the usual way to get audio from most sources was to connect the sources to the AVR, and the AVR to the TV, For TV sound, you then ran an optical cable (sometimes digital coax) from the TV to the AVR. Devices attached directly to the TV could be heard by using that optical cable feed. Resolution was that of the optical cable = DVD, so for Bluray / UHD or other higher resolution sources, you needed to route the source through the AVR to obtain that higher resolution audio.

HDMI's ARC (audio return channel) eliminated the need for the separate optical cable and automated the AVR's switching (well, sometimes). The resolution of ARC is identical to that of the optical cable = DVD, so everything that applies above is unchanged

eARC increases the resolution of the ARC channel to that of bluray / UHD audio and improves the handshaking (switching is more reliable). With eARC supporting all current high resolution audio formats, there is no longer any need to route the source through the AVR, which can bring substantial logistic improvements when you have only a single display device, It can also improve picture quality as now there isn't an audio device in the middle using a common HDMI input to the TV.

This means that with eARC there is no need to "run everything else through the receiver and then a cable to the TV", rather you have then flexibility to connect things up as is most convenient. For example, the "set top" box under the TV can now be connected directly to the TV, with eARC ensuring no loss of audio quality.
 

markymiles

Distinguished Member
Just a word of warning your LG will not pass DTS HD audio through to your AVR from any sources. So you might be best to link any HD audio sources into your AVR as usual.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Just a word of warning your LG will not pass DTS HD audio through to your AVR from any sources. So you might be best to link any HD audio sources into your AVR as usual.


One workaround w0uld be to allow the source device to decode any DTS audio as opposed to bitstreaming it prior to outputting it. This would result in multichannel PCM being output by the device as opposed to DTS formatted audio. LG TVs can passthrough multichannel PCM via eARC.

Note that this wouldn't facilitate passing DTS:X through the TV though because the DTS:X metadata can only be conveyed if bitstreaned with DTS-HD MA or HR encoded audio.
 

jfaubl

Novice Member
Yes.
You only need the one HDMI cable to carry all the video sources to the TV from the 4700. The same cable will return the (TV) audio to your 4700 as long as it is plugged into the 4700 and TV HDMI ARC port. You would want that HDMI cable to be capable of carrying 4K.
Ok. I got confused on the first response. That's what I was wondering.
Prior to ARC, the usual way to get audio from most sources was to connect the sources to the AVR, and the AVR to the TV, For TV sound, you then ran an optical cable (sometimes digital coax) from the TV to the AVR. Devices attached directly to the TV could be heard by using that optical cable feed. Resolution was that of the optical cable = DVD, so for Bluray / UHD or other higher resolution sources, you needed to route the source through the AVR to obtain that higher resolution audio.

HDMI's ARC (audio return channel) eliminated the need for the separate optical cable and automated the AVR's switching (well, sometimes). The resolution of ARC is identical to that of the optical cable = DVD, so everything that applies above is unchanged

eARC increases the resolution of the ARC channel to that of bluray / UHD audio and improves the handshaking (switching is more reliable). With eARC supporting all current high resolution audio formats, there is no longer any need to route the source through the AVR, which can bring substantial logistic improvements when you have only a single display device, It can also improve picture quality as now there isn't an audio device in the middle using a common HDMI input to the TV.

This means that with eARC there is no need to "run everything else through the receiver and then a cable to the TV", rather you have then flexibility to connect things up as is most convenient. For example, the "set top" box under the TV can now be connected directly to the TV, with eARC ensuring no loss of audio quality.
Great explanation. It's a bit confusing when you are 12 years behind everything.

My current TV is not even a smart TV. I will use all the apps on there for streaming but attach my DVD/Blu Ray directly to the receiver for best sound and convenience of not running 2 cables to the TV through a wall. . I was planning on that anyway since they both are in a closet behind the TV.
 

river123

Active Member
Prior to ARC, the usual way to get audio from most sources was to connect the sources to the AVR, and the AVR to the TV, For TV sound, you then ran an optical cable (sometimes digital coax) from the TV to the AVR. Devices attached directly to the TV could be heard by using that optical cable feed. Resolution was that of the optical cable = DVD, so for Bluray / UHD or other higher resolution sources, you needed to route the source through the AVR to obtain that higher resolution audio.

HDMI's ARC (audio return channel) eliminated the need for the separate optical cable and automated the AVR's switching (well, sometimes). The resolution of ARC is identical to that of the optical cable = DVD, so everything that applies above is unchanged

eARC increases the resolution of the ARC channel to that of bluray / UHD audio and improves the handshaking (switching is more reliable). With eARC supporting all current high resolution audio formats, there is no longer any need to route the source through the AVR, which can bring substantial logistic improvements when you have only a single display device, It can also improve picture quality as now there isn't an audio device in the middle using a common HDMI input to the TV.

This means that with eARC there is no need to "run everything else through the receiver and then a cable to the TV", rather you have then flexibility to connect things up as is most convenient. For example, the "set top" box under the TV can now be connected directly to the TV, with eARC ensuring no loss of audio quality.
Does the eARC’s improved audio relate to Sky Q, Netflix, and Amazon Prime for example?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
eARC simply awartds ARC the ability to convey HD formats such as TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio as well as facilitating multichannel PCM to be conveyed. It doesn't improve the audio quality and simply expands what formats you can access via it.

As far as streaming services go, you'd only need to be able to access SD quality Dolby Digital Plus (DD+) at most and this can be accessed via both conventional ARC and eARC. DD+ cannot however be conveyed via S/PDIF optical or digital coax.

eARC has no advantages over conventional ARC as far as Netflix, Amazon Prime or SKY are concerned because none of these providers use HD formatted audio or multichannel PCM.

The real advantage of eARC only really becomes apparent if dealing with external sources connected to a TV's HDMI inputs that commonly access and or output HD formats and or multichannel PCM. eARCwould allow such audio to pass through the TV and for it to be output to an eARC enabled AV receiver or soundbard. If using conventional ARC or optical then you'd be restricted to nothing more than SD qualityu formats or 2 channel PCM.

eARC doesn't do anything to the digital audio and will not make one format sound any better than it was encoded. The DD or DD+ audio you'd get via streaming services and SKY will be the same regardless of whether you are using conventional ARC or eARC.
 
Last edited:

gibbsy

Moderator
Does the eARC’s improved audio relate to Sky Q, Netflix, and Amazon Prime for example?
Dante has covered in some detail. The streaming services mentioned all have Dolby Digital Plus and any associated Atmos metadata should the programme support it. No difference in audio quality at all between the ARC formats.
 

river123

Active Member
Dante has covered in some detail. The streaming services mentioned all have Dolby Digital Plus and any associated Atmos metadata should the programme support it. No difference in audio quality at all between the ARC formats.
So eARC isn’t such a big deal then, or is it important for gamers?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
So eARC isn’t such a big deal then, or is it important for gamers?
It's important if you have your TV as a HDMI hub as it will be able to give you HD audio back to the AV amp. This would be important for gamers using 120hz and they do not have an AV amp that is HDMI 2.1 capable but does have eARC onboard.

Last game I played was space invaders in the pub some time in the 1980s.
 

jfaubl

Novice Member
It's important if you have your TV as a HDMI hub as it will be able to give you HD audio back to the AV amp. This would be important for gamers using 120hz and they do not have an AV amp that is HDMI 2.1 capable but does have eARC onboard.

Last game I played was space invaders in the pub some time in the 1980s.
I also think, coming from a non Smart TV, to be able to ditch the Roku.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I also think, coming from a non Smart TV, to be able to ditch the Roku.
Most TVs now come with Atmos enabled apps but all will certainly allow for 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus from it's apps, certainly Netflix and Amazon.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
eARC enables your TV to be the AV hub for all AV sources.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member

dante01

Distinguished Member
It should also be said that some TVs are not as capable via all their inputs. SomeHDMI inputs on some TVs are less capable than others. In some bizarre instances you may even find the most capable input to be the one single eARC enabled input and this means that you may not actually be able to access the video you connected the source directly to the TV to try access without having to pass the sugnal through your AV receiver. There's also the fact that you are more than likely going to have fewer inputs on a TV than you'd get with most AV receivers.
 
Last edited:

NewAcousticDimension

Active Member
In some bizarre instances you may even find the most capable input to be the one single eARC enabled input

Brilliant.

@Mark.Yudkin great link. Wish there were more TVs on it but good that it details eARC, ARC and optical.

I would be really peeved off if I'd ran my optical link back from TV to AVR and then found the TV didn't support 5.1. :)
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
The other advantage of eARC it’s it doesn’t require CEC which is required for ARC. Although CEC allows the control of volume from TV and some source switching it can also be a PITA sometimes. A number of people including myself prefer to switch it off and use a universal remote to control it.
 

kristoffer

Active Member
I am still a bit confused by this eARC business.
Currently I use an analog Rega Elex-R amplifier for my stereo system and analog out from my LG B6. Would E-earc on my next tv give me any benefits? For example if you used earc to a HDMI Extractor. Would you still get lip sync correction?
Would I get better quality even in stereo with using my Apple TV 4K?
Or should I just use optical out to a dac?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I am still a bit confused by this eARC business.
Currently I use an analog Rega Elex-R amplifier for my stereo system and analog out from my LG B6. Would E-earc on my next tv give me any benefits? For example if you used earc to a HDMI Extractor. Would you still get lip sync correction?
Would I get better quality even in stereo with using my Apple TV 4K?
Or should I just use optical out to a dac?


No, not unless you'd an AV receiver or a soundbar that had HDMI and an ARC/eARC enabled HDMI output.

ARC and eARC repupose the HDMI output from such devices connected to the ARC or eARC enabled HDMI input on a TV. THe connection is changed from being used to convey video from the AV receiver or sounbat to said TV and used to convey audio from the TV to the AV receiver or soundbar.

If your current amp hasn't an ARC or eARCenabled HDMI port then ARC or eARC are of no use to you what so ever. Audio Return Channel and its Enhanced variant are means by which to convey digital audio using HDMI connections.

If wanting an analogue connection then you'd need an external 2 channel DAC if the TV dodn't have analogue audio output. You'd also need to set the TV's digital audio output to the PCM option so that formatted audio and multichannel surround sources would be converted to PCM and downmixed to just 2 channels. The DAC wont decode formatted audio such as Dolby Digital so the TV would need to do it. Neither would it downmix multichannel surround sources so again, the TV needs to do this prior to outputting the resulting 2 channel PCM audio signal to a 2 channel DAC.

The audio will be no better via ARC than it was via optical so I'd not spend the extra money it would cost you to buy an eARC or ARC audio extractor. The signal would be the exact same digital signal regardless of whether you were accessing it via ARC or via optical. ARC and eARC have some benefits over optical, but in your case these wouldn't be exploited being you'd not be using it to connect the TV to an HDMI eARC enanled AVR or soundbar. You'd be outputting the same 2 channel PCM regardless of whether you were outputting it via optical or via ARC.
 
Last edited:

The latest video from AVForums

Samsung S95B QD-OLED Review - A Quantum Leap for OLED!
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

PSB Speakers unveils Passif 50 loudspeaker
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Samsung Gaming Hub goes live
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Huawei unveils FreeBuds Pro 2 true wireless earbuds
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Sony unveils Inzone gaming brand
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom