HDMI-ARC is unreliable when TV connected to sound bar

Justin Time

Novice Member
I have two TVs: -

a) Panasonic (Dumb) TV model TX-39A400B new in August 2014.

b) Philips (Smart) TV model 43PUS8555/12 new October 2020.

In both cases there is sometimes no sound from sound bar when TV switched On. The TV detects the sound bar and switches it On but there is no sound. This happens about every 2 or 3 days and in-between time it is OK and there is sound output. When switching Off the TV the sound bar also switches Off as expected.

I tried a different make/model of sound bar but the same thing happens.

In both cases changing the connection from HDMI-ARC to Optical connection fixed it with sound output available at every switch-on. Bearing in mind that I am not a HiFi fanatic and all I want is better sound than the TV speakers then for me, the only downside to optical connection is that I have to manually switch the sound bar On and Off as well as the TV. Optical is simple whilst HDMI-ARC is problematic.

It seems to me that HDMI connections work fine for connecting equipment as long as the ARC function is not needed, as it is with sound bars. Seems to be an ARC problem?

Q1 - Have I been unlucky or is this a common feature of connecting TVs to sound bars via HDMI-ARC on the TV?

Q2 - Any other insights as to what the problem is?

Thanks in advance.
 

keithwiggins

Well-known Member
There is no unified standard for arc/cec so manufactures scrabble around to make the best of a poor situation, result, handshake issues which is the issue you are enjoying. sadly no fix but perseverance.
 

Justin Time

Novice Member
Thank you for clarifying. I have been racking my head wondering what I was doing wrong. I really did want to stick with the HDMI connection because of the auto switch On/Off convenience but it is impractical. :(
BTW - There is a fix - switch to Optical connection. :)

Thanks again.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
I’ve found the opposite. Arc always reliable but the CEC control never is. Try switching off control on both devices.
 

Justin Time

Novice Member
I can switch 'Easylink' off in the TV settings but there is no capability to change any settings on my sound bar. I'll try this tomorrow but will it disable the Auto switch On/Off function as well? I really like the fact that switching the TV On/Off auto-switched the sound bar On/Off as well.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
Yes it will but potentially keep it working.
 

Justin Time

Novice Member
If switching 'Easylink' off is going to disable the sound bar auto-switch On/Off function then I might as well stay with Optical connection. Thanks anyway.
 

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