HDTV Connections Explained

Discussion in 'What Is The Best TV For You?' started by Mark Hodgkinson, Nov 6, 2014.


    1. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson
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    2. dante01

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      Thanks :)


      I thought I'd mention that ARC is limited to the same audio you'd expect via S/PDIF so you cannot passthrough HD audio formats such as TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio or PCM audio comprising of more than 2 channels. No TV currently has the inbuilt ability to handle these formats anyway, but many assume ARC can convey the exact same audio formats you'd expect to get via a more conventional HDMI connection.
       
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    3. raymondo77

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      Same with DTS (well certainly on the Panasonic VT65 and Sony W905) - it gets passed through as stereo.

      I always connect my devices into my AVR then use the passthrough for that into my tv (into the ARC input), so the only thing using ARC is the tv itself (Netflix etc). All of my other devices are sending their audio direct to the AVR.
       
    4. dante01

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      I get 5.1 DTS via ARC with my Samsung F7000 so can only presume it an issue with Panasonic and or Sony TVs? Not all TVs support DTS so maybe that is why you get stereo PCM?

      Yeah, best to connect components directly to a receiver via HDMI rather than passing audio through a TV. This is expecially so in relation to Blu-ray players and if you want to get the HD audio formats.
       
    5. raymondo77

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      Ah fair play, I did wonder if it was all sets or just my two.
       
    6. dante01

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      I'm just surmising that is what is the issue and don't have any experience of you sets. Do they list DTS as being supported?
       
    7. Exemplar

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      Great article, very clear and helpful!
       
    8. m4ccam

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      Good information this.

      So I'm pondering buying a 4k tv and this article has made me think about how to connect to my processor. At the moment everything goes into the processor and comes out into the arc connection of the tv. Question is, if I watch say 4k Netflix via the tv, how would I get audio to the processor?
       
    9. dante01

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      THe audio associaed will current 4K content is no different to the audio associated with content you'd get from lesser resolution video content. You'd not need to make alternative arrangements or use different hardware to play the audio associated with Netflix natively encoded 4K video content's audio.
       
    10. Joe Fernand

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    11. nheather

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      This is certainly neater in terms of cabling - more wires confined within AV cabainet and lees going up the wall. but it does also have one disadvantage.

      If you have your video sources connected to dedicated HDMIs on the TV then you can configure the TV individually for each source and it remember the settings. For example you might have in input used by BDP set best for movies and the inout used by XBox set up best for gaming. The TV will remember the settings so you don't have to make any changes when you change sources.

      But running all through the AVR means that the sources share the same HDMI on the TV which means that the input must be set up as the best compromise or you have to change the settings each time you change source.

      The best answer in my opinion would to connect video sources (HDMI) to the TV and audio sources (coax or optical) to the AVR - the downside of this is more cabling.

      Any other suggestions?

      Cheers,

      Nigel
       
    12. dante01

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      Most TVs can now change the picture settings associated with any one individual input via one or two button presses. You can simply have the TV set up for say MOVIES and then engage another set of configurations for say GAMES without having to have all your different sources connected to different individual inputs on your TV. Simply change the picture mode associated wit the HDMI input used for the AVR to suit the content you are viewing.

      Optical, digital coax and or HDMI ARC cannot convey some of the types of audio conventional HDMI can convey such as multichannel PCM, DTS-HD Master Audio or Dolby TrueHD. Also note that most TVs only output stereo while passing through audio sourced from external devices connected to them. Multichannel SD 5.1 output is restricted to content accessed via the TV's own inbuilt tuners or SMART features.
       
      Last edited: Jun 25, 2015
    13. Suave

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      Hi All,

      OK, idiot questions from me - I have everything connected to my AV Receiver (Onkyo TX-NR818) & From that I run a single HDMI cable to the "HDMI 1" input on the back of my Samsung PS51E6500 Plasma which is not "ARC".

      The "Arc" one is on the side of the TV marked "HDMI 2" - should I use this one instead to connect to the AVR?

      I have always had an issue with my Onkyo Receiver whereby it automatically defaults to "TV/CD" even when "CBL/SAT" is selected & it is annoying as hell - might this be due to it not being connected to the ARC HDMI?

      Sorry if silly to ask but am a bit challenged on my knowledge of such things!

      Suave!
       
    14. dante01

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      Connecting it to the ARC input on your TV wouldn't rectify the issue you are having. You'd only need to use this input if wanting to use the HDMI Audio Return Channel to convey audio sourced via the TV back to the AV receiver via the HDMI connection between them.

      Not sure as to what is causing your TV to switch to the TV/CD input? Maybe try turning RIHD (What Onkyo call their implementation of HDMI Control) off onboard the receiver to see if this is at the root of the problem? It is more common to actually have an issue similar to this if using the ARC input and while ARC is being utilised than it is to have it occur when not using ARC although as suggested, HDMI Control could also be causing it?
       
    15. Kelmscott

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      I have an issue which after some research, i cannot find a definitive answer to.

      I bought three QED Qunex HDMI-P cables, described on the packaging as 'Meets required standard for HDMI 1.3 CAT 2 Additional', in 2006 to use with my new (then) Sony HD TV, Sony AV amp and Sony BluRay player. And later a DigitalStream PVR to allow for watching HD broadcasts on the TV..

      They have served me well, handling the upgrade to a 3D Bluray player with no trouble at all.

      But I have just had a root and branch rejig, changing to a Sony Android UHD TV and a Yamaha DSP-2500 soundbar.

      Thus at last letting me use ARC, the lack of which necessitated a SCART link from the previous TV to the AV Amp.

      But I was not getting any audio returned from the TV down the QED cable. Using a modern cable, though, it all worked fine, showing that I had wired it correctly, and set it up correctly.

      So I come to the conclusion that the 'HDMI 1.3' QED cable does not support ARC.

      My question is 'Should it?'

      I know ARC only came in with the HDMI 1.4 standard, but prior to that, I believe the pins used were classified as 'Reserved', and that cables should have been wired with them included.

      I have seen many references to support this, and only one to contradict it - but one that suggests ARC is inextricably bound up with Ethernet, which I think must be wrong, since even today cables with Ethernet are differentiated from those without, but those without are still described as supporting ARC.

      So should I invoke QED's lifetime guarantee to get these cables replaced with ones that support ARC, or are my suppositions incorrect here? :)

      I have tried to use the 'Contact Us' on QED's website to raise this query with them, but the posting just greyed out when I pressed Send, so it's anybody's guess if it went to them or not.....
       
      Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
    16. dante01

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      All HDMI cables support ARC. ARC is not a feature that requires different cables to those used prior to its introduction. Also note that cable are not graded by HDMI version and only the hardware interface revisions have versions. THe Ethernet channel has been the only inovation that would require a cable with ethernet channel capabilities, but then again, no one has built anything that actually utilises the ethernet channel anyway. ARC has nothing at all to do with ethernet or the HDMI ethernet channel. HDMI ARC was introduced as a feature with HDMI version 1.4 hardware, but new cables were not required in order to take advantage of it.

      HDMI cables are more commonly graded by their speed and there are primarily two types. Category 1 which are standard speed and Category 2 which are high speed. Here's how cables should be officially graded and referred to:

      HDMI :: Manufacturer :: HDMI 1.4 :: Finding the Right Cable


      The only way to determine whether or not your cables are causing your ARC problem is for you to try a different cable. You do not need to spend large sums of money on HDMI cables and cables such as these will be just as good as those you bough with the QED branding:

      amazonbasics hdmi


      As far as ARC goes, the Amazon Basics HDMI cables work for me so I'd try one with your setup.

      Also note that ARC will require that you connect the AV receiver to the HDMI input on your TV labelled ARC. You'd also have to turn on HDMI Control (Bravia Sync on Sony TVs) onboard both the TV and the receiver to be able to use ARC You'd also need to turn ARC on onboard the receiver. The TV's speaker output option would need to be set to the option that relates to your receiver and ARC. You don't relate what if any settings you've configured in relation to ARC, but the TV and receiver will not automatically be configured for ARC and you have to configure it to utilise the ARC function if wanting to use this feature.
       
      Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
    17. Joe Fernand

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      As above ARC is dependent on HDMI CEC (not Ethernet) being enabled on both devices - and more importantly playing ball, there are plenty of 'multi brand' CEC/ARC enabled kit combinations which don't!

      As Dante says you can try a different cable to eliminate that being the issue.

      I'd also suggest you strip the system back to just the TV + Soundbar and a single HDMI cable to test out CEC/ARC with your existing cable - that will rule out any of the other devices connected to the Soundbar/TV causing a problem on the CEC line.

      Ensure you are powering devices off at the wall when connecting/disconnecting HDMI cables and ensure the TV and Soundbar are running the latest Firmware updates.

      Joe
       
    18. Kelmscott

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      Thanks, guys

      I know I had it all set up OK - not a trivial task! - since, as I said, it all worked with a more modern cable.

      This morning, I tried it with one of the other two 2006 Qunex cables, and it worked, giving ARC. So I tried the first one again, and that now works.

      Strange, but welcome. I had been hot-swapping the HDMI cables, which I know isn't recommended, but that doesn't seem to have been the issue.

      So yes, my cables created when HDMI 1.3 was current and 1.4 in the future, certainly do carry the ARC channel, as I thought, and as you confirmed, should indeed be the case.

      I am also aware, as you describe, that cables aren't rated for a particular HDMI standard, only equipment is.

      But I think these cables existed before the standard speed/high speed dichotomy was established? Though perhaps the CAT 2 they are described as means that even back then, they were what is now known as High Speed?

      Certainly, they have no trouble with 3D, and my current BluRay player can upscale to the UHD on the TV, though the TV does not support 3D so I don't have the full panoply of bandwidth demand here.
       
    19. Joe Fernand

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      Welcome to the world of HDMI troubleshooting :)

      Great you got it sorted.

      Joe
       
    20. dante01

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      It has nothing to do with when your cables were manufactured. It is more likely to be an issue with their manufacture itself? The issues you mention whereby some cables have not worked with ARC is down to poorly made cables. Any cable can have a fault and those poorly manufactured tend to have more faults than those made to a better standard. The real world cost difference in relation to manufacturing costs would be insignificant given the price some brands sell their cables for. Price does not determine quality when it comes to HDMI cables!

      The categorisation of cables has been in existence prior to HDMI version 1.3 so your cables would ordinarily have been category 2 High Speed and were marketed by QED as such. Irrespective of this, the rating relates to video bandwidth and not audio conveyance. The audio capabilities of Standard cat1 and High Speed Cat2 cables are exactly the same.

      Anyway, as already stated, HDMI is not hot swoppable and you should avoid switching cables while hardware is powered up for 2 reasons. Firstly, you can damage the hardware if hot swopping HDMI cables and secondly, HDMI has to reinstate handshaking between devices and this is best achieved by powering the devices down and back up again to perform this task. The latter of these 2 if probably why ARC started to work for you?
       
      Last edited: Nov 18, 2015

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