Question What does "eARC compliant" mean in practice?

lookandlearn

Novice Member
I am considering buying a new TV and soundbar that are equipped with eARC but need to have some questions answered first. My questions may seem naïve but without answers to them everything is unclear.



First, I notice that the eARC ports on such TVs and soundbars as have them are labelled ‘eARC out’. There is no ‘eArc in’ port unlike with standard HDMI ports. I’ve always thought eArc was bidirectional so why should they be so labelled? Can the eARC out ports on both be connected to each other or does each need to be connected to a standard HDMI in/ARC port and if so, does that negate the benefits of eARC?



How is equipment without eARC, such as a Blu-ray player, to be connected to one with eARC? (I have not come across any that is.) Should the HDMI out port on the player be connected to an HDMI in port on the eARC equipped TV or soundbar or to the eARC out port? What would be the effect of either scenario on the audio and video output? Would the advantages of eARC be lost, given repeated statements that all devices in the chain must be eARC compliant to benefit from them? I also have a satellite dish but noreceiver I have so far come across has HDMI 2.1. let alone eARC. What would be the effect of connecting that to an eARC equipped TV or Soundbar by whatever port?



The elephant in the room, though usually ignored by AV equipment fans, is lip sync. For very many, it is no use having the most marvellous audio and video available if they are not in sync. That makes video with sound painful to watch if not altogether unwatchable. eARC is supposed to eliminate the lip sync problem. The protocol makes that “mandatory” although there is no provision for enforcing the mandate so you can’t tell from the sales talk whether the claim of “eARC compliant” means that it has been complied with. Does anyone know from experience whether it has been an any particular instances? It would be good to know before laying out large amounts of money rather than finding out too late that it has not.



I hope the cognoscenti on this forum do not regard my questions as too naïve to bother with. They are just the sort of questions people wondering whether it is worth while getting expensive “eARC compliant” equipment hope to find answers to on a forum like this. And not the answer to wait a year or two, as the same questions will arise then as now.
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
e-arc supports the so called high resolution lossless audio codecs like DTS Master HD audio found on bluray and 4K Bluray disks and streaming services like Disney+ which has up to Dolby Atmos sound.

 

gibbsy

Moderator
eARC is a standard that has been adopted by the majority of manufacturers and is far more stable than the old ARC connections which was instigated by manufacturers in different ways. eARC should be far more stable. As above you would need eARC to be able to use HD audio formats. ARC is only capable of a maximum of 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus and any associated Atmos metadata. Both amp/soundbar and TV need to be eARC compliant for it to work.

eARC doesn't effect blu ray plays as they are output only and doesn't need an audio return channel. So they don't require ARC or eARC compliance.

I've never used a soundbar and so cannot comment on lip sync issues with them but with AV amps it can be controlled. I don't have any lip sync issues between my TV, including the Netflix and Prime apps and my Denon AV amp.
 

lookandlearn

Novice Member
e-arc supports the so called high resolution lossless audio codecs like DTS Master HD audio found on bluray and 4K Bluray disks and streaming services like Disney+ which has up to Dolby Atmos sound.

e-arc supports the so called high resolution lossless audio codecs like DTS Master HD audio found on bluray and 4K Bluray disks and streaming services like Disney+ which has up to Dolby Atmos sound.


That's helpful. My Blu-ray player (DMP UB 900) can send content as a bitstream so it is processed by the receiving device (TV or AVR/Soundbar). I assume that if that device is eARC compliant it will give you the claimed advantages. Would that apply to other source devices? What if they can't do bitstream, like all available satellite dishes?
 
That's helpful. My Blu-ray player (DMP UB 900) can send content as a bitstream so it is processed by the receiving device (TV or AVR/Soundbar). I assume that if that device is eARC compliant it will give you the claimed advantages. Would that apply to other source devices? What if they can't do bitstream, like all available satellite dishes?

All digital devices will send bitstream or PCM -either will be decoded by your soundbar/AVR. As Gibbsy says above, you don't need to worry about using e ARC with Blu ray, just plug it straight into the soundbar and it will output the video to the TV while processing the audio.

The reason that the TV eARC HDMI port is labelled as "out" is because it outputs audio. The eARC port on the soundbar will b labelled as "out" because it outputs both video & audio. You just need to connect the respective eARC HDMI ports together so they can "talk" to each other.

With regards to lipsync, I have an AVR not a soundbar, but have not experienced any issues. No need to overthink it all!
 

Comfysofa

Standard Member
Ive found ARC to be sh*t at best...ive got a 3d OLED LG tv a VU+ receiver and a denon X3400 - and while it kinda works....i still end up using 3 remotes....i did get it all working then, for whatever reason it just decided to forget other stuff was plugged into it....never got it working again...
 

rincage

Standard Member
Seriously though. I have eArc working on my setup but the have no idea what logic underpins it as there is no predictability.
 

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