Question Will two HDMI outs produce better sound vs ARC?

d418rf

Standard Member
Having recently upgraded to a 4K TV, I'm looking to purchase a 4K Bluray player. My existing AV receiver does not support 4K, so I connect devices directly to the TV and connect the TV to the receiver via ARC.

When reading reviews of 4K Bluray player, whether they have two HDMI outs (one for video to TV, and one for audio to AV receiver) seems to be a big consideration.

In my current setup, if I buy a Bluray player with just 1 HDMI, connect it to the TV and have the TV send the sound to the AV receiver via ARC, will I get the same sound quality as if I connected a second HDMI cable for audio directly from the Bluray into the AV receiver?
 

GoingGoingGone

Distinguished Member
Having recently upgraded to a 4K TV, I'm looking to purchase a 4K Bluray player. My existing AV receiver does not support 4K, so I connect devices directly to the TV and connect the TV to the receiver via ARC.

When reading reviews of 4K Bluray player, whether they have two HDMI outs (one for video to TV, and one for audio to AV receiver) seems to be a big consideration.

In my current setup, if I buy a Bluray player with just 1 HDMI, connect it to the TV and have the TV send the sound to the AV receiver via ARC, will I get the same sound quality as if I connected a second HDMI cable for audio directly from the Bluray into the AV receiver?
No to the question in your post and yes to the question in the thread title.
ARC cannot pass HD soundtracks, 2nd HDMI cable can.
Although this depends if your AVR can process HD soundtracks (True HD/Atmos, DTS HD/DTS-X). One of the main benefits of UHD 4K blu-rays is the higher bitrate HD soundtracks particularly Atmos/DTS-X ones.
 

d418rf

Standard Member
Thank you @doug56hl, and well answered given the discrepancy in the question!
My AVR (Sony STR-DH820) supports True HD and DTS-HD. I'll make sure to buy a Bluray player that has a dedicated audio HDMI out.

Then potentially look to upgrade my AVR soon.

Thanks.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
The problem with ARC in my experience is that it might only carry stereo audio.

When I did the TV in my man cave my plan was to send my PC direct to the TV and then down to the receiver over ARC. My fire box and bluray went via the AVR to a single HDMI on the TV.

The idea was great in principle, all the movie stuff was on one HDMI channel and the PC/Gaming stuff was on another HDMI channel. That meant I could set the TV mode on one HDMI to ‘movie’ and on the other, ‘game’.

But it all fell apart when I found that I was only getting stereo down the ARC. I generally found documentation is vague and sparse, did lots of experimentation and lots of research but concluded that for some reason my Sony TV only sends stereo over ARC (my suspicion, is the designers only considered that you would use it for a 2.1 sound bar).

That was some years ago, so things may have improved, but it still makes me wary of ARC.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Indiana Jones

Moderator
The problem with ARC in my experience is that it might only carry stereo audio.

When I did the TV in my man cave my plan was to send my PC direct to the TV and then down to the receiver over ARC. My fire box and bluray went via the AVR to a single HDMI on the TV.

The idea was great in principle, all the movie stuff was on one HDMI channel and the PC/Gaming stuff was on another HDMI channel. That meant I could set the TV mode on one HDMI to ‘movie’ and on the other, ‘game’.

But it all fell apart when I found that I was only getting stereo down the ARC. I generally found documentation is vague and sparse, did lots of experimentation and lots of research but concluded that for some reason my Sony TV only sends stereo over ARC (my suspicion, is the designers only considered that you would use it for a 2.1 sound bar).

That was some years ago, so things may have improved, but it still makes me wary of ARC.

Cheers,

Nigel
My Sony TV from 2017 can do DD/DTS 5.1 over ARC.
 

simon194

Well-known Member
My Sony TV from 2017 can do DD/DTS 5.1 over ARC.
As does my 2016 LG.

It will change when eARC starts appearing because then the lossless formats should be supported although I think the AVR also has to support eARC as well.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The best way is dual HDMI from the player, one for video to the TV and the second for audio to the receiver. Some TVs can pass DD/DTS 5.1 from the ARC, or optical out, from external sources such as a connected player whilst older sets cannot. As an example of old Panasonic VT65 plasma could only pass PCM 2.0 from outside sources whilst my new Panasonic FZ802 OLED passes DD 5.1.

eARC is going to set a new easier standard but everything in the chain will need to be eARC compliant.
 

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