What is eARC and why do you need it in your TV?

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With quite a few concepts, standards, connections and different options – the world of home TVs can be confusing. Concepts that have joined in recent years include ARC and eARC, which may already be on your existing TV, or will be part of your next TV. Using it properly can enrich your viewing experience, and even make it more accurate. So let’s get to know all about this.

About ARC, eARC and everything in between

ARC is short for Audio Return Channel, and it simply allows you to save some cables and complications mainly on the way to a better sound experience, assuming you are not listening to sound from the TV, but using some external sound system. It was first introduced with the HDMI 1.4 standard back in 2009, and it simply allows the HDMI port of devices to function on both an output standard and a sound input standard. A kind of two-way lane.

So, instead of having to plug a separate Audio Out cable from your TV into a receiver or sound projector, you can simply use one HDMI cable to connect to your sound system. This way, any sound that appears on the TV will go through the HDMI cable to your sound device. This is very important if you are using apps for example using your smart TV.

In addition to saving you the single cable, you can sometimes earn more HDMI inputs on the TV, or save yourself the need for a tangle of cables coming into the TV itself. You can connect all your devices however you want to the receiver, and you can connect the receiver to the TV with a single HDMI cable that will be responsible for both the picture and the sound.

Most of the time, the ARC connection also supports what is known as HDMI-CEC (although other ports may also support it) that allows you to control devices connected to it, such as game consoles, players or even converters – using the TV remote control. This device also allows you to turn on only your PlayStation for example, and the console will already make sure the TV turns on and then switches to the correct Input. In case you are connected to a sound projector at all, you can dispense with the projector of the sound projector and from now on only use the remote control of the TV to increase or decrease the sound. pleasure.

With the transition to HDMI 2.1, the new eARC standard (short for Enhanced Audio Return Channel) was also launched, which besides doing everything the standard ARC connection does, it is also capable of transmitting much more information, and doing so much faster. . In practice, you can also play uncompressed sound, and on devices like Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD and more, and enjoy surround effects in home theater systems and supportive soundbars. The eARC standard also automatically activates Lip Sync correction, so that it prevents the unbearable delay between the sound and the image that happens many times with standard connections to external sound systems.

In short, beyond the convenience and order of your cables, eARC allows you to simply make the most of the sound that your TV and other systems can produce. If you listen to sound directly from your TV speakers, we’re sorry to hear (sorry for the pun), but many have already upgraded to different receivers, speakers and sound bars so that their TV not only radiates a good picture, but also so they can enjoy a sane sound experience , And just for them these ports were born.

It’s time to look through the specs

Assuming you have a sound projector or receiver you bought in the last decade, it’s very likely that it already supports ARC, it’s your TV that you’re not sure you support. If it’s a TV you bought in recent years, it’s more likely that one of your HDMI ports supports ARC, which will mainly allow you to save such a cable, but if your TV was bought very recently (especially 2019 models and beyond), there’s a good chance it even has EARC support.

Note that in the case of an ARC port (and not an eARC), there may be situations where the old device on your TV will cause even if you try to listen to the 5.1 channel sound, it will become 2 channels, and I have sometimes encountered situations of noticeable delay in the sound. Sometimes it is better for you to connect to a receiver or sound projector using a separate cable, but you will not know until you try.

All you have to do is take a look at the connection area of ​​your TV. Usually, one of the ports will be marked with the words ARC or eARC, as well as the port from your receiver or projector-sound. If you can not find it, it’s time to look up the specifications of your specific model online and see if the device appears there.

Did you find the desired ports? Greetings – this is the exit you want to keep an eye on. If you have so far connected your streamer or console to it, it is worth transferring them to another port that does not have the ARC marking on it. It is recommended to connect an HDMI cable to the ARC or eARC port on the other side, on the other side of which your receiver or sound projector will be waiting.

Assuming your TV is new enough, it will stop playing the sound through its speakers, and transfer all the sound directly to your sound projector or receiver. If she’s a little less smart, you may need to rummage through her internal menus a bit to instruct her to move the sound to an external device (usually will appear as an “External Speaker” or “AMP”).

In some cases, such as when we tested the LG C9, the connection to the eARC was not enough, and we also had to log into the system menus to enable certain features such as streaming Dolby Atmos to our sound projector, but as you already understood, your experience may be Different – Depending on the manufacturer, model and even the software update of your TV