What is HDMI ARC?

by James

Almost everyone knows what an HDMI cable is and what it is used for. But what is HDMI ARC? We’ll explain it to you.

In the past, HDMI was mainly used in everyday life to connect the DVD player to the TV. Today, it’s more likely to be the Playstation, the Nintendo Switch or the Blu-Ray player. So HDMI is still used. But what HDMI ARC is for, we explain here.

HDMI is the abbreviation for High Definition Multimedia Interface. The HDMI cable is the interface between devices such as TVs, laptops, Blu-Ray players or game consoles, i.e. devices for audio and video playback. ARC, on the other hand, stands for Audio Return Channel and is a function integrated into HDMI. This function allows the transmission of audio signals in both directions. In fact, it only requires a single HDMI cable between your TV and other devices.

In the past, audio signals that do not come directly from the TV or laptop, but from external sources such as DVD players or game consoles, had to be connected to an AV receiver or soundbar via extra cables. As a result, the sound was then played back via external speakers. This could always become a problem. Apart from the complexity, there was a loss in audio quality and the synchronization of image and audio was not always optimal, so the sound ran ahead or behind the picture. Thanks to ARC, the audio transmission between the devices also runs without an additional audio cable. HDMI ARC also supports modern audio formats such as Dolby Digital, Dolby Atmos, and DTS:X.It

is important to note that the connected devices are also all compatible with HDMI ARC for ARC to work properly. You’ll also need a high-speed HDMI cable to ensure reasonable audio quality. These HDMI cables transmit a speed of 8.16 GBit/s and have a classic HDMI connection, but also Mini HDMI.

In the meantime, HDMI eARC, short for Enhanced Audio Return Channel, is even a further development to ARC. In comparison, eARC offers higher bandwidth and also enables the transmission of lossless high-definition audio such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. If your device is compatible with eARC, you should also use the right HDMI cables for sufficient quality. Usually, a high-speed HDMI cable will do, but ultra-high-speed HDMI cables are also suitable for eARC.

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