HDMI® ARC is nowaday a common feature on televisions. It enables TVs to output audio to external speakers or soundbar and also allows for two-way communication between the TV and the external device.
HDMI® ARC is also a great way to improve your audio experience when watching TV, and it’s also convenient because you can even use your TV remote to control the volume of your external speakers. If you just got a new sound bar and are wondering how to connect it to your TV, read on for a step-by-step guide.
Read more: Best HDMI ARC Cables
HDMI® ARC Basics and Benefits
HDMI ARC stands for “High-Definition Multimedia Interface Audio Return Channel”. To use HDMI ARC, your TV and external audio device must both have an HDMI® ARC port.
HDMI® ARC ports look similar to regular HDMI ports, but they usually have a label that says “HDMI® ARC” or “ARC”. If you’re not sure if your TV or sound bar have HDMI ARC ports, check the manual or look for the label.
To connect a sound bar to a TV with HDMI® ARC, follow these simple steps:
- Connect one end of the HDMI cable to the HDMI® ARC port on your TV.
- Connect the other end of the HDMI cable to the HDMI® ARC port on your sound bar.
If your TV only has a regular HDMI port, you can still use it with a sound bar, but you’ll need to use a separate audio cable. Check the TV’s manual to see what type of audio output it has (RCA, 3.5mm, etc.), and then get a cable that’s compatible with both your TV and sound bar.
The main benefit of using HDMI® ARC is that it simplifies the connection between your TV and external audio device. You only need one cable (HDMI®), and you can use your TV remote to control the sound bar’s volume. Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) is the technology that allows this to happen.
However, the CEC feature doesn’t always active by default. If your TV remote isn’t controlling the sound bar’s volume, check the settings on both your TV and sound bar to see if CEC needs to be turned on. And not all remote controls come with this feature, make sure to check the one you have or buy a new one.
Use The Receiver/Soundbar As The Hub
You’re looking to declutter your home entertainment setup, especially if you have a wall-mounted TV, one option is to use your receiver or soundbar as the hub for all of your connected devices. This way, you can keep all of your cables hidden behind your television or in a nearby cabinet, and still enjoy all of your favorite content.
In this case, make sure that the receiver or soundbar must have HDMI input and HDMI (eARC/ARC) output. Example below will help you understand more about this.
To do this, simply connect all of your devices (streaming media player, Blu-ray player, game console like PS5, etc.) to your receiver or soundbar using HDMI inputs cables. Then, connect the receiver or soundbar to your TV with another HDMI ARC cable.
This way, all of the video and audio signals will go through the receiver or soundbar, and you’ll only have to deal with a single set of cables.
HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC and Optical
HDMI eARC stands for “Enhanced Audio Return Channel”. It is a newer version of the HDMI ARC standard, and it offers several improvements over the original HDMI ARC standard.
Some of the key benefits of HDMI eARC include:
- Support for higher quality audio formats, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
- Faster data transfer speeds for improved audio quality
- Higher audio quality (up to 32 channels and 24-bit/192kHz resolution)
In order to take advantage of these improvements, both your TV and external audio device must support HDMI eARC. If only one device supports HDMI eARC, it will default to the older HDMI ARC standard.
Optical is a type of digital audio connection that uses fiber optic cables. It is commonly used to connect TVs and sound bars, but it can also be used to connect other types of audio devices. Optical connections are not as widely used as they once were, but they can still be found on some older devices. If your TV or sound bar has an optical input, you can use it with a compatible cable.
Read also: Best HDMI 2.1 Cable
HDMI 2.1 is the latest version of the HDMI standard and offers a number of significant improvements over previous versions. The most notable improvement is support for much higher data rates, up to 48 Gbps. This allows for much higher resolution and frame rate support, including 8K video at 60 Hz and 4K video at 120 Hz. HDMI 2.1 also introduces new features such as Dolby Vision HDR, dynamic HDR, and eARC support.
HDMI 2.1 is compatible with all previous versions of HDMI. However, to take advantage of the new higher data rates, a new category of HDMI cable, called Ultra High Speed HDMI, is required. Ultra High Speed HDMI cables are currently available from a number of manufacturers and are compatible with all HDMI 2.1 devices.
To identify an HDMI 2.1 cable, look for the Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable Certification logo.
In this article, we have looked at how to connect a sound bar to a TV with HDMI ARC. We hopethis article has been helpful, and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask us in the comments section below. Thanks for reading! And if you are looking for a sound bar for your TV, we recommend checking out our reviews of the best sound bars.