HDMI-ARC (or Audio Return Channel) is a feature that allows audio to pass both ways along an HDMI cable. In practice, this will allow you to route the audio output from your TV (for free-to-air channels or paid services such as Foxtel) back into your home audio system.
This can be useful, as most modern home theatre setups will have all external devices (Blu-Ray players, Apple/Android TV boxes, gaming consoles etc) running directly into your audio receiver to output the sound, which then passes the image to your TV for viewing.
Ordinarily, you would need to use an additional connection (usually an S/PDIF or optical cable) to route the audio from your TV back into your soundbar or amplifier. ARC removes the need for this, as the signal can travel in either direction along the cable.
ARC also has the advantage of allowing you to utilise your TV remote to control your sound system as the commands are transmitted to it over HDMI, which can assist in the ease of use of the product and reduce clutter in your household.
If you wish to utilise HDMI-ARC:
- You must first ensure that both your TV and audio device support this feature. Always refer to the user manuals to confirm the capabilities of your products.
- Ordinarily, only one HDMI port on either product will support ARC. A compatible product will typically have “ARC” written under the appropriate HDMI port.
- Ensure that you are using an HDMI cable that supports v1.4 or higher. Any HDMI cable purchased brand-new after 2010 should be compatible.
- Connect your HDMI cable to the port listed as “ARC” or “HDMI OUT” on your soundbar or receiver, and the other end to the “ARC” socket on your TV.
- The ARC enabled port will usually be marked as #1 on your TV, whereas most sound systems will allocate this to port #2 instead.
- You may need to enable ARC through your TV’s system menus - please refer to the documentation for your model to confirm this.
- This may also be true of your soundbar or amplifier - you would again need to refer to the user manual for further instructions.
- Please ensure you have set both your TV and sound bar's audio format to PCM or stereo - our current soundbar models do not support Dolby Surround.
From here, you should be able to change the video input on your TV to free-to-air TV (DTV), and hear audio playback from whichever channel you are viewing without issue.