What’s the Hype About eARC? The Only 4 Things You Need to Know!

What’s the Hype About eARC?

You may have read about HDMI ARC and its benefits in our older blog. HDMI ARC has immensely simplified the home theater setup and connections process. In many ways, this technology was a precursor to advanced features in home theatre systems.

Just to recap, HDMI ARC stands for Audio Return Channel. It simplifies connectivity issues when you need to route your source audio from regular or Smart TVs to your Home Theater Speakers. With this, you can enjoy high-quality audio from your TV movie on your Soundbar or sound system with just one cable. It saves you the hassle of connecting multiple cables. You may want to watch our previous video to learn more. We’ve linked it in the description of this video.

While HDMI ARC is great, it does have some limitations. This is where the new and improved eARC steps up. It offers all the features of ARC and then some more. eARC is a huge step forward in AV and home theater technology and it would definitely simplify TV audio at home. So, what’s the whole hype about HDMI eARC? Ooberpad India’s blog demystifies this technology and shares the only 4 things you need to know about it.

The Breakown

Enhanced Audio Return Channel (also known as eARC) is the next generation of ARC. It’s a feature being implemented in the upcoming HDMI 2.1 specification. The main benefit of eARC is a big boost in bandwidth and speed. This allows you to send higher-quality audio from your TV to a soundbar or AV receiver.

  1. eARC will make it possible for TVs to consistently output high-quality Dolby Atmos and even allow lossless Dolby Atmos pass-through. With eARC, full-resolution sound signals — including 3D surround sound formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X — can be passed back and forth from your TV and audio systems. It is even possible when the signal comes from over-the-air broadcasts, internal streaming apps, or Blu-ray players or game consoles connected directly to an eARC-enabled TV.
    HDMI Audio + Video
  2. eARC outputs in the connection between TVs (output) and receivers (input) will see a bandwidth boost from the previous 1 MBps in ARC to a whopping 38 MBps in eARC. This will significantly improve the viewing experience especially in gaming, streaming, and live sports.

  3. eARC specifications also make Lip Sync Correction mandatory which means that picture and audio will remain in perfect sync throughout the video/audio signal path, even if there are multiple types of equipment in the chain.

  4. eARC will no longer rely on the HDMI CEC control protocol for discovery and pairing of other equipment. It has its own dedicated data channel, which allows connected devices to exchange information about which audio formats are supported (and not supported) at each end. The system will automatically select and use the optimal format.

The chart below will you a clearer picture of the main differences between Toslink, HDMI ARC, and HDMI eARC as proposed by the HDMI.org - the organisation behind the AV standard.

Differences between Toslink, HDMI ARC, and HDMI eARC

The Takeaway

On paper, HDMI eARC should make the handshake between compatible devices much smoother and nullify the need to activate HDMI CEC so operating multiple products shouldn’t require any extra steps to get things up and running. Finally, HDMI eARC will not only minimize the cable clutter but also bring in a host of new and much-needed features. Like all technologies, the future of home theater is announced and planned long before it becomes the standard. When it does, count on Ooberpad to bring you all the latest scoop on it. In fact, we already have a few AV receivers on Ooberpad with support for HDMI eARC. Feel free to check them out.

We have also done a video on HDMI eARC available on our YouTube channel. Watch it to better understand this upcoming technology.



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