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What Is ARC Audio Return Channel?

Marc Green
January 28, 2022
What Is ARC Audio Return Channel?

Audio Return Channel is a feature that is available on TVs, radios, and home theater systems starting with HDMI version 1.4, commonly known as High Speed HDMI. In theory, it's a pretty basic function that allows you to transport audio from your TV (think of the built-in tuner) to your home theater set or receiver through an HDMI cable so that you can hear it via your speakers. All of this is accomplished using the same HDMI wire that transmits audio and video from the home theater system or receiver to the television. As a result, Audio Return Channel works both ways.

The Audio Return Channel (ARC) uses a single High Speed HDMI cable to link your TV and audio system, eliminating the need for a separate composite audio or optical line.

In brief, you just need one HDMI cable to display images from your receiver or home theater system (such as Blu-ray / DVD movies) to your TV and to listen to audio from your TV. Of course, you don't use both at the same time; one time, the picture of a film is sent to the television, and the other time, the audio from a television programme is sent to your home theater system. Previously, you had to run a separate audio wire from the TV to your audio system in order to hear TV broadcasts (through the built-in tuner) through your speakers; today, one HDMI cable suffices.

When connecting an Audio/Video (A/V) receiver or surround sound system to a TV, the ARC function removes the need for an extra composite audio wire or an optical cable. 

ARC, or Audio Return Channel, is one of the greatest and least-understood HDMI features. It's a function that allows you to streamline your system and is compatible with the majority of televisions, receivers, and soundbars.

ARC uses an HDMI connection to transport audio from a TV back to a receiver or soundbar in its most basic form. That means you may utilize a single connection for both audio and video, such as via your TV's Netflix app or a connected gaming console, and then switch between them using your TV.

To learn more, click here.

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