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Do I need to use ARC? (1 Viewer)

edee_em

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I have a tuner/receiver (set top box) from TV provider, Blu-ray player and Amazon Fire stick, all attached to AVR. AVR out to TV (all connections are hdmi). So all TV and streaming and disc playing sources are before the AVR and don't rely on TV. TV is essentially a monitor.

Question 1: Do I need to connect to ARC inputs/outputs in this setup? Question 2: Am I missing anything by not?

I shut off ARC at the receiver to see if I would notice a difference and I did not. My guess (and I stress the guessing part) is that if the source of audio is the TV, then ARC would be important. As it is, my audio sources are from elsewhere so I don't need ARC. Thoughts? Thanks
 

Scott Merryfield

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If all your sources are running through your AVR, then ARC does not come into play and you can ignore it / shut it off on the AVR and display. ARC is basically used as a method to get audio that originates from the display to the AVR via the same HDMI connection that is used to send video from the AVR to the display. Since the ARC "standard" is rather vague, implementations from different manufacturers may lead to buggy behavior using ARC anyway.

When I first hooked up my current Denon AVR to my Vizio 4K display in the main home theater, I tried to get ARC working "for the heck of it". After struggling with getting everything to work properly, I just gave up and ran a Toslink optical cable from the display to the AVR for those rare instances where I have audio sourcing from the display.

I am using ARC successfully on the setup in our master bedroom, but it's just a Samsung 4K display, Roku soundbar, cable convertor box, and a rarely used BD player. The Roku soundbar doesn't have any HDMI inputs for source components, so my only options were ARC or an optical cable. ARC worked "out of the box" in this case, so I'm using it there.
 

edee_em

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Thank you gentlemen. I now recall that I ran into this issue earlier, pre firetv, when I tried to use the Netflix app from the TV and I didn't get any sound through AVR. That is a perfect application for ARC, it would seem.

This brings up two (general) more questions for me:

1. I have the HDMI cable from AVR plugged into ARC HDMI port on TV. That's not an issue, is it? I mean ARC doesn't turn on automatically because it's plugged into ARC input? I tried finding a setting that turns ARC on and off but I haven't been able to (Samsung UN65F8000afxzc model). I was able to turn it off on AVR.

2. Why am I paying for apps, on a TV, that I will not use, given my setup, as it is? It seems TV companies are pretty much competing on their OS and apps included, which obviously bumps up the price. Just as an example, would TCL Series 6 be cheaper if they didn't include Roku?

Or is better to have the apps on the TV and run the ARC, which I guess would have to be the new version, eARC, given resolution changes and such, which leads to another reason to update gear.
 

Scott Merryfield

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1. If using the ARC port on the display is not causing any issues, I wouldn't worry about it.

2. I look at the built-in apps on a display in the same way I look at a display's built-in speakers -- I don't worry about the feature if I'm not using it. It's probably cheaper for manufacturers to make and distribute fewer models and include these features in all of them, instead of offering more models -- some with the built-in apps/speakers, and some without. I feel the same way about the remotes that come with components -- since I'm using a universal remote, I really don't care about the remote that comes with the device.
 

edee_em

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1. If using the ARC port on the display is not causing any issues, I wouldn't worry about it.

2. I look at the built-in apps on a display in the same way I look at a display's built-in speakers -- I don't worry about the feature if I'm not using it. It's probably cheaper for manufacturers to make and distribute fewer models and include these features in all of them, instead of offering more models -- some with the built-in apps/speakers, and some without. I feel the same way about the remotes that come with components -- since I'm using a universal remote, I really don't care about the remote that comes with the device.
1. Thanks
2. Great analogy. Thanks
 

JohnRice

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Scott gave you a lot of great advice, as usual. I was responding on my iPad and get sick of using that stupid virtual keyboard, so since your questions had simple answers, I just gave the answers.

Personally, I hate ARC. It causes far more problems than it solves. It's really only for using streaming apps in the TV, but TVs are generally crappy for streaming, and they tend to become outdated very fast. So much better to get a Roku (great budget solution) or AppleTV (hey, it's Apple, so it's far from budget, but they work like a charm and continue to work for years) and pretend ARC doesn't even exist. Unfortunately, people spend hundreds more for supposedly fancy "Smart" TV features, then they would be much better off saving that $ on the TV and getting an external, dedicated streaming device.
 

edee_em

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John, your answers were insightful and succinct!! And your follow up confirms my thinking but you mention saving money buying a lower priced TV yet they are all including these features. I doubt I'm paying $2000 more for a Samsung over a TCL because of streaming apps so I guess it's like Scott mentioned: ignore it and move on.
 

Lord Dalek

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FYI TCL tvs run on either Android or Roku builds. Basically external boxes built in.
 

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