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Need Help with ARC

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by LoveHT, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. LoveHT

    LoveHT Agent

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    I just received my new equipment and realized that the installers used an optic cable for ARC. I understand that ARC, is the audio return channel, in my install It's the sound coming from my TV back to my receiver.


    Here is my question, is the optic audio cable the best choice in audio quality to use for the ARC channel? Should I be using the HDMI cable?


    Lastly, I have heard that some set-ups have issues with ARC cutting out. How can I prevent this?


    Thanks in advance,

    Rocco
     
  2. Martino

    Martino Supporting Actor

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    Think there are 2 things here that you are confusing.


    ARC - Auto Return Channel -- lets the TV return a signal through the HDMI connection. I have my blue ray player connected to my Receiver using HDMI - then the receiver output is connected to my TV via HDMI - using the ARC enabled HDMI input on my TV. If I turn off my TV, it sends a return signal through the HDMI cable that tells the blue ray player to turn itself off. I am not sending any audio back up through this connection, and getting full surround sound from the player through the receiver - only the video is sent on to the TV. There are many threads on this form where people are hooking their players into the TV, and then using the optical cable to get the sound out of the TV - and seeing issues where their surround speakers are not working....


    Optical cable = sound source coming from the TV itself - usually down mixed to a 2.0 signal. If you are using the TV also as the receiver (no cable box/satellite box) - then you have to get the sound to the receiver somehow - just note it will probably be down-coveted to a stereo signal.


    Best setup for sound - hook whatever devices you have directly into the receiver - then hook the output of the receiver into the tv - using hdmi cable for all of it. Leave the TV set to the input that is connected to the receiver - and use your receiver as the switching point for all of your input sources...
     
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  3. LoveHT

    LoveHT Agent

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    Thanks for clearing things up.

    Here's what I'm trying to do.

    In layman's terms I have a sat stb, a blu-ray player and a smart tv. There are times when I don't want to use my receiver. I just want to use the TV's sound. (mostly when I watch the news and other programming that I'm not critical about the audio etc.)


    I had my Harmony remote programmed so that I can watch, tv, use the tv smart apps, and the blu-ray player all without the need to run the receiver. I thought pass through would do this. The installers said they needed to use arc and the optic cable to let me be able to do this.


    So you are correct, I'm def. confused. Based on the above, I hope I explained everything okay, can you help me better understand why the optical cable is needed?


    Thank you,

    Rocco
     
  4. Martino

    Martino Supporting Actor

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    OK - the hdmi cable also carries the audio signal. So if you do have a true pass through - however you are getting the video signal should also contain the audio. You should be able to listen to anything you can see on the TV screen using the TV speakers...


    Only reason I can see to add the return optical cable is if you want the smart TV apps sound to be sent to the receiver and amplified. If you are using the TV as a streaming device, or watching anything from the TV as the source - and want to hear the sound coming from the TV through your receiver/speakers.


    Also note - usually the TV speakers on modern TVs stink - so any time you can use your receiver/speaker package without having the TV speakers on is a good thing, even at lower volumes.


    I usually go into the TV menus and turn off the TV speakers all together - so they don't end up being turned on when I want to listen to anything...
     
  5. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Your AVR probably has "HDMI passthrough in standby".
     
  6. LoveHT

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I originally ran an optical cable from the TV to my receiver. I removed the cable and configured ARC via the HDMI cable. I'm happy with the results, but I have another question concerning decoding. I will post this question in another thread.


    Thanks,

    Rocco
     

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