HDMI is the standard video input that’s used on most high-definition and smart TVs. You may have noticed that the HDMI input labeled “ARC” is located on the back of your TV. This allows two-way communication between two devices via one HDMI connection. The single HDMI connection can be used as both an audio input and output. HDMI ARC allows you to use external speakers with your TV. If it fails, it’s frustrating.
Here are the steps to resolve most HDMI ARC problems
- Once everything is powered on, disconnect the HDMI cables from your TV and soundbar/receiver.
- All devices must be powered off
- All devices should be disconnected from power outlets
- After a few seconds, reconnect power to TV and soundbar/receiver.
- All devices must be powered on.
- After a few minutes, reconnect the HDMI cables to your TV and soundbar/receiver.
- If the CEC setting is still disabled on your TV, it may not be working.
You may also need to make sure your audio device supports the right audio format. Sometimes, you may have to enable PCM for the output if your Blu-ray player is connected to a gaming console.
HDMI ARC works great when it is working properly. It can be a little bit difficult to set it up properly the first time. HDMI ARC is often not able to work due to improper settings. This could be the input device, output device, or the TV itself.
It can also be more complicated. You’ve come to the right place if you are having HDMI ARC problems and are frustrated trying to get it working correctly! Continue reading to find out how to fix HDMI ARC problems!
How HDMI ARC and eARC work Normally
We have already discussed how eARC can be used alongside HDMI ARC. Both allow audio signals to travel simultaneously along the HDMI cable in both directions.
This will allow you to reduce the number of cables in your home theater setup. It also allows you to control volume using a single remote.
HDMI cables are able to transmit both audio and video signals using a single cable. Because it is easier to connect two devices with one cable, audio and video can be combined in one cable. Standard HDMI does not allow you to separate audio and video. This can lead to costly and complicated problems.
Both HDMI ARC (or eARC) are useful because most TV speakers have poor audio quality. ARC and eARC make it easy to connect to soundbars, surround sound systems or any other external speaker system.
HDMI ARC explained
HDMI ARC is the solution to problems with HDMI splitting audio and video. We have more troubleshooting tips in our guide. HDMI ARC allows audio to be transmitted in both directions, as stated previously. It can transmit both uncompressed stereo sound or compressed surround sound through one HDMI connection.
HDMI ARC transmits stereo sound and compressed audio over one cable. It can be difficult to set up HDMI ARC. This is because it requires both your TV and your devices to do so.
HDMI eARC has a wide range of audio codecs and audio quality. It can produce the best audio quality such as Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio.
eARC, however, is still a new feature that is not widely available on home theater equipment. Manufacturers are making progress and soon, nearly all devices will be HDMI compatible with eARC.
There are reasons your HDMI ARC/eARC connection might not be working
HDMI ARC or eARC are not necessary if you can just listen to the audio from your TV’s speakers. If you’re an audiophile who prefers to use a soundbar such as this Yamaha one (on Amazon), or a home theatre surround sound system, HDMI ARC/eARC are your best friends.
HDMI ARC is a method of connecting one HDMI cable to an HDMI input on your TV. The cable can be connected to an audio receiver that is also connected to an input device such as a Bluray player, gaming console or Bluray player. The HDMI connection will also be indicated if your TV has an HDMIARC output.
After connecting all your devices (TV, surround sound receiver, speaker, input device/Bluray player), you can get started. You will need to troubleshoot the problem and make it work again if it doesn’t.
Troubleshooting and fixing HDMI ARC issues
Before you begin troubleshooting devices, make sure they are compatible with ARC/eARC. You cannot use the ARC/eARC feature if both devices are incompatible. You will need to connect your TV with an audio system using an optical cable or audio cable.
Once you’ve checked that everything is connected correctly and the ARC audio does not work, you will need some settings to change. You will need to adjust the settings for HDMI ARC because every device has a different menu structure and setting.
However, CEC and ARC must be enabled in each device’s settings.
TV/Smart TV – Navigate to settings, audio, and then enable ARC/CEC. Each TV is unique, so settings might be different for each one.
Receiver- The ARC setting can be a button on your receive, or it could require that you navigate to a settings screen on your small display.
Input device – This could be a Bluray player, gaming console (Xbox or Playstation), etc. Other inputs may also be possible. You will need to navigate to ARC and enable it in the settings menu, just like with other devices.
HDMI ARC Audio Only or Some Audio
If you still have audio problems, such as no audio or only a few speakers sounding, you may need to change another setting on the TV.
Navigate to an audio setting where you can toggle between bitstream and PCM. Change it from one to another and check if your audio problem is fixed.
Quick Troubleshooting Tips for HDMI ARC
HDMI eARC can use the same troubleshooting techniques as those shown below. HDMI eARC is “plug and go” so you won’t have any problems as long as your devices are compatible. These are quick troubleshooting tips if ARC is not detected by your TV during setup.
- Plug the HDMI cables back in and unplug them.
- All devices should be powered cycled – power them off, unplug the wall outlet, plug in again, and then turn on again.
- Turn HDMI-CEC On
- You can change the sound settings of your TV
- Change the ARC/eARC setting, or TV audio input mode to “Automated” or “On”.