5.1 via ATV 4K with no ARC in TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by twobelowpar, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. twobelowpar macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2013
    Looking for some help here.. I'm not super knowledgeable about this kind of stuff. I have an ATV 4K, an older (circa 2010) Panasonic HTiB which has a Bluray player doubling as a receiver, and a Samsung plasma which does not have an ARC input and apparently does not support 5.1 pass-through with digital audio output. Am I SOL for getting 5.1 sound through my ATV 4K now?

    The ATV is connected by HDMI to the TV. I have a digital audio cable going from the Bluray/receiver to the TV as this seems to be my only option. I don't believe the it has an HDMI out either.

    I'm in the market for a new sound system so I may have to do that if I want 5.1 with my streaming?
  2. jtara macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2009
    ARC isn't an input - it's an output. It stands for "Audio Return Channel". Unless you are watching over-the-air TV on your TV's tuner, it's irrelevant. It sends the audio from the TV back to your receiver (or Home Theatre in a Box... I had to look that up!)

    In any case, ARC is totally irrelevant with regard to Apple TV.

    I'm unfamiliar with the differences between an HTIB and traditional AV receivers. But if you purchase an AV receiver, it will have multiple HDMI inputs. You will connect the ATV to one of the HDMI inputs. You will get 5.1 sound over the HDMI cable.

    FWIW, I have a Samsung plasma, though it does have ARC. (And I DO watch over-the-air TV), and a Denon AV receiver.
  3. twobelowpar thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2013
    My receiver (which is really just the BR player) doesn’t have HDMI input. Only digital audio optical. Maybe that is my issue.
  4. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    Does your HTIB have a TOSLINK (optical) input? If so, search for "HDMI audio extractor" on Amazon. These are little boxes that can extract the audio signal from an HDMI connection and output it on TOSLINK. They cost around $20-30.
  5. jtara macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2009
    You mentioned you are in the market for a "new sound system". I made the (perhaps wrong) assumption that this time you would be shopping for an AV receiver. All of them have multiple HDMI inputs, so you won't have this problem.

    Aside: I hate the mis-use of the term "receiver" by the industry. It's a legacy term that once meant an FM radio receiver with built-in amplifier. It was meant to distinguish between that and separate radio Tuner and Amplifier components. Today's "AV Receiver" is more a multi-channel amplifier (5.1, 7.1) combined with an AV switching center, and may not even contain an actual radio tuner! (My old Denon 3311 does, indeed, contain an AM/FM tuner. I never use the tuner!)

    The audio extractor would be a solution should you decide to stick with your current setup using an HTIB. I would urge you towards an AV receiver, though, because using your TV as a source switcher has some limitations!
  6. waw74 macrumors 68040

    May 27, 2008
    ARC isn't an output, it's a feature on an input.
    depending on what you're doing, the TV will receive audio and video on that input, or send audio down the same cable.

    Not true
    my AV receiver is a few years old, and doesn't support 4k, so i have the aTV plugged directly into my television
    i then use ARC to get the sound from the aTV back to the receiver.
    same goes for my 4K blu-ray player
    I also used it when using the "smart" part of my TV, before the aTV4k came out, to watch netflix/amazon

    to the original poster...
    if you go the audio extractor route, the $20-30 ones mentioned above, may not support 4k, so be sure to fully read the specs.

    take a look at this one from monoprice, it's $50, but will do what you want, and monoprice has a pretty good reputation.

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5 February 8, 2018