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Is It Pointless to Enable eARC on My TV If My Soundbar Doesn’t Support It?

purdnost

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 2, 2018
179
33
I recently purchased a LG CX TV that supports eARC. My Apple TV 4K also supports eARC. My Bose TV Speaker soundbar, however, does not.

I purchased HDMI 2.1 cables for video and audio connections, so I assume the data transfer is better.

Would it do me any good to enable eARC on my TV, considering my soundbar doesn’t support it?
 

priitv8

macrumors 68040
Jan 13, 2011
3,710
511
Estonia
No, you won't get any benefit from enabling it.
PS appleTV does not support eARC in the sense that it does not have ARC channel at all in its HDMI port.
PPS to get maximum audio experience from appleTV connect it to soundbar, not the TV.
 
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Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,903
1,518
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
eArc is more relevant when passing DTS-HD MA and TrueHD from the tv to an audio device that supports lossless audio. Also, the Apple TV can't output lossless audio other than uncompressed pcm with Infuse Pro.
 
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nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,909
3,740
I recently purchased a LG CX TV that supports eARC. My Apple TV 4K also supports eARC. My Bose TV Speaker soundbar, however, does not.

I purchased HDMI 2.1 cables for video and audio connections, so I assume the data transfer is better.

Would it do me any good to enable eARC on my TV, considering my soundbar doesn’t support it?
Apple TV 4K does not support eARC, nor does it need to.

eARC (or ARC) is specifically for connecting TV and the audio playback device (e.g., soundbar, receiver). If your soundbar does not support eARC, there's no point enabling it. At its best, TV will auto detect and disable eARC (eARC has ARC fallback). At its worst, it will send signals your soundbar will not understand.

As for eARC's merits, beyond sending uncompressed multi-channel audio, which is also irrelevant to Apple TV 4K, it has far more reliable and robust than ARC (e.g., handshake) and can eliminate lip sync issue.
 
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priitv8

macrumors 68040
Jan 13, 2011
3,710
511
Estonia
As for eARC's merits, beyond sending uncompressed multi-channel audio, which is also irrelevant to Apple TV 4K, it has far more reliable and robust than ARC (e.g., handshake) and can eliminate lip sync issue.
It is relevant in the context, that appleTV normally decodes audio internally and outputs PCM 5.1 or 7.1 (from DD+ 7.1 source) and even PCM 7.1+Dolby MAT (in case of DD+ Atmos). So you could get appleTV's full capabilities forwarded to audio playback device (not possible with ARC or S/PDIF).
Now, the TV inbetween must support those formats as well. For that reason, I would always connect appleTV directly to sound reproducing device and not the TV.
 
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Racineur

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2013
347
77
Montréal, Québec
No, you won't get any benefit from enabling it.
PS appleTV does not support eARC in the sense that it does not have ARC channel at all in its HDMI port.
PPS to get maximum audio experience from appleTV connect it to soundbar, not the TV.
Excuse my ignorance but how do you do that? I have ATHD and I see no way to connect the HDMI cable to soundbar since there's no HDMI port to soundbar, only toslink?
 
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Obioban

macrumors regular
Oct 19, 2011
135
6
If your TV and sound bar support EARC, no need for 2 HDMI ports on the TV. Just put the TV on EARC passthrough mode and it passes the signal from the source straight through to it.

This is useful as it continues to work over multiple HDMI inputs-- e.g. I have ATV on HDMI 1, a switch on HDMI 3, an xbox on HDMI 4-- all of which pass through their sound output, unmodified and with no latency added, to the sound bar (Sonos ARC in my case) on HDMI 2, with me not needing to do anything.

To the OP: no benefit if your sound bar doesn't support it. I'm also running a CX, in the above setup.
 
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