About HDMI Cables for eARC, HDMI eARC has been with us for over a decade,, and still, we can’t get over the audio quality it gives. Now, you can enjoy this feature with almost any device in the market.
With eARC, the dream of getting experience of a movie theater in your home has become a reality. In this article, you will see eARC and which HDMI is best for this format. Let’s look into it.
Table of Contents
- What is HDMI eARC?
- Benefits of HDMI eARC
- Which HDMI cable should you buy for eARC?
- How to set up an HDMI eARC cable?
What is HDMI eARC?
eARC, or Enhanced Audio Return Channel, came with HDMI 2.1 in 2017, featuring enhanced speed, quality, and data transfer. It is the latest version of ARC, with HD audio support and lipsync as the default spec, not optional.
eARC is an advancement to the existing HDMI to support high speed and bandwidth.
Thus, it’s capable of playing the formats like Atmos and uncompressed surround sound while giving you improved audio quality.
These cables can transfer 32 audio channels while supporting 24-bit, 192 KHz uncompressed data streams at 38Mbps speed. Thus, it can transmit audio of your Blu-ray and 4k Blu-ray disc data to the receiver.
Its qualities have become a standard digital connector for many TVs, AV receivers, and projectors.
It also simplifies the setup between two devices, and you get the same result for less than half a cable connection.
Like any other standard, you also need to fulfill the requirements of the eARC HDMI as well.
Among them, the most important one is that all of your connecting devices are compatible with the eARC format.
Without it, you may not be able to see the picture or hear any sound from the speakers.
If you already have high-speed HDMI cables on your hand, you don’t need to buy new ones for the eARC connection. Also, any HDMI cable with an ethernet channel can be compatible with the eARC format.
If you need to buy a new cable, you should go for the Ultra High-speed HDMI cable. It will give you the ultimate result whether you are watching a movie or playing any game in your home theater.
Benefits of HDMI eARC
Below are the benefits of getting an HDMI eARC for your entertainment set.
HDMI eARC offers higher speed and bandwidth than other versions around you. This feature helps your TV to send good quality audio to the speakers so that you can enjoy the content fully.
These cables can transfer around 32 audio channels and 8 uncompressed data stream channels when you use them at 38Mbps.
This means that Bluray discs and other formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are compatible with this tec.
Compatible with multiple devices
As you have read, eARC is compatible with many sound formats that you come across. Moreover, if the devices accept the eARC format, it makes their connection smooth.
Thus, while using eARC, you don’t need to search and pair the devices.
Rather, it has a dedicated channel that communicates between two devices and checks whether they support each other.
Then, it tends to select the candidate with the optimal format, even if there are a lot of devices to pair.
Some additional features that you can get with eARC are
- Lip-Sync correction: With this feature, it eliminates processor delays and lets you experience matching audio and video moments.
- High Bitrate support: As it supports high-bitrate formats like Dolby Atmos, most cinemas and movie theaters use these cables for high-quality sound.
- Limitless data transfer: With eARC, you can send most of the uncompressed audio codec because it has 32 channels for audio at 38Mbps speed.
Which HDMI cable should you buy for eARC?
Caption: HDMI cables connected to the TV
Every HDMI doesn’t feature the eARC format. On the contrary, it was not available until HDMI 2.1 arrived.
eARC supports higher bandwidth and bitrate transfer over the channels. The old HDMI cables may not be capable of delivering such audio.
However, the new HDMI cables may transmit higher bandwidth signals and are compatible with 8K (uncompressed) video format.
These cables have less chance of electromagnetic interference and thus can keep the quality of the signal content over the path.
Then which one can send A/V signals to your TV and fetch the audio signals from the TV simultaneously, using eARC format fully?
Can you get HDMI 2.0 cable for eARC?
HDMI 2.0 are also known as premium High-speed HDMI cables. One of its versions has an additional ethernet channel, which it uses for an internet connection.
Now, eARC can use this additional channel to transfer the data to the other device. Thus, it is important to check that your HDMI 2.0 has ethernet compatibility, not the simple one.
Still, there are chances that you don’t get any audio or video signals with this cable. The reasons may be
- The cable doesn’t have any certification (i.e., Premium High-Speed HDMI not printed on it)
- It has a physical fault (any abrasions or burns)
- The devices you are connecting are not eARC compatible (Check the port label and user manual to confirm)
- You are using an extender (non-eARC), which disturbs the data flow as they may not support the eARC format. Thus, you must make an end-to-end link with the devices you want to connect.
Do you need an HDMI 2.1 cable for eARC?
HDMI 2.1 cable has the eARC feature in-built by default. Thus, there is no hesitation to buy these cables for supporting high-quality signals.
The only problem is that if you go for uncertified HDMI cables, they may not deliver you the quality you are expecting from them.
Hence, it’s better to avoid such cables, no matter how cheap you can get them in the market.
These cables will only work for a little while, not giving you the full eARC experience. Moreover, you will need to change them after a few months.
Additionally, there is no need for HDMI 2.1 if you already have a 2.0 version with ethernet support. Hence, save your money by using the same cable for ethernet connections and eARC.
Can you use any HDMI for eARC?
No, you cannot use any HDMI with eARC format since it is dependent on the bandwidth feature of these wires.
Thus, you must look for the following cables while purchasing one for eARC.
- HDMI (Standard) with ethernet
- HDMI (High-speed) with ethernet
- Premium HDMI (High-speed) with ethernet
- Ultra HDMI (high speed) includes version 2.1 and the latest 2.1a-certified cables.
How to set up an HDMI eARC cable?
Caption: Closeup of HDMI cables
You need to follow these steps to set up an HDMI eARC cable.
- Check that the devices you are about to connect are eARC compatible. For that, you can see their HDMI ports label or else consult their user manual. If either of the devices is not eARC enabled, the connection will not be successful.
- Take the HDMI cable and connect its one end to your TV’s HDMI port.
- Next, take the other end of the HDMI cable and insert it into the HDMI port of your soundbar or AV receiver.
- Turn on the devices and start playing the content.
eARC can handle the required bandwidth transfer with a few HDMI cables. Thus, looking for cables beyond HDMI 2.1 is best if you buy a new one.
However, the HDMI 2.0 version will also suffice,e given that it has an ethernet channel to support it.
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