Tv with earc

Tv with earc DEFAULT
HDMI 2.1 is the next major step for HDMI. Besides 8K, it enables 4K at 120fps as well as VRR, eARC, QMS and ALLM. Here is an introduction and an updated list of TVs with HDMI 2.1.

HDMI 2.1 explained

For more than a decade, HDMI has been the de facto video interface standard in the TV ecosystem, and it has helped push TV makers to adopt and standardize new video technologies. Full HD TVs came with HDMI 1.0 and 1.1, 3D TVs with HDMI 1.4, 4K TVs with HDMI 2.0, and now 4K HFR TVs and 8K TVs with HDMI 2.1.

TV with HDMI 2.1

HDMI 2.1 supports increased bandwidth for higher resolution and high frame rate (HFR). Furthermore, it introduces new optional features such as VRR, eARC, QMS and ALLM. These features offer improved gaming performance, higher quality audio, and more. Some of the optional features can be implemented on HDMI 2.0 chipsets, too. A brief summary:

HDMI 2.1 – what you should know

HDMI 2.1: Version 2.1 of the HDMI specification supports higher bandwidth (up to - but not necessarily - 48 Gb/s versus 18 Gb/s for HDMI 2.1) for up to 8K60 and 4K120 signals. It uses a new signalling system called FRL (Fixed Rate Link) to enable higher bandwidth. With lossless compression (DSC), HDMI 2.1 supports up to 120 Gb/s bandwidth for 8K120. HDMI 2.1 is fully backwards compatible, but it will require new cables (same connector) to take advantage of the higher bandwidth. HFR (High Frame Rate): HFR is used as a term for frame rates of over 100fps (frames per second), meaning smoother motion with higher motion detail. Movies are typically shot and presented in 24fps whereas console games have historically been presented in frame rates between 30 and 60fps. The higher bandwidth of HDMI 2.1 enables HFR in combination with 4K resolution. HDMI eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel): With eARC you get increased bandwidth for audio compared to standard HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) that has been part of the HDMI specification since HDMI 1.4. It is now possible to transmit lossless audio as well as multichannel PCM via eARC. You can learn more in this article. HDMI eARC can also be implemented on HDMI 2.0 chipsets. HDMI VRR (Variable Refresh Rate): You may already know Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync. HDMI VRR is a similar standardized specification for variable refresh rate over HDMI. By syncronizing the refresh rate of the TV to match the frame rate output of the console or PC in realtime, VRR can reduce judder, tearing and lag for smoother gameplay. Both TV and console/PC must support HDMI VRR. HDMI QMS (Quick Media Switching): Today, changing the video mode in the HDMI connection results in a black screen, a so-called audio/video blackout. It typically takes a few seconds, depending on your device. As a consequence many playback devices avoid frame rate switching entirely and resort to the poor practice of frame rate conversion instead. QMS, which is a derivate of VRR, eliminates the black screen when changing video mode, for example 60Hz to 24Hz. Both devices must support QMS. HDMI ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode): ALLM lets the game console transmit metadata in the signal to the TV to have it switch automatically into (and out of) game mode. Game modes in TVs typically have reduced input lag. Both TV and console/PC must support ALLM, which also works on HDMI 2.0 chipsets. Learn more about HDMI 2.1 in this article.

List: TVs with HDMI 2.1

As highlighted, some features of HDMI 2.1 can be enabled on HDMI 2.0 chipsets in TVs or other devices. However, to get the advantages of HDMI 2.1's increased bandwidth, a TV – or any other another device – must be equipped with HDMI 2.1 ports. The list below pulls data from FlatpanelsHD's TV Database and will be automatically updated as new TVs with HDMI 2.1 launch. You can bookmark the list for future reference. Click on any TV model to get more information in the TV Database where you can also compare models.

click icon (in the list) to see the VRR frequency range for a specific TV model.


Help Guide


Select within the text to jump to the related settings screen.

See the illustrations below to connect an audio system such as an AV receiver or sound bar.


  • The available terminals depend your model/region/country.

HDMI connection (ARC supported)

  1. Connect the TV and audio system with an HDMI cable.
    Connect to the TV’s HDMI input terminal bearing the text “ARC” or “eARC/ARC”.
    Illustration of the connection method
    1. AV receiver or sound bar
    2. HDMI cable (not supplied)*

    * We recommend authorizedPremium High Speed HDMI Cable(s) bearing the HDMI logo.

  2. Adjusting an audio system


  • For ARC connections, voice recognition performance may degrade (only TVs with a built-in MIC).

HDMI connection (eARC supported)

  1. Connect the external input device and TV with an HDMI cable. Connect the TV and audio system with another HDMI cable.
    Connect the audio system to the TV’s HDMI input terminal bearing the text “ARC” or “eARC/ARC”.
    Illustration of the connection method
    1. External input device (such as a Blu-ray/DVD recorder)
    2. HDMI cable (not supplied)
    3. AV receiver or sound bar
    4. HDMI cable with Ethernet (not supplied)*

    * We recommend authorizedPremium High Speed HDMI Cable(s) bearing the HDMI logo.

  2. Press the HOME button, then select [Settings] — [Display & Sound] — [Audio output] — [eARC mode] — [Auto].
  3. Select [Speakers] — [Audio system].
  4. Enable the audio system’s eARC feature.
    Refer to the instruction manual of the device.
  5. Adjusting an audio system


  • You cannot select [eARC mode] if the text-to-speech function for on-screen text within the TV’s accessibility features is enabled.
  • If audio is being output from an eARC supported device while you are watching HDMI input, the TV operates as follows:
    • audio from system sounds and audio responses is not output, and
    • the voice recognition performance of the built-in MIC may degrade (only TVs with a built-in MIC).

Digital optical cable connection

  1. Connect the TV and audio system with a digital optical cable.
    Connect to the audio system’s digital optical input terminal.
    Illustration of the connection method
    1. AV receiver or Sound bar
    2. Optical audio cable (not supplied)
  2. Adjusting an audio system


  • For more information, please visit the Sony support website.
    Support Site
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HDMI ARC and HDMI eARC: everything you need to know

The trusty High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) has been the go-to digital connector for flatscreen TVs, projectors and other AV equipment for over 15 years now. Over that time it's evolved into a do-it-all connection, acting as a medium for various video and audio formats.

HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) is a clever protocol that sits within the HDMI standard and, in theory, it can help simplify a complicated AV set-up and reduce the number of cables you need.

But what's the point of it? And where does the new eARC protocol fit in this picture? Read on for all the info you need (and more)...

What's HDMI and HDMI ARC?

HDMI launched way back in 2002, and the first consumer kit to feature this high-tech connector hit the shops in 2004.

It was billed as a convenient way to send high-quality digital picture and sound data ‘upstream’ from a source to a TV, amplifier or soundbar. As HDMI has become the de facto AV connection, traditional analogue sockets such as SCART and component video have found themselves consigned to the spare parts bin.

The HDMI interface has evolved over the years, with new versions (HDMI 2.1 is the latest) bringing support for new audio and video technologies such as 3D, 4K, 8K, HDR and high frame rates, to name but a few.

It wasn’t until 2009 that the HDMI ARC protocol was added to the spec-sheet. It was introduced as part of HDMI version 1.4 and has been part of the specification ever since.

When would you use HDMI ARC?

Picture the scene. You have a set-top box, games console and Blu-ray player all plugged into your TV via HDMI.

Or perhaps your smart TV is using a built-in video app such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. Either way, you don’t want to use your TV’s speakers for audio – you’d rather hear everything played through a soundbar or home cinema amplifier instead.

Previously, you would have to connect an optical cable from the back of your TV to an optical input on your audio device.

But that’s a messy solution. Theoretically, HDMI ARC solves this problem.

HDMI ARC removes the need for an optical cable and allows you to send audio ‘downstream’ from a compatible HDMI socket on your TV to a compatible HDMI ARC socket on a soundbar or AV receiver.

What do you need to use HDMI ARC?

To take advantage of HDMI ARC, you’ll need a television and audio processor (AV receiver or soundbar) with matching ARC-enabled HDMI sockets.

Peer around the back of your TV - if it’s packing three or four HDMI sockets, you need to find the one that’s labelled “(ARC)”. Labelling isn’t compulsory, but as long as your TV is a late-2009 model or newer, there should be one at your disposal. Consult the TV’s user manual if you’re unsure.

With some TVs, HDMI ARC might work automatically. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to grab a remote and tweak a few of your TV settings, including turning off your TV’s built-in speakers and enabling your telly to send audio out to an external speaker or amp.

Using HDMI ARC does not require a new HDMI cable. Any HDMI cable should be able to cope with the requirements - it’s only when we move on to eARC this could (potentially) become an issue. But more on that later.

As part of the process, you should consider enabling HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control), so you can turn your TV on and control the volume on your soundbar or amp without the need for multiple remotes. A word of warning, though: turning HDMI CEC on can have some unwanted AV side-effects - so you might want to experiment first.

MORE: How to improve your TV's sound

Are there any issues with HDMI ARC?

Worried about potential lip-sync problems? HDMI v1.3, launched in 2006, added automatic audio syncing, although it was only optional. This means some ARC-enabled products will play together nicely, others might not.

The biggest problem for ARC in its current guise is manufacturers have been left to pick and choose which elements of the protocol they want to include.

Support for all relevant audio codecs isn’t compulsory, so you can’t simply assume that a TV will be able to send a 5.1 Dolby Digital or DTS soundtrack from a movie over ARC. Some TV manufacturers only support Dolby Digital, while others only support two-channel stereo, defeating the point.

It’s worth noting ARC doesn’t allow you to bitstream the full-fat high-quality codecs such as Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD Master Audio or DTS:X soundtracks that you find on Blu-rays and 4K Blu-rays. It simply strips out the core 5.1 data stream. If you want this level of functionality, you’ll need HDMI eARC.

ARC can, however, allow you to receive Dolby Atmos audio from streaming services that use the format, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. These services embed Dolby Atmos in a Dolby Digital Plus stream, which ARC can handle.

What is HDMI eARC? What are the benefits?

Enhanced Audio Return Channel (also known as eARC) is the next generation of ARC. It’s a feature implemented in the most recent HDMI 2.1 specification.

The main benefit of eARC is a big boost in bandwidth and speed. This allows you to send higher-quality audio from your TV to a soundbar or AV receiver.

There’s scope for eARC to deliver up to 32 channels of audio, including eight-channel, 24bit/192kHz uncompressed data streams at speeds of up to 38Mbps.

This means all those high bitrate formats currently available on Blu-ray discs, 4K Blu-rays and some streaming services – Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio and object-based formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X – will all be compatible.

But whether manufacturers choose to support them all remains to be seen.

On paper, HDMI eARC should also make the handshake between compatible devices much smoother and negate the need to activate HDMI CEC (which doesn’t always work properly) - so operating multiple products shouldn’t require any extra steps to get things up and running.

As is the case with ARC, you’ll need two devices with compatible HDMI eARC sockets for the protocol to work. While a device doesn't specifically have to be HDMI 2.1-certified, HDMI 2.1 certification does just about guarantee eARC support.

LG was the first manufacturer to go all-in with the new standard producing the first 4K TVs to sport HDMI 2.1 ports in 2019.  All LG's 2021 OLED TVs have up to four HDMI 2.1 ports, with Samsung offering one on most models and four on its flagship sets.  

Meanwhile, Pansonic's  2021range, except the JX850 and JX800, sport four HDMI ports, two of which are HDMI 2.1. Sony also offers a mixture of ports, with its top 2021 models getting two HDMI 2.1 and two HDMI 2.0.

Other products with eARC are also starting to emerge. Onkyo and Pioneer were the first to offer eARC updates on select AV products such as the Onkyo TX-RZ830, Integra DRX-5.2, Pioneer SC-LX502 and Pioneer VSX-LX503 AV receivers. 

In 2018 Denon launched its first eARC-compatible AV receivers and then in 2020 also started future-proofing its AV receivers with models such as the AVC-X3700H offering full HDMI 2.1 on one of its seven inputs and two of its three outputs, while the AVC-X6700H’s eight inputs and two of its three outputs are HDMI 2.1 certified.

Sony followed quickly with updates to its soundbars (HT-ST5000, HT-ZF9, HT-XF9000) and AV receivers (STR-DH790, STR-DN1080), making them compatible with eARC-supported Sony AF9 and ZF9 TV models. All firmware updates are available now.

More recently, both the brilliant Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar and the award-winning Sonos Arc also sport eARC-compatible HDMI 2.1 outputs, as do LG's 2021 SP-A range of Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbars.

Do I need new HDMI cables to use eARC?

According to, if you currently use a standard HDMI cable with Ethernet, or a High-Speed HDMI cable with Ethernet, you should be fine. Ultra High-Speed HDMI cables with Ethernet will definitely work.

Because of the extra bandwidth needed for some audio formats over eARC, it’s possible that very old cables could struggle. In January 2020 announced a mandatory certification programme that will ensure any cable labelled Ultra High Speed supports all HDMI 2.1 features including eARC.

Is eARC backwards compatible with ARC?

If your TV is HDMI eARC enabled, but your AV amp or soundbar is only compatible with HDMI ARC, you’ll likely get a sound – but the bandwidth restrictions of ARC will mean you won’t be able to experience the high bitrate audio that eARC can provide. So no, it's not backwards-compatible.

Some AV receivers and soundbars (like those mentioned previously) that don’t have HDMI 2.1 chipsets can be upgraded to support eARC, but it varies between manufacturers and products. It depends if they are using compatible hardware that can accept the necessary firmware update.

Time will tell how well-integrated eARC will be, but we're hoping adoption becomes as ubiquitous as HDMI ARC seems to be now.


What is HDMI 2.1? Everything you need to know

Best AV receivers 2021: brilliant home cinema amplifiers


One of the best and yet least-understood HDMI features is ARC, or Audio Return Channel. It's a feature that enables you to simplify your system and is compatible with most TVs, receivers and soundbars.

In its most basic form, ARC uses an HDMI cable to send audio from a TV back to a receiver or soundbar. That means you can use a single cable for both audio and video -- for example, from the Netflix app built into your TV or a connected game console, and then use your TV for switching.

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The eARC standard, which is a part of HDMI 2.1, improves on the original in a few key ways including supporting Dolby Atmos, and we'll discuss this in more depth shortly.

Do you need ARC?

To be fair, many people don't need ARC. If you only listen to audio using your TV's speakers and don't have a receiver or soundbar, then the feature is superfluous. The point of ARC is to send audio created by or switched through your TV to an external audio device, namely a soundbar or receiver.

And because the sound on most TVs is terrible, we strongly recommend getting at least a soundbar to improve the TV experience. Check out our how to buy a soundbar guide and soundbar vs. speakers for more.

If you have a soundbar or receiver of fairly recent vintage that has HDMI, it probably has ARC, too. Here's how it works.


Can you use ARC?

Check the HDMI connections on the back of your TV, soundbar, or receiver. If the HDMI port has ARC, it should be marked as such. Both your TV and the soundbar or receiver must have ARC for it to work.


eARC and HDMI 2.1

The latest version of the HDMI interface is HDMI 2.1, and it offers numerous important changes including support for higher resolutions. Relevant to us in the context of this article is eARC, or enhanced Audio Return Channel.

While Dolby Atmos can be passed over regular ARC today (via Dolby Digital Plus) eARC offers improved bandwidth for higher-quality Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio streams, including Dolby Atmos.

The new format also has lip-sync compensation built-in. This feature was optional in ARC but is now required. This lets you more easily line up the sound with the visuals, something that has always been an issue in the modern TV era.


To take advantage of the new features, both pieces of gear must be eARC compatible. Fortunately, eARC is available in far more gear than just high-end 8K TVs. From 2019 onward, compatible devices include the Sonos Beam, the Yamaha RX-V6A and the Sony X950. The format is backward-compatible with ARC, but don't expect to stream Atmos through an older TV. Even though most new TVs don't need the other features of HDMI 2.1, manufacturers can implement most useful portions of HDMI 2.1, such as eARC.

You probably don't need new HDMI cables for eARC. Older cables with Ethernet, either Standard or High Speed, will work. The new Ultra High Speed cables will work as well, of course. But chances are your current cables have Ethernet and you didn't even know it, so they'll probably work, too. N.B.: In order to take advantage of some HDMI 2.1 gaming features, such as Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and 4K 120Hz, a high-speed cable is needed or you'll simply get no signal.


Most HDMI cables should work with ARC. Plug one end of the HDMI cable into the ARC-capable HDMI input in your TV and the other into the ARC-capable output on your soundbar or receiver.

There are basically two main ways to connect a system using ARC. For our purposes, we'll assume you have: a TV, a receiver or soundbar, a Blu-ray player and a game console (Xbox or PlayStation).


 1. Using the TV as an HDMI switch: Connect the Blu-ray player and game console to the TV, then connect a single HDMI cable from the TV to the soundbar. The TV becomes the central hub of your entertainment system.

This setup lets you use your TV's remote to switch between the Blu-ray player and game console sources, and in most cases, you can use your TV's remote to control the volume.

The potential downside of this setup is you might not be able to get 5.1 or higher surround sound. This is more of a problem if you are using a surround receiver instead of most soundbars (which typically can't playback 5.1). We'll discuss this more in the "Issues with 5.1" section.

2. Using a receiver or soundbar as an HDMI switch: Connect the Blu-ray player or game console to the receiver or soundbar, then a single cable to the TV. Some budget soundbars might not have enough HDMI inputs for all your sources, in which case you'll have to use Setup 1.

In this setup, your receiver/soundbar is the central hub of the entertainment system. You will switch between your sources and adjust the volume using your receiver/soundbar's remote. You'll only use your TV's remote to turn the TV on, and access any apps built into the TV.

HDMI CEC control

Another HDMI feature is called CEC, or Consumer Electronics Control. Nearly every company has their own name for it, including SimpLink, Anynet+, BRAVIA Sync, and others. In theory, CEC will let the remote from one piece of gear to control another, as long as they're connected with HDMI. For instance, in Setup 1 above, your TV's remote can adjust the volume on your soundbar.

However, there's no guarantee it will work, especially across different brands or ages of gear. If there's any aspect of ARC setup that's going to cause you agony, it's this. You might not be able to realize the dream of using one remote, unless you get a universal remote control. If it doesn't work, though, Google might help. It could be as simple has having to turn on your gear in a certain order. But in the end, this control aspect just might not function.


The last setup step is making sure your TV and soundbar/receiver knows to send or look for the audio being sent over the Audio Return Channel. If you've got everything connected correctly, and it's not working, time to dive into the settings. It should be fairly obvious in the setup menus, but if not, all owner's manuals are on the manufacturer's website.

One last thing to check. If everything else seems correct, but you're still not getting audio, or you get audio with some sources but not all, check the audio output settings on the TV or the problematic source. Look for a setting that lets you change "bitstream" to "PCM" or vice versa. Switching to the other might clear up the issue.


Issues with 5.1

As great as ARC can be, there is one big issue: 5.1. Technically, TVs aren't allowed to send 5.1 audio over HDMI. In other words, if you're watching a movie on Blu-ray with 5.1 Dolby Digital or DTS and it's connected directly to your TV (Setup 1, above) your receiver might only be able to get 2.0 audio. TVs that can do this are said to have "5.1 passthrough." This restriction helped lead to the creation of eARC which we'll discuss shortly, but it enables external speakers to playback both 5.1 channel and Dolby Atmos.

Some existing TVs can still do 5.1 while other TVs will output 5.1 via the optical output, but not ARC. Our friends over at have an extensive list of what TVs do what, though it only goes back to 2017.

Keep in mind that this issue is only relevant if you have a 5.1 source, like a Blu-ray player or game console, and you're trying to send that device's audio via ARC from the TV to a receiver. If your TV doesn't support 5.1 passthrough, you can either connect that source to the receiver directly, or you can connect the TV and receiver with an optical cable. Optical cables don't carry Atmos, however.

Connecting a source like Blu-ray directly to the receiver/soundbar has another benefit: Doly Atmos, Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio. If you have an older TV these higher-fidelity formats can't be sent over ARC. But they will be able to with eARC.

ARC reaction

On paper, ARC is a great way to simplify your home theater system. The reality is… complicated. Read any user reviews about any product with ARC and there will be issues getting it to work. Depending on the age of your gear and complexity of your setup, getting ARC running and staying running can be frustrating.

Our advice for most people is to connect your sources to your receiver or soundbar, if they're capable, and only use ARC to get audio from your TV's internal apps. Not every system will work like this, not least if your soundbar doesn't have enough HDMI inputs. However, with infinite setup possibilities, we can't offer perfect idealized advice. Connecting directly to your audio device will, in theory, offer the best chance for the highest quality audio.

Also, even though optical cables and connections are disappearing, they offer a more traditional way to connect audio that might offer fewer issues, at the expense of some sound quality and theoretically less simple usability. 

Got a question for Geoff? First, check out all the other articles he's written on topics like why all HDMI cables are the same, TV resolutions explained, LED LCD vs. OLED and more.

Still have a question? Tweet at him @TechWriterGeoff, then check out his travel adventures as a digital nomad on Instagram and YouTube. He also thinks you should check out his bestselling sci-fi novel about city-sized submarines and its sequel. 


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HDMI Cables for Gaming, 8K, eARC: HDMI 2.1 \u0026 2.0 Buying Guide

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