ARC cuts in and out ;0(. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-06-2014, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Unhappy ARC cuts in and out ;0(.

  • TV: LG: 60PM6700
  • HTIAB: BH9220BW
  • SetTop Box: DirectTV Model: HR22-100

Just as the title states. ARC cuts in an out intermittently, but not infrequently. Sometimes 3 or 4 times every 10 minutes, for about a 1/2 second. Totally intolerable.

ARC had been working just fine for nearly a year now. Optical still works fine. ARC does same thing while using NetFlix app on TV, so it's definitely not related to the Settop/Sat. Box. ARC cuts out on all settings in every combination on each device, Digital, PCM, Auto Detect, Sync on or off, etc etc. Tried powering all items down and up again several times. Tried all sound profiles too thinking a volume control might be over reacting. Still nothing. Optical is flawless as is the TV speakers (yuk). It's only ARC in all of its variations.

I did add a water cooler to the circuit and when it cycles it had been interrupting the electrical flow enough to cause a dip in the sound. It definitely happened when ARC was on, but I don't remember if it happened when using optical. Could this "dirty" signal have corrupted either the receiver or the ARC software in the TV itself? The dip when the water cooler cycled never effected the TV's picture. I have tried it with eliminating the watercooler and the sound still cuts out. Or could the ARC cable have gone bad? It is a certified ARC cable too.

I get the dreadful feeling I blew off the water cooler issue and the TV's ARC is now malfunctioning. Since the TIAB performs fine other than what the TV feeds it.

My only other trouble shoots I've yet to do is connect the TV and/or receiver to a separate circuit in the house via extension cord(s), to see if it eliminates the problem. And use my Master Bedroom TV with the TIAB. Which would be a pain since everything is run from behind a floating cabinet in the wall and back out from the wall behind the TV (no wires visible).

There's also a software update for the TV that's overdue, and probably one for the TIAB. Although this is the type of problem that those rarely address, they're usually just to update apps, language profiles and other minor things.

I don't have good feeling about this at all.

Any thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-06-2014, 01:01 PM
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First, if the optical port works flawlessly I'd just use that. There is no inherent advantage of using ARC over the optical out except for saving yourself 1 cable.

There is no such thing as a certified ARC cable to my knowledge. It is either a high speed HDMI cable or not. I would try replacing the HDMI cable first.

Definitely do the firmware update for your TV. There may be a fix for your ARC problem.

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post #3 of 15 Old 08-06-2014, 01:43 PM
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-06-2014, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by afrogt View Post
First, if the optical port works flawlessly I'd just use that. There is no inherent advantage of using ARC over the optical out except for saving yourself 1 cable.

There is no such thing as a certified ARC cable to my knowledge. It is either a high speed HDMI cable or not. I would try replacing the HDMI cable first.

Definitely do the firmware update for your TV. There may be a fix for your ARC problem.
I agree to some extent but......

With out the ARC working properly I have use the TV speakers for Apps on the TV (NetFlix, Hulu, and Vudu). I could circumvent this by adding optical out from the TV to the TIAB, but the TIAB only receives a single optical in, now being used by the Satellite Box. Therefore I'd have to switch the optical feed manually every time I use TV apps.

I've been hesitant at running optical out of the Sat. Box, into the TV, and then using the TV's optical out, into the TIAB. I've always read that this would eliminate true Dolby since the TV is now translating the optical signal. Even with a bypass option in play. But this could be my only option if the ARC software on the TV is malfunctioning.

When I purchased the cable it was marked ARC, HighSpeed, Ethernet, and 3d compatible. Perhaps the ARC being redundant since it was highspeed and Ethernet.

Sometimes I find the optical feed intrusive. While optical is the best for viewing movies on the Sat. Box, I find that when surfing channels and having varied sound feeds the ARC is less volatile sounding, optical can be all over the place. Plus the ARC allows me to fire up the TV with one button. Once the TV is on the ARC sends a message to fire up the TIAB. Then if I want to choose optical it's only a single button. I can easily switch back and forth between the two depending on which is better for certain programming.

I'm going to try the updates first. Then the clean power feed. Replacing the cable is an ordeal as I described above. I'd have to snake a new HDMI from behind the floating cabinet to the the hole that's behind the TV. I love the look of the cabinet floating on the wall with the TV above it also floating with zero wires. But man it's a pain to re-route anything
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-06-2014, 03:39 PM
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Your HTIAB has 2 HDMI inputs. Why don't you use one of those from the Sat box to receiver? That frees up the optical input which then you could use from TV for Smart Apps.

ARC has nothing to do with firing up your TV with one button. That's called HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control). LG calls it SIMPLINK. You dont need ARC for that to work.

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Last edited by afrogt; 08-06-2014 at 03:48 PM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-06-2014, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post
Your HTIAB has 2 HDMI inputs. Why don't you use one of those from the Sat box to receiver? That frees up the optical input which then you could use from TV for Smart Apps.

ARC has nothing to do with firing up your TV with one button. That's called HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control). LG calls it SIMPLINK. You dont need ARC for that to work.
Ah nice. I assumed the ARC was doing the communicating, but it's not. So the HDMI cable in the ARC port would have to remain in place since the cable itself is doing the communicating?

Yeah if this problem persists without a solution this would be the way to go. How "good" is the HDMI audio link vs. patching with optical for the Sat. Box? Also with this configuration am I processing the Sat. Box video signal through the TIAB, or just the sound? I've always avoided using any of my surround receivers (my old Sony and Yamaha Natural Sound), as video hubs. In previous incarnations doing so was a remote control pain.

What I also haven't done yet is test the ARC connection via the BluRay player. It's one in the same, the BlueRay HDMI feed is in the ARC input/out port. I doubt it's gone bad in two directions, but we'll see when I test it. Could be just the ARC software/hardware in the TV itself.

Thanks, this gives me much more hope I can continue operating the TV the way I prefer, minus ARC, which wouldn't be the end of the world. I like it for the convenience not just the sound itself.

Thanks again.
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-06-2014, 09:44 PM
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HDMI audio and optical are the same on a cable box. both are capable of producing Dolby Digital 5.1.


How are you going to test ARC via a Blu Ray player? What audio would you be sending from the TV to a blu ray player? You lost me there.

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post #8 of 15 Old 08-06-2014, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

How are you going to test ARC via a Blu Ray player? What audio would you be sending from the TV to a blu ray player? You lost me there.
I wouldn't be sending any audio, just playing the BluRay. If the cable is bad it might show up in the opposite direction via the video feed. It's an outside chance it may shed some light on things.

Good to know HDMI vs. Optical won't reduce any quality. I do prefer both of those over the ARC when it really comes down to watching film.

Doing the updates as I type, see if that clears it up.

Will update tomorrow. Bed now.
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-08-2014, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Gremlin or software updates I don't know which but the anomaly is gone.

It was that or it was the actual transmission itself. Which is doubtful since it was fine when running straight from the Sat. Box via optical to the TIAB. It was only when it was routed through the TV via ARC that the sound was cutting out.

But with the new knowledge that the ARC is not the communicating factor, when I get the gumption I may just route the optical through the TV and see how that works out.

Thanks everyone....
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-09-2014, 07:43 AM
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Gumption or not, you cannot route optical through a TV as TVs don't have optical inputs, just outputs.

Audio Return Channel is not an audio format. It is simply a way to feed sound from a TV to a processor using the same HDMI cable that sends picture and sound from the processor to the TV. ARC provides the exact same audio that you would get using optical from the TV to the receiver.
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post #11 of 15 Old 08-09-2014, 10:45 AM
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HDMI audio: uni-directional audio.

ARC HDMI audio : bi-directional audio.

Audio format capability for ARC and Optical: discrete 5.1 audio

Advantage of ARC: eliminates the need to use an optical cable.

Disadvantage of ARC: both devices must be ARC capable (tv and receiver).
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post #12 of 15 Old 08-09-2014, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disfigured View Post
Gremlin or software updates I don't know which but the anomaly is gone.

It was that or it was the actual transmission itself. Which is doubtful since it was fine when running straight from the Sat. Box via optical to the TIAB. It was only when it was routed through the TV via ARC that the sound was cutting out.

But with the new knowledge that the ARC is not the communicating factor, when I get the gumption I may just route the optical through the TV and see how that works out.

Thanks everyone....
I think you are making this too complicated. I would connect the satellite box to the BH9220BW with an HDMI cable. Use the existing HDMI cable from the ARC on the BH9220BW to the ARC on the TV. If ARC is working (which it is) there is no need for the optical cable.
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post #13 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Obviously I have some misconceptions about what's going on behind my hardware thanks for the clarifications everyone. Some follow up questions:

By the way it's back on occasion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander
Gumption or not, you cannot route optical through a TV as TVs don't have optical inputs, just outputs.
I was going to check my back panel schematic, before re-routing anything thanks for the heads up. I could have sworn there was an optical "in" on the TV. My mistake.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMI Guy View Post
I think you are making this too complicated. I would connect the satellite box to the BH9220BW with an HDMI cable. Use the existing HDMI cable from the ARC on the BH9220BW to the ARC on the TV. If ARC is working (which it is) there is no need for the optical cable.
I think I see what you're saying........

With the HDMI feed from the Sat.Box to the BH9220BW I'll be processing the audio and video through the BH9220BW? If so that would mean all video is being feed via the ARC/HDMI connection in all cases, both BR player and Sat.Box. So now ARC when activated on TV powerup will powerup the BH9220BW, the TV reverts to the last input choosen, this being the HDMI/ARC port since it's the only one in use now (as the HDMI out from the Sat.Box is now being feed into the BH9220BW). The BH9220BW will only feed video, the audio will go directly out the speakers of the BH9220BW? The TV will not be processing any sound what so ever? Another benefit would be not needing to switch the TV's input from Sat.Box to BR Player as it's currently set up that way. Also out of sync audio would be all but eliminated?

Please tell me I have it correct .


Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot
  • HDMI audio: uni-directional audio.
  • ARC HDMI audio : bi-directional audio.
  • Audio format capability for ARC and Optical: discrete 5.1 audio
  • Advantage of ARC: eliminates the need to use an optical cable.
  • Disadvantage of ARC: both devices must be ARC capable (tv and receiver).
Why does optical straight from the Sat Box to the to the BH9220BW sound different and use different amounts of speakers, than the HDMI feed to the TV (from the Sat.Box) then out the ARC/HDMI to the BH9220BW? Even when I have the TV's ARC/AUDIO option set to "bypass"? Does the TV process the sound to some extent even with it set to "bypass"?

Because I do like the way it sounds via the TV's processing (if that's the case). Although it will often use less speakers it's not nearly as intrusive as the optical feed that is direct from the Sat.Box to the BH9220BW. I'm assuming that the HDMI feed (as suggested above), from the Sat.Box to the BH9220BW, will be nearly identical in sound as the direct optical(?).

My assumption or less than up to date information was that the optical direct was always the best choice when wanting the full spectrum of sound (although not always desired). That's the way it felt with previous incarnations of surround for me (Sony and Yamaha Natural Sound receivers).

In trying to be accurate and concise as possible I may have inadvertently become long winded.

Thanks for plowing through it all.

PS: Still don't know why this interruption is happening, but straightening out a lot of assumptions I have made is good stuff.

Last edited by disfigured; 08-12-2014 at 08:41 AM.
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post #14 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 08:56 AM
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Connecting all devices to the receiver and using it as the input switcher is the usual way of configuring a theater system. The receiver processes the audio and send the video to the TV. An optical connection or ARC can be used to send audio from Smart TV apps to the receiver.

As for your preference for sound when it comes through the TV, that likely means you prefer a stereo downmix to discrete 5.1. Your TV is almost certainly using the HDMI handshake to tell the source device to do the decoding and send just two channels. If stereo is your preference, you can set players and set top boxes to always send audio that way.
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post #15 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
Connecting all devices to the receiver and using it as the input switcher is the usual way of configuring a theater system. The receiver processes the audio and send the video to the TV. An optical connection or ARC can be used to send audio from Smart TV apps to the receiver.

As for your preference for sound when it comes through the TV, that likely means you prefer a stereo downmix to discrete 5.1. Your TV is almost certainly using the HDMI handshake to tell the source device to do the decoding and send just two channels. If stereo is your preference, you can set players and set top boxes to always send audio that way.
Thanks,

I was sure the TV had to be doing something to the signal since it was so different.

I do prefer the downmixing (when it's not doing what it's been doing). As it adjusts to make things, how shall I say it......... less encompassing. It seems to adjust more adeptly than the optical from broadcast to broadcast , only using all 5 speakers when it's most advantageous However when I want a more encompassing sound (films and music events), I switch to the optical. So at present I don't have to do much other than press a single button on the TIAB remote to switch things from discrete to "pure". If the HDMI cable to the TIAB is just going to be a redundant as it's the same as the optical in quality, and the problem doesn't persist (as it is gone now again, go figure ), I will leave things as they are.

If I do go the HDMI route because the problem with the ARC persists, I'm assuming if the BR Player is not "on", the HDMI feed to the receiver is just sent through by default. There will be no switching needed upon powering up the TV and in turn having the TV/ARC turn on the TIAB. So still one button powering up ( that button also fires up the Sat. Box), as this is needed for the less than savvy of the household (read wife ). Are there any advantages to routing video through the TIAB via HDMI, color adjustments, audio sync (sync must be superior)?

Thanks again, I appreciate the time you and others have taken on my problem.
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