ARC compatibility - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-18-2012, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I've seen that a lot of TVs and soundbars are supposed to support ARC. But I can never tell if that means it can simply use HDMI as an input or if it actually lets the TV control the soundbar.

I know you're supposed to at least potentially be able to hook your TV up to a soundbar and never have to use the remote for the soundbar, and the TV will control the volume and even show the volume level on the screen.

Are there certain TV/soundbar combinations that work and some that don't? Can you hook up any Panasonic with Viera Link or Samsung with AnyNet or whatever to any soundbar that says it has ARC and it'll work OK? Or is it a toss-up if you're mixing brands?

It all looks pretty vague. I noticed the Vizio VHT215 just lists "ARC support" as a feature. But I don't know if that means it just supports ARC for using HDMI as an input from the TV, or if it actually lets the TV control the volume on the sound bar.
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-18-2012, 09:34 AM
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Actually, you're asking about two separate functions. HDMI-CTL (CEC) is the part that allows you to use a TV remote to control volume and muting on an external sound system, along with some other functions such as turning the sound system on/off with the TV.

You can think of ARC as a "subset" of HDMI-CTL. Manufacturers began including it with 2010 models that are HDMI 1.4a compliant. ARC's only function is sending audio from a TV to an external sound system thereby replacing the need to use a separate digital cable.

In most cases the basic functions of HDMI-CTL will work across different brands.
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-18-2012, 10:42 AM
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I have a Sharp 835U 3D TV, Comcast Hi-Def box (Motorola DCH3200) Panasonic BDT210 Blu-Ray player, and a PS3 hooked to a Sony CT150 soundbar; all via HDMI.

Here is component interaction that I have noticed so far:

The TV controls the sound level, muting, and power off/on of the sound bar.

I keep the Comcast hi-def box powered on all the time and normally have the soundbar input selection set to CATV/Cable. When I insert a disc in the Panasonic Blu-Ray player, the sound bar automatically switches the input from the Comcast box to the player (BD). However, when I eject the disc or power off the player, the input does not switch back to the Comcast box.

When I insert a disc into the PS3, I have to manually switch the input on the soundbar.

I have not yet tried keeping the Comcast box powered off to see if the soundbar input selection switches automatically to the one component that is powered on.
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-18-2012, 10:56 AM
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^^^
The cable box does not have HDMI-CTL so the bar cannot automatically recognize it like it does the BD player. Once the bar switches away from the cable box you have to manually switch it back. If your PS3 is a slim it should have HDMI-CTL and work the same as the BD player as far as switching goes.
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-18-2012, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh.

So, do all soundbars that support ARC support the HDMI-CEC volume control?

It kinda sounds like you just have to try it and find out to see what works together.
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-18-2012, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tostada View Post

Oh.

So, do all soundbars that support ARC support the HDMI-CEC volume control?

It kinda sounds like you just have to try it and find out to see what works together.

By definition, anything that has ARC support has HDMI-CTL since ARC is an enhancement to HDMI-CTL. TVs and AVRs produced prior to 2010 won't have ARC although they may offer HDMI-CTL.

As I said earlier, CEC usually works well across brands.
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-18-2012, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Possumgirl View Post

^^^
The cable box does not have HDMI-CTL so the bar cannot automatically recognize it like it does the BD player. Once the bar switches away from the cable box you have to manually switch it back. If your PS3 is a slim it should have HDMI-CTL and work the same as the BD player as far as switching goes.

My PS3 is one of the original versions; so I guess it doesn't have HDMI-CTL capability. Thanks for the explanation.
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