Audio Return Channel (ARC) Only passes 2 Channel LPCM Stereo from TV to AVR? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 02-27-2012, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
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My 2011 Panasonic TC-P50GT30 (hdmi 1.4a) connected via HDMI-1 (ARC) to my Pioneer AVR VSX-1121-K (hdmi 1.4a) via HDMI-out (ARC) is only passing 2 channel PCM Stereo from my Sony PS3 Blu-Ray connected via HDMI (Bitstream or LPCM) on my plasma. I called Panasonic Support and Pioneer Support and both claim ARC only passes 2-channel LPCM Stereo. Can anyone confirm this? After all what's the point of connecting high-def audio content like DD Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, etc. to the TV HDMI inputs when all the TV will pass is 2-channel audio to the AVR?
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post #2 of 40 Old 02-27-2012, 09:24 PM
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ARC in that case seems mostly for passing audio from the TV receiver back to the AVR, not for using your AVR as a hub. So I guess you should connect all devices to AVR, then AVR to TV.

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post #3 of 40 Old 02-28-2012, 06:37 AM
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Although what you are experiencing is true for Panasonic TVs, AFAIK, there are other brands that will pass DD 5.1 over ARC back to the AVR. You should however, be able to connect the TV to the AVR via an optical cable and then be able to pass DD 5.1; however, as a BDP can pass HD audio (DD and DTS), you're much better served connecting the BDP to the AVR so it can pass both DD and DTS audio.

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post #4 of 40 Old 02-28-2012, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannwfla View Post

My 2011 Panasonic TC-P50GT30 (hdmi 1.4a) connected via HDMI-1 (ARC) to my Pioneer AVR VSX-1121-K (hdmi 1.4a) via HDMI-out (ARC) is only passing 2 channel PCM Stereo from my Sony PS3 Blu-Ray connected via HDMI (Bitstream or LPCM) on my plasma. I called Panasonic Support and Pioneer Support and both claim ARC only passes 2-channel LPCM Stereo. Can anyone confirm this? After all what's the point of connecting high-def audio content like DD Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, etc. to the TV HDMI inputs when all the TV will pass is 2-channel audio to the AVR?

ARC is simply a way to eliminate a separate digital audio cable to feed audio from a TV to a receiver. ARC adds no extra functionality. Most TVs will not pass DD 5.1 from devices attached using HDMI. They only pass encoded multichannel sound from their own internal tuners or from Smart TV apps. Although some brands do pass DD5.1 from HDMI connections, Panasonic is not among them.

Meanwhile, no TVs will pass lossless multichannel audio. The only way to get dts-MA and TrueHD when playing Blu-rays is to attach your PS3 to your AVR rather than routing it through the TV.
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post #5 of 40 Old 02-29-2012, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

Although what you are experiencing is true for Panasonic TVs, AFAIK, there are other brands that will pass DD 5.1 over ARC back to the AVR. You should however, be able to connect the TV to the AVR via an optical cable and then be able to pass DD 5.1; however, as a BDP can pass HD audio (DD and DTS), you're much better served connecting the BDP to the AVR so it can pass both DD and DTS audio.

Thanks for your reply, I thought the whole point of ARC was to connect all your HDMI devices to your TV then pass multi-channel audio to the AVR thus taking advantage of custom video settings for each device connected to individual TV HDMI inputs. Is there anywhere to find out which flat screens pass muti-channel and which do not?
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post #6 of 40 Old 02-29-2012, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

ARC is simply a way to eliminate a separate digital audio cable to feed audio from a TV to a receiver. ARC adds no extra functionality. Most TVs will not pass DD 5.1 from devices attached using HDMI. They only pass encoded multichannel sound from their own internal tuners or from Smart TV apps. Although some brands do pass DD5.1 from HDMI connections, Panasonic is not among them.

Meanwhile, no TVs will pass lossless multichannel audio. The only way to get dts-MA and TrueHD when playing Blu-rays is to attach your PS3 to your AVR rather than routing it through the TV.

Thanks for your reply, I will connect my sources to the AVR inputs directly. Where can I find which TVs pass muti-channel sound over ARC?
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post #7 of 40 Old 03-01-2012, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannwfla View Post

Thanks for your reply, I thought the whole point of ARC was to connect all your HDMI devices to your TV then pass multi-channel audio to the AVR thus taking advantage of custom video settings for each device connected to individual TV HDMI inputs. Is there anywhere to find out which flat screens pass muti-channel and which do not?

Nope that isn't the point at all, rather the primary reason is to pass any TV generated smart app audio (eg. Pandora, Netflix, Rhapsody, etc.) or OTA audio back to the AVR/sound system. Your best bet is to contact each TV mfr to determine which models will pass DD 5.1 via ARC. As already noted, Panasonic TVs can only do it via the optical audio out connection.

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post #8 of 40 Old 03-01-2012, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannwfla View Post

Thanks for your reply, I will connect my sources to the AVR inputs directly. Where can I find which TVs pass muti-channel sound over ARC?

You need to read the manuals, and carefully, since that information is not easy to find. But, you will be better seved by using your AVR instead of the TV as the switching hub. No TV will give you the same level of audio functionality as an AVR.
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post #9 of 40 Old 03-01-2012, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

Panasonic TVs can only do it via the optical audio out connection.

I'm not aware of Panasonics that pass DD 5.1 from HDMI connections over the optical output. I believe the optical and ARC functionality is the same.
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post #10 of 40 Old 03-01-2012, 07:29 AM
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FWIW, my 4 year old Panasonic Plasma only passes 2-ch via the digital Optical (TosLink). Of course, it does not have return audio either.
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post #11 of 40 Old 03-01-2012, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

I'm not aware of Panasonics that pass DD 5.1 from HDMI connections over the optical output. I believe the optical and AVR functionality is the same.

Speaking as the owner of three (past and present) Pannys, I can verify that you are absolutely correct.
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post #12 of 40 Old 03-01-2012, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

ARC is simply a way to eliminate a separate digital audio cable to feed audio from a TV to a receiver. ARC adds no extra functionality. [...]

Exactly. In this graphic, note that while within either the DTV or the A/V Receiver, the 'ARC audio' is simply identified as 'S/PDIF'.


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post #13 of 40 Old 03-07-2012, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SoundChex View Post

Exactly. In this graphic, note that while within either the DTV or the A/V Receiver, the 'ARC audio' is simply identified as 'S/PDIF'.


Isn't S/PDIF capable of transmitting compressed digital audio as in Dolby Digital or DTS surround sound? I was under the impression that the purpose of an ARC compatible flat panel was to act like a hub this way you could maximize the hdmi inputs on a TV and send multi-channel audio connected via the hdmi inputs to an ARC compatible AVR. Thus taking advantage of individual tv input settings and eliminating the need to send the audio to the AVR first and having the option of not using the AVR to listen to the audio when you just want to listen to the audio from the TV's speakers.
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post #14 of 40 Old 03-08-2012, 02:34 AM
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^^
S/PDIF, yes. However, as already noted, although it's possible to use the TV as a hub, the best audio you'll likely get via ARC is only PCM 2.0.

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post #15 of 40 Old 03-08-2012, 01:33 PM
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The purpose of ARC is audio transmission of sources acquired by the TV, not to use the TV as a hub. If separate video settings are a requirement, you will need to find other ways of handling audio.
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post #16 of 40 Old 07-24-2012, 09:17 PM
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Guys, sorry for the old thread 'revival',
its a simple question about my setup that is consonant with this thread

Currently own also a PP50GT30b and a HTPC with an ATI HD5800,
and Philips HTS4138 (which is pretty simple and dont have an hdmi input, only digital and coaxial inputs)

Ive hooked my pc (intel i7 970) to the Panny with a HDMI cable (HDMI1 through ATI 5800,
and connected Philips HT to the TV in HDMI2 (ARC)
The Vieira Link is connected and working well handshaked.

But in the sound setup of PC, I cant configure the ATI Hdmi to 5.1, theres only 2.0 option.

In this thread I saw that my TV can't send a 5.1 audio signal through ARC bittstream.

My question, not even through Optical ?

So, to work it well, would be only two choices:
a) buy a receiver with hdmi input so my PC can send 5.1 through ATI Hdmi Audio Output or
b) use an optical cable with the onboard Realtek HD audio to the Philips optical input

Am I right?

Many thanks in advance, and sorry for bad english
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post #17 of 40 Old 07-25-2012, 06:05 AM
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The TV can only receive 2.0 stereo input so that's all that would be output over the TV's optical audio output as well. If the HTPC also has an optical output then connect that to the Phillips HT for DD 5.1 audio, otherwise another option besides upgrading to a newer AVR is upgrading to a video card that has both HDMI and an optical output which would likely be less costly.

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post #18 of 40 Old 07-25-2012, 09:53 AM
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So if i connect my TV via optical cable to my Denon AVR i should be able to get Dolby Digital output to in my AVR?

I ask this, because i'm only getting sound from my center speaker doing this. My Cable box is connected to my TV via Coax cable and my TV is connected to my 9112 AVR. if it's only 2.0 stereo or PCM the AVR shloud use this signal and be able to make it 5.1, therefore, i should be able to hear sound from all speakers when i'm watching TV. but i'm not.mad.gif
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post #19 of 40 Old 07-25-2012, 10:05 AM
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Depends on the features of the TV. Generally only some newer TVs can pass DD 5.1 audio via the optical audio out from a DD 5.1 source connected to the TV, rather in most cases only PCM 2.0 will be passed. However, the cable box coax should be connected to the AVR rather than the TV so try that configuration.

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post #20 of 40 Old 07-25-2012, 10:11 AM
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I'm not talking about audio coax cable, but the white coaxial cable that connects cable boxes to TVs.
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post #21 of 40 Old 07-25-2012, 10:14 AM
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An optical or digital coax cable should still be connected from the cable box to the AVR unless it's just a SD cable box that cannot pass DD 5.1 audio.

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post #22 of 40 Old 07-26-2012, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

The TV can only receive 2.0 stereo input so that's all that would be output over the TV's optical audio output as well. If the HTPC also has an optical output then connect that to the Phillips HT for DD 5.1 audio, otherwise another option besides upgrading to a newer AVR is upgrading to a video card that has both HDMI and an optical output which would likely be less costly.

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post #23 of 40 Old 07-26-2012, 11:05 AM
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Another follow up question. Does ARC pass DD from antenna sources connected to the TV tuner? I know it works with optical/digital coax but I have no experience with ARC.
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post #24 of 40 Old 07-26-2012, 11:25 AM
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It depends on the TV (check the owner's manual) as many will only pass PCM 2.0 over the HDMI(ARC) but will do DD 5.1 over the optical.

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post #25 of 40 Old 07-26-2012, 11:49 AM
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I don't see anything specific called out in the panasonic manual. I see comments in this thread stating that for DD sources passed to the TV it won't output that over HDMI but didn't know if its own built in tuner might be different. Anyone know?
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post #26 of 40 Old 07-26-2012, 11:52 AM
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In most cases, TV will pass PCM 2.0 from HDMI DD 5.1 connected sources, but will pass DD 5.1 from smart app/OTA sources (just depends on whether the DD 5.1 will pass over the HDMI(ARC) cable or not).

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post #27 of 40 Old 07-26-2012, 11:54 AM
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I agree and that has been my experience, just don't have any experience with ARC and OTA sources. I'm wiring a new house right now and it'd be good to know beforehand if I should be running an optical cable.
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post #28 of 40 Old 07-26-2012, 11:57 AM
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Try posting in your TV's Owner's thread and post your TV model number here for another owner to respond.

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post #29 of 40 Old 07-26-2012, 12:06 PM
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TV model with either be ST50 or VT50 Panasonic 65"
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post #30 of 40 Old 07-26-2012, 12:46 PM
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I actually asked a Panasonic rep a few weeks ago whether a smart app DD 5.1 audio signal would pass as DD 5.1 over HDMI (ARC) or wether it would downmixed to 2.0 and was told 2.0 over HDMI and 5.1 over the optical audio output. Now today, another rep tells me it will indeed pass over the HDMI(ARC) as DD 5.1 or DD+ ... so 1 for, 1 against. Your best bet is to get an owner's confirmation in the ST50 or VT50's Owner's thread.

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