Thank you for the response.
Originally Posted by Rebound
Three things about Audio Return Channel:
1) It will only work if CEC (BraviaLink) is enabled in the TV and AVR setup menu (this is probably the cause of your problem);
That is not the problem. (On the one hand, I'm thinking "Should I feel insulted by the suggestion?", but on the other, I was actually hoping that I was just overlooking some embarrassingly obvious, easily remedied cause. It happens.)
2) All it does is replace the need for running a TOSLINK audio cable from the TV to the AVR, so don't return your TV, just buy a TOSLINK cable.
Ha! Good point. (See what I mean about overlooking the obvious?)
When I get home, I'll have to see if I have one that's long enough.
Unfortunately, all the optical inputs on my AVR are in use, so I'll have to detemine what source I can do without. (Also, I've had problems with big changes in level when switching between optical and HDMI. I don't think I've tried it with the TV as an optical audio source, though. Another concern is that I suspect that these TVs might be able to pass digital audio from an HDMI input only to the ARC HDMI channel, and not to the optical output. That would render the HDMI inputs mostly useless.)
The lack of functioning Braviasync, though, would still present a problem for being able to adjust the system volume with one remote (main issue there is that our cable remote doesn't support Sony AVRs, but, back when CEC still worked, the TV, upon receiving volume control commands via IR signal, could pass them on to the AVR via CEC). It also prevents configuring system power up/down behavior.
3) ARC should not be used when watching a Blu-ray; you won't get the Dolby TruHD or DTS-HD soundtrack with ARC.
ARC, when it was working, was only used on our set when we displayed streamed programming that comes from the TV (such as Netflix and Crackle) or played content from either our multi-regional DVD player or a PC (both of which must be directly connected to the TV because all of the HDMI inputs on the AVR are in use). The two Blue-ray changers, game consoles and cable STB all pass first through the AVR.