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ARC TV and a Non ARC Sound Receiver

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So I just purchased a brand new HDTV with ARC (Audio Return Chanel) built into one of the HDMI ports.

But I still own an old version of HDMI capable surround sound receiver (Sony STR-K7200). It has 3 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output.

I frequently watch TV without the surround sound receiver on. So I would like to have all my inputs connected directly to TV (TV has 3 HDMI + 1 HDMI [ARC]) and have ARC enabled when I want the 5.1 surround sound.

My question is this: Is it possible to have the sound sent to the old non-ARC surround sound receiver? (just one way from TV ARC to receiver?) I really don't care about using the receiver's 3 HDMI input and have it sent back to TV.
post #2 of 6
I have the opposite scenario. My avr is ARC capable but the tv is not. All of my devices are connected to the avr with a single HDMI going out to the tv and I use an optical cable back from the tv to the avr. This allows me to use my avr for all of my audio. The best optical can do is 5.1 when the source is the tv (which is ok for us because tv is OTA) so movies, streaming, etc are all played thru the avr (HD audio if a blu-ray). ARC, in your case is useless. Besides, the only real advantage of ARC is that you end up using one less cable (no optical) but the return is still limited to 5.1, just like optical. You can't send HD audio back thru ARC. Both devices, the tv and the avr have to ARC capable to use ARC.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
So are you saying that my TV through the HDMI ARC will not send sound to my AVR? If I connect an HDMI cable from TV's ARC to my AVR's HDMI Input will it not produce any sound?

How does the ARC work anyways? It is an HDMI output and input at the same time? If that is so, can I not just use the output from ARC and plug the other end into the input of the AVR?
post #4 of 6
ARC capability requires handshaking, therefore both "ends" of the HDMI link must be ARC-enabled (and on the right HDMI port) for ARC to work. It's that way for most of HDMI options - lowest common denominator principle.

ARC is very simple in concept. It's designed for listening to audio generated by a TV tuner (or server) on the AVR. This is opposite of the way audio and video normally flows (from AVR to TV). It is done as a separate audio stream that uses a separate connection within the HDMI cable to send a low datarate audio signal back to the AVR. The AVR must have the appropriate chipset to read the connection as well as software/firmware to process the audio data. That's why both the TV and AVR must be ARC compatible for it to work. It's a separate audio stream from the normal one.

The ARC audio is limited to the following:
1) 2-channel stereo
2) 2.0/5.1-channel Dolby Digital compressed audio
3) 5.1-channel DTS compressed audio

None of the high resolution audio codecs (such as Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD MA) can be sent over the ARC connection. Some TVs also limit ARC to only TV- generated audio and don't allow external audio to be "backed" through the ARC.

An ARC-enabled AVR will have a menu option to allow selection of standard HDMI audio or the ARC audio for the HDMI input dedicated to ARC.

If your AVR is not ARC-enabled, you can get the same audio by connecting an optical (or coax, if available) digital audio output from the TV to the AVR, as Otto mentioned.
post #5 of 6
As Andy says ARC adds a ‘return’ path from the TV to a compatible AVR or Soundbar sporting an ARC enabled HDMI socket – without the ARC designation a ‘standard’ HDMI socket on your AVR or Soundbar will not receive audio from your TV via the HDMI connection.

Where your TV does sport an ARC HDMI socket but no Optical Output (getting more common) you can add in an ARC to Optical Converter (http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI-Audio-Converter-EDID-Manager.html) or an HDMI + Optical Switch which supports ARC (http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI%20switch%204x1%20ARC%20port_pro.html).

Joe
post #6 of 6
Excellent answers Andy and Joe!
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