E-ARC - how big a deal is it? Should I wait to purchase a tv until next year - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 22 Old 11-20-2019, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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E-ARC - how big a deal is it? Should I wait to purchase a tv until next year

As the title says, I’m torn on the whole e-arc issue. When I did research about it 6 months ago, I quickly came to the conclusion it was a must have feature for my next media room tv. Being able to have much larger bandwidth capability seems extremely important for passing uncompressed audio and video from streaming sources. I realize they aren’t doing it right now but that could change quickly as internet speeds and bandwidth capability continue to increase as quickly as they are. I need to buy a tv now for anew media room l, but I don’t want to be foolish in rushing to purchase something that doesn’t have an important feature. All last year, countless forum people kept saying this year would be a terrible year to purchase a new tv. Is that really the case? Thoughts??

BTW, I’m looking to purchase at least a 82” set and have been favoring the Samsung Q-80 after seeing it and the Sony 900f at Best Buy. Gaming is somewhat important to me as I do some gaming. I already have a 65” 900e and switching to game mode is a PIA.


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post #2 of 22 Old 11-20-2019, 06:18 PM
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eARC is a big deal if you are using the TV internal aps for your streaming. If you are going to use a separate device for playback, connected first to your AVR, then it doesn't matter.
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post #3 of 22 Old 11-20-2019, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hiperco View Post
eARC is a big deal if you are using the TV internal aps for your streaming. If you are going to use a separate device for playback, connected first to your AVR, then it doesn't matter.


External streamers don’t support eARC right now. I bet roku and the other streaming devices add it when they come out with new devices in the next year or two. I was leaning towards a 82” Samsung Q80 but now I’m seriously hesitating with the uncertainty surrounding this issue. I think it’s potentially a big deal in a few. I won’t be buying a new 82” tv every 5 years.


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post #4 of 22 Old 11-20-2019, 06:55 PM
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Why would you need an external streamer to support eARC?
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post #5 of 22 Old 11-20-2019, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Why would you need an external streamer to support eARC?


You don’t. I prefer to use an external streamer to using internal tv apps. I focus on the tv picture quality when buying one instead of its smart tv capabilities. Most external streamers are just flat out better in my opinion than the tv internal apps.


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post #6 of 22 Old 11-20-2019, 08:33 PM
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EARC is only useful if you plug all of your devices into your TV and send the sound to your receiver/soundbar. Personally I plug my devices into the receiver and only send one cable to the TV as mine is mounted on the wall.



You will have to have a receiver/soundbar that will accept it as well.


For my use case its not a big deal.


Its not a bad year to wait on a TV in general however that's a whole year (assuming you wait till Black Friday again) you wont have that new TV on the wall and tomorrow is not guaranteed


*note* streamers wont need to update. They will just start sending higher quality audio (assuming they do) to the TV and it will do the EARC thing.
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post #7 of 22 Old 11-21-2019, 06:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zeekle View Post
EARC is only useful if you plug all of your devices into your TV and send the sound to your receiver/soundbar. Personally I plug my devices into the receiver and only send one cable to the TV as mine is mounted on the wall.



You will have to have a receiver/soundbar that will accept it as well.


For my use case its not a big deal.


Its not a bad year to wait on a TV in general however that's a whole year (assuming you wait till Black Friday again) you wont have that new TV on the wall and tomorrow is not guaranteed


*note* streamers wont need to update. They will just start sending higher quality audio (assuming they do) to the TV and it will do the EARC thing.


Thanks for the response. Maybe it’s not as big a deal as I’m thinking. Just trying to figure it out. I run everything thru an AVR as well. It’s my understanding that the new 2.1 features including E-arc are backward compatible except you may need a new hdmi cord with Ethernet. I could be wrong on that but that’s what I read last night. It would seem an AVR would easily be able to accept the bigger signal and process it bc they can already do so with blue ray and UHD disks. I just don’t want to be foolish in spending $3k on a really large tv I plan to keep for 5-10 years.


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post #8 of 22 Old 11-21-2019, 08:33 AM
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Again, eARC has no benefits if all your stuff goes through an AVR first.
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post #9 of 22 Old 11-21-2019, 08:39 AM
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If you plan to game with full bitrate Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, eARC is absolutely essential if you plan to also take advantage of a TV's variable framerate and Low Latency features for PC and console gaming present and future. Otherwise, your AVR will strip away all those glorious features, add lag and defeat the extra money spent on the TV. Don't be fooled by the con that Soundbars provide 3D audio. They do NOT.
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post #10 of 22 Old 11-21-2019, 08:46 AM
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E-ARC is one of the least useful things ever added to HDMI, but quick media switching and quick frame transport are worth waiting for, in my opinion.


The only thing less useful than E-ARC is ALLM.


E-ARC and ALLM are getting, by far, the most discussion of HDMI 2.1's features, aside from perhaps 8k. Maybe this is simply because these features are relatively easy to add and manufacturers are already adding them and thus people are talking about them. I dunno. But I don't think either feature really deserves the hype. The expanded audio format support over E-ARC is "meh" because it's only useful for the TV's own apps (or tuner, if your TV even still has one of those) and... well, why would enthusiasts be using those in the first place? And would "casual" users (who would be more expected to use TV apps) actually even have an advanced audio setup that could take advantage? I say it's doubtful and so I think E-ARC is useless.


As for ALLM, it just automates changing some settings that should really just be changed anyway. There shouldn't be much need to have the set toggle game mode on or off. It should stay on for inputs used by gaming systems, and off for inputs not used by gaming systems.



Switching cable channels, or switching between sources, shouldn't give 5-10 seconds of a black screen and I've been waiting for this problem to be fixed literally since the very first time I used HDMI, so QMS and QFT are what I want. Oh and Variable Frame/Refresh Rate (VFR, VRR, Freesync, VESA Adaptive Sync, whatever you want to call it) too.


E-ARC has nothing to do with video. It's strictly an audio feature, and it's strictly only useful when you are (for some reason) using your TV's smart apps (which I seriously recommend you do not - there is not a TV on the market that comes with quality apps - or if they do then they will be run on an applications processor that runs slower than the smartphone you had 5 years ago. And then the apps will stop getting updates practically immediately, and then when streaming services update their API, your stuff stops working.)

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post #11 of 22 Old 11-21-2019, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by DonoMan View Post
E-ARC is one of the least useful things ever added to HDMI, but quick media switching and quick frame transport are worth waiting for, in my opinion.


The only thing less useful than E-ARC is ALLM.


E-ARC and ALLM are getting, by far, the most discussion of HDMI 2.1's features, aside from perhaps 8k. Maybe this is simply because these features are relatively easy to add and manufacturers are already adding them and thus people are talking about them. I dunno. But I don't think either feature really deserves the hype. The expanded audio format support over E-ARC is "meh" because it's only useful for the TV's own apps (or tuner, if your TV even still has one of those) and... well, why would enthusiasts be using those in the first place? And would "casual" users (who would be more expected to use TV apps) actually even have an advanced audio setup that could take advantage? I say it's doubtful and so I think E-ARC is useless.


As for ALLM, it just automates changing some settings that should really just be changed anyway. There shouldn't be much need to have the set toggle game mode on or off. It should stay on for inputs used by gaming systems, and off for inputs not used by gaming systems.



Switching cable channels, or switching between sources, shouldn't give 5-10 seconds of a black screen and I've been waiting for this problem to be fixed literally since the very first time I used HDMI, so QMS and QFT are what I want. Oh and Variable Frame/Refresh Rate (VFR, VRR, Freesync, VESA Adaptive Sync, whatever you want to call it) too.


E-ARC has nothing to do with video. It's strictly an audio feature, and it's strictly only useful when you are (for some reason) using your TV's smart apps (which I seriously recommend you do not - there is not a TV on the market that comes with quality apps - or if they do then they will be run on an applications processor that runs slower than the smartphone you had 5 years ago. And then the apps will stop getting updates practically immediately, and then when streaming services update their API, your stuff stops working.)
So basically, you are ok giving people a huge F U if they spent thousands on a 11 channel audio system and want to take full advantage of that while also experiencing the TV's variable frame rate and allm features when gaming? Explain how that is accomplished without EARC when 99% of the AVR's on the market do not support these features? Please explain this least useful feature to those that depend on it.
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post #12 of 22 Old 11-21-2019, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by wookiegr View Post
So basically, you are ok giving people a huge F U if they spent thousands on a 11 channel audio system and want to take full advantage of that while also experiencing the TV's variable frame rate and allm features when gaming? Explain how that is accomplished without EARC when 99% of the AVR's on the market do not support these features? Please explain this least useful feature to those that depend on it.

I stated my opinion. I'm not giving any size F U to anyone. You, and anyone else, have the right to disagree. In your case, though, I think you're actually misunderstanding what E-ARC even is (or at least how it relates to other HDMI features).




Literally no HDMI feature depends on E-ARC. It has absolutely nothing to do with VRR. And if you're running a thousands-of-dollars 11 channel audio system and you're driving it from an app built into your TV, well... hey, you're allowed. I totally don't understand why you would be okay with the quality (and slowness) you will get using those apps but nothing in my personal opinion prevents you from doing so if you want to. But I do think it's silly and useless, and your post hasn't changed that. (If you aren't using apps on your TV at all, then E-ARC is literally useless to you.)



ALLM is totally useless. It turns on game mode for you. Woo. How about this - turn it on yourself?

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post #13 of 22 Old 11-21-2019, 09:59 AM
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I stated my opinion. I'm not giving any size F U to anyone.


Literally no HDMI feature depends on E-ARC. It has absolutely nothing to do with VRR. And if you're running a thousands-of-dollars 11 channel audio system and you're driving it from an app built into your TV, well... hey, you're allowed. I totally don't understand why you would be okay with the quality (and slowness) you will get using those apps but nothing in my personal opinion prevents you from doing so if you want to. But I do think it's silly and useless, and your post hasn't changed that. (If you aren't using apps on your TV at all, then E-ARC is literally useless to you.)



ALLM is totally useless. It turns on game mode for you. Woo. How about this - turn it on yourself?
If you plug your consoles and PC's directly into the the TV and allow it EARC the uncompressed audio to the AVR you ARE using the HDMI features as designed. If the TV can handle all the video processing directly from the source hardware without routing them through the AVR while spilling the uncompressed audio to the AVR you have the ideal situation. Not only are you not at risk of the AVR doing some sort of video processing you are ensuring each devices video and audio is handled in the most direct and optimal way. Not trying to sell you on it, just saying your opinion is based solely on not needing the features it provides and is not good to claim it is worthless for people needing all the facts. It's the same as having someone insist you don't need more that 5.1 channels of speakers when someone wants to go full on 11 channels. Why the hell not, at least you are prepared for what tomorrow brings. Or in all these cases, TODAY
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post #14 of 22 Old 11-21-2019, 10:07 AM
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If you plug your consoles and PC's directly into the the TV and allow it EARC the uncompressed audio to the AVR you ARE using the HDMI features as designed. If the TV can handle all the video processing directly from the source hardware without routing them through the AVR while spilling the uncompressed audio to the AVR you have the ideal situation. Not only are you not at risk of the AVR doing some sort of video processing you are ensuring each devices video and audio is handled in the most direct and optimal way. Not trying to sell you on it, just saying your opinion is based solely on not needing the features it provides and is not good to claim it is worthless for people needing all the facts. It's the same as having someone insist you don't need more that 5.1 channels of speakers when someone wants to go full on 11 channels. Why the hell not, at least you are prepared for what tomorrow brings. Or in all these cases, TODAY

I don't know; I think your concern about video processing in receivers messing with a signal is a 10 or 15 year old concern. I haven't had receivers try to mess with my video in a long time. I haven't owned one of those "you cannot disable my video processing HA HA!" receivers in a long time. I have a NAD T758v3 that doesn't mess with my video. I briefly had a Marantz SR7011 that didn't mess with my video. But HDMI ARC and CEC can be problematic with certain equipment, and I'd say those problems are significantly more likely to occur than any kind of forced video processing.



Besides, do you have an expensive system but only like 3 HDMI sources? Good luck fitting things into the ports on a TV. I probably have 10+ sources hooked up. Going to make a HUGE mess if you are plugging a bunch of stuff into the TV, especially if you also have to plug stuff into the AVR...



I'm not sure how this relates to me thinking 5.1 channels would be enough.


In any case, any equipment I'd recommend waiting for would have E-ARC and ALLM, but personally, there is no chance I'd ever need or use either feature. If you will use the feature, then use it. I have no problem with that.

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post #15 of 22 Old 11-21-2019, 10:15 AM
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i stopped by here this morning, looked ok, dropped in now, it's gone to hell......... wow, that was fast!

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post #16 of 22 Old 11-21-2019, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonoMan View Post
I stated my opinion. I'm not giving any size F U to anyone. You, and anyone else, have the right to disagree. In your case, though, I think you're actually misunderstanding what E-ARC even is (or at least how it relates to other HDMI features).




Literally no HDMI feature depends on E-ARC. It has absolutely nothing to do with VRR. And if you're running a thousands-of-dollars 11 channel audio system and you're driving it from an app built into your TV, well... hey, you're allowed. I totally don't understand why you would be okay with the quality (and slowness) you will get using those apps but nothing in my personal opinion prevents you from doing so if you want to. But I do think it's silly and useless, and your post hasn't changed that. (If you aren't using apps on your TV at all, then E-ARC is literally useless to you.)



ALLM is totally useless. It turns on game mode for you. Woo. How about this - turn it on yourself?


I agree with your sentiment on using an external device for steaming and not the internal tv apps. I mentioned that in this thread earlier as that’s what I do. So really it’s just a matter of Roku, apple, and nvidia providing the updated specs in new hardware to allow the uncompressed audio to be fed to our AVRs. Totally agree that it’s an audio issue and not video. I personally CAN definitely tell a difference bw DD plus and true HD audio from a blue ray with my system so that’s why this subject is of interest to me. So it seems like from what you wrote that Samsung for example is already providing the more useful gaming features associated with 2.1 and there’s not a big reason to wait to purchase a tv this year other than pricing pressure created by TCLs mini LED tv.


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post #17 of 22 Old 11-21-2019, 11:26 AM
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Q80 is still missing stuff I would want for gaming like 4K120. It supports FreeSync but not HDMI VRR (I lumped those features together before but the lumping together comes from what those features do - not how they are implemented). Freesync will work as VRR when you're using a PC or Xbox One (not sure about PS4). That TV does not have Quick Frame Transport or Quick Media Switching which I care about, but you might not (which is fine).


Having FreeSync is a big benefit over not having it, but I think there should be more features in the 2020 models. I hope.


I've been holding off for a couple years now, myself...




Edit: Rtings says HDMI 2.1 "no" for this set. I actually hadn't even considered that it could be 2.0 with just FreeSync. But I am far from an expert on Samsung models in general. I'll have to keep doing some research myself. (I've been checking into this forum periodically just to try and find new/additional info on HDMI 2.1, heh.)

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post #18 of 22 Old 11-21-2019, 12:07 PM
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eARC is wonderful when your TV and in my case soundbar support it. unfortunately it's still in it's infancy and doesn't always work as it was intended. I prefer to use the eARC function with all my devices connected directly to the TV.

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post #19 of 22 Old 11-21-2019, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DonoMan View Post
Q80 is still missing stuff I would want for gaming like 4K120. It supports FreeSync but not HDMI VRR (I lumped those features together before but the lumping together comes from what those features do - not how they are implemented). Freesync will work as VRR when you're using a PC or Xbox One (not sure about PS4). That TV does not have Quick Frame Transport or Quick Media Switching which I care about, but you might not (which is fine).


Having FreeSync is a big benefit over not having it, but I think there should be more features in the 2020 models. I hope.


I've been holding off for a couple years now, myself...




Edit: Rtings says HDMI 2.1 "no" for this set. I actually hadn't even considered that it could be 2.0 with just FreeSync. But I am far from an expert on Samsung models in general. I'll have to keep doing some research myself. (I've been checking into this forum periodically just to try and find new/additional info on HDMI 2.1, heh.)


What’s the quick frame transport or media switching about? I’ve never noticed much lag when I switch sources with my setup.


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so, the potential for tv's to have to now have like 7-8 hdmi's to potentially support connecting all or most eARC devices (that used to be connected to receivers) to the tv simultaneously is interesting as to what it's gonna do to the price of tv's as well as now potentially having to route all those cables to the tv especially if your tv is wall mounted. it will all be interesting, i mean, just look at some of the colorful responses in this thread. imagine when they start releasing tech to consumers with eARC. now, that's a show i'll be watching!

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post #21 of 22 Old 11-21-2019, 12:39 PM
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What’s the quick frame transport or media switching about? I’ve never noticed much lag when I switch sources with my setup.


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You don't? About 5 seconds of black screen for me (regardless of whether I use an AVR in the chain or not, and I have tried several of those). Even just changing cable channels sucked (when I still had cable, anyway). You're not the first person to tell me you don't have this problem, but I'm not sure I've ever used any setup that switched quickly enough for me (I'm impatient to a fault, though - unfortunately I am not aware of any HDMI revisions to fix that problem :/). I do switch between sources a lot as well (between Roku and BD, or between gaming systems, or whatever) and it's soooo slow. But I guess if you don't have that problem and your sources can make use of FreeSync (which you should be able to), then you might be fine buying the Q80 now. FreeSync should be a common standard for a while, especially with PCs.



Beyond the source switching slowness, many people find HDMI to have up to a frame of latency (compared to using other standards) and QFT should decrease that, but if you don't have an issue with it as-is, you might not even notice. I can't say for sure.


QFT allows the source to transmit a frame faster than real time. The display can start processing it sooner if it is transferred quicker.



I do not know exactly how much it's supposed to help. I'm waiting on it, though, because every little bit should help. I am still learning more about these new features myself so if I missed anything please let me know.




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imagine when they start releasing tech to consumers with eARC. now, that's a show i'll be watching!
Well most of us will just ignore that feature :P
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post #22 of 22 Old 11-21-2019, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
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You don't? About 5 seconds of black screen for me (regardless of whether I use an AVR in the chain or not, and I have tried several of those). Even just changing cable channels sucked (when I still had cable, anyway). You're not the first person to tell me you don't have this problem, but I'm not sure I've ever used any setup that switched quickly enough for me (I'm impatient to a fault, though - unfortunately I am not aware of any HDMI revisions to fix that problem :/). I do switch between sources a lot as well (between Roku and BD, or between gaming systems, or whatever) and it's soooo slow. But I guess if you don't have that problem and your sources can make use of FreeSync (which you should be able to), then you might be fine buying the Q80 now. FreeSync should be a common standard for a while, especially with PCs.



Beyond the source switching slowness, many people find HDMI to have up to a frame of latency (compared to using other standards) and QFT should decrease that, but if you don't have an issue with it as-is, you might not even notice. I can't say for sure.


QFT allows the source to transmit a frame faster than real time. The display can start processing it sooner if it is transferred quicker.



I do not know exactly how much it's supposed to help. I'm waiting on it, though, because every little bit should help. I am still learning more about these new features myself so if I missed anything please let me know.






Well most of us will just ignore that feature :P


Switching thru my Marantz 7010 is pretty quick. I’ve never noticed it as taking a long time. I press watch movie on the harmony and it switches to my oppo. I guess it could be a little quicker, but it definitely doesn’t drive me crazy or anything.


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