Originally Posted by Dan Daigle
Just spoke with Samsung and so all 4 hdmi ports are 2.0...with 2.1 features. They told me to hook up the Xbox one directly to the gaming hdmi port on the tv for better gaming experience. Then the tv hdmi earc port to the hdmi earc on the receiver. As far as cable box and potential future 4k blu ray all connected directly to the receiver. Does this seem good and proper to you?
That's what I figured. All HDMI ports are HDMI 2.0 with the exception of the port indicated for HDMI 2.1. eARC is possible on HDMI 2.0 if that port is configured for it. HDMI 2.1 features just means ALLM and VRR. They may have plans for future upgrades to those ports for more HDMI 2.1 options so at present there is no need for a 48Gbps cable. It can't hurt but you will not get any better performance because the HDMI ports are standardized around an 18Gbps bandwidth.
For eARC to work you will have to have eARC capability on both of the ports specified for ARC/eARC, receiver and tv. If not, the best you will get is ARC. To use the two HDMI 2.1 features, then you'll have to use the other port specified for HDMI 2.1, but doing so you will lose the ability to implement ARC and/or eARC. Other mfrs use the same chipset(s) on a single port so that you can have eARC and some HDMI 2.1 features, with the ability for future HDMI 2.1 upgrades. I don't know why Samsung separated the two for their 4k flagship so maybe someone else can answer that.
If you connect your Xbox directly to your tv then you'll need to use an optical cable from the tv to the receiver for audio or use the tv's speakers. I don't know about this Samsung but in the past, tv's with externally connected HDMI devices could not pass audio other than maybe 2-channel stereo from the tv to the receiver. The gaming port on the tv probably has Menu features disabled to decrease lag time so that certain features (some pq options for example) are not available to you. You'll have to experiment to see what works best for you.
You never did answer the cable length question. Is 3' the distance from the receiver to the tv? Is that the same distance for the Xbox as well?
I would use the receiver as your hub. IOW, all connections to the receiver first with a single HDMI cable going to the tv for video only. That way, all audio is decoded properly, regardless of what it is (HD Audio for example), for the best 5.1 audio experience you can get. If you are going to use the onboard apps of the Samsung then you'll need to get the audio associated with the apps back to the receiver either via an optical cable (for discrete 5.1 audio only) or ARC. If you're satisfied with that setup then you're good to go. Give it a week or so of playing/testing. If your gaming experience is not what you want, then try the gaming port or the HDMI 2.1 port on the Samsung and see how that goes. Audio may be an issue so you may be stuck with using an optical cable or, if your Xbox has two HDMI outs, you may be able to use one for audio, in which case you could try the ARC/eARC port and see how that works while connecting the other Xbox HDMI to the gaming/HDMI 2.1 port. As I said, I'm not a gamer nor do I use the two-HDMI port output setup so I'll have to leave the exact details of the how-to for someone else to answer better.