Originally Posted by Mark McIntosh
My Marantz 6009 receiver does support ARC, but still not sure how I'll get audio from the TV when streaming to the receiver.
High Speed HDMI cables are ok for now but you really should use a High Speed Cable that has been tested and certified. Ethernet means nothing at this point in time because that is an HDMI option that was never adopted by the device mfrs but cable mfrs still like to advertise that feature. It will become useful once eARC is widely adopted and available so until then, I wouldn't worry about it.
HDMI carries both audio and video in one direction, as I'm sure you know. ARC (Audio Return Channel) allows to you send and receive audio in two directions, at its simplest definition.
If you can't run the 4k player thru your receiver because of HDCP, then you can connect your player, via HDMI to your tv and then use an optical cable from your tv to the receiver for audio. You will only get 5.1 audio though, not HD Audio (DTS-MA, Dolby TrueHD, etc) because optical doesn't have the bandwidth capacity for the HD Audio stream. You might be able to use the second HDMI out on your player for audio, in which case you'd connect that to your receiver.
You can connect you cable box directly to your tv and use the optical out connection for audio back to your receiver as an option for Spectrum audio. I do that with Comcrap. You can also use the same optical out on the tv for use with the tv's SmartApps. However, you will need to change source every time on your receiver so that it "knows" where audio is coming from (the Spectrum cable connection, the tv's SmartApps, or the blu-ray player).
If it were me, I'd look into upgrading your receiver if budget allows. It would so much easier. That way the receiver would be the hub of your HTS with all connections passing thru it.
When 4k was first introduced, I think HDCP was a version behind 2.2 (2.1 maybe?) so it wasn't a problem then. Now-a-days with 4k HDR tv's, it's almost a requirement to have all of your connected devices on the same HDMI/HDCP hardware versions (2.0b/2.2) so it can be plug and play.
A directional cable is an active cable. Meaning that there is a chipset in the sink end (tv side) that draws a little power from the HDMI input so that you can have a longer cable run (longer than the maximum 25' certifiable distance) and still maintain signal integrity. If your run is under about 20' a passive Premium High Speed HDMI cable will work just fine. Remember, the cable is just the data pipe. It's the HDMI chipsets at the source and sink end that pretty much determine what you can send and receive successfully.