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-   -   Modern HDMI based AVR without ARC? (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-receivers-amps-processors/2269162-modern-hdmi-based-avr-without-arc.html)

CaptainSKA 12-31-2015 10:56 AM

Modern HDMI based AVR without ARC?
 
Quick question - I have never run video through a receiver/amp before and I was thinking of upgrading to a receiver that does. However, as I looked into it, I realized that the receivers do not strip the audio from the HDMI as it passes by, but rather keeps the signal and HDCP intact for the TV to decode, separate and then send the audio back down the audio return channel of the HDMI, whereupon the receiver then plays the audio.

So, for those of us stubborn old men with an old TV that doesn't have an HDMI specification that supports ARC (like my beautiful Samsung 61A750) - is there any hope or use in a newer AVR?

DonH50 12-31-2015 11:09 AM

You don't need to use the ARC channel unless you wish. The regular audio channels play through the AVR just fine. IMO a new AVR purchase should be driven by desired new features or failure of the existing AVR. ARC is a small part and would not play into my decision either way.

CaptainSKA 12-31-2015 11:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DonH50 (Post 40192842)
You don't need to use the ARC channel unless you wish. The regular audio channels play through the AVR just fine. IMO a new AVR purchase should be driven by desired new features or failure of the existing AVR. ARC is a small part and would not play into my decision either way.

So there's AVRs that allow you to still use an external audio source (SPIDF), separate from the HDMI, while switching and displaying the HDMI? I thought all the modern ones were HDMI only if you were using it as a video switch.

The only reason ARC is playing any kind of a role in the decision was because I was thinking it was keeping me from upgrading. My reasons for wanting to upgrade are separate from the ARC issue.

rontalley 12-31-2015 11:32 AM

87 Attachment(s)
ARC is just a "return channel" from the TV or other. In other words, you can use one HDMI cable to send Audio/Video to the TV AND send audio from the TV via the same HDMI cable if you wanted to.

An application for ARC would be, Digital TV Tuner to TV and from TV send the audio to the AVR. Another would be a Amazon Fire Stick into the TV and the TV would pass along the audio to the AVR.

It is not used for Device to AVR, then AVR passes Audio/Video to the TV then TV has to send the audio back to the AVR in order to get audio. Mostly all modern AVRs will extract the audio from the HDMI source then pass along to TV.

kikkenit2 12-31-2015 11:32 AM

Arc is only to return audio that is created by or connected directly to tv. The hdmi to receiver
audio is the highest quality possible. Arc or toslink from tv isn't. Don't route audio through tv,
but routing video through receiver is fine these days. No need to split signal. Toslink is better
than arc anyway so just turn it off in the receiver.

CaptainSKA 12-31-2015 11:36 AM

Wait, so receivers pull the audio off the HDMI before passing signal to the TV? Last I had checked that was a no-go because of HDCP. Has that changed?

Also, I understand what ARC is and how it works - I was just operating under the assumption that AVRs that switched HDMI were required to use that to play the audio from the HDMI signal.

DonH50 12-31-2015 11:38 AM

See all the responses above. Modern AVRs act just like older AVRs with the exception of more features and usually more HDMI inputs. Many have dropped the old SVHS and composite video inputs, but as far as switching among sources there is no change. You should verify any AVR you choose has the inputs and outputs you desire (for instance RGB inputs if you need them, preamp outputs if you ever think you might want to add an amplifier, etc.)

As stated above the audio return channel is used for specific special purposes and should not play into your decision at all unless you decide you want it for the future. It does not impact normal operation. Having ARC is not a reason to avoid a particular AVR.

rontalley 12-31-2015 11:42 AM

87 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptainSKA (Post 40193738)
Wait, so receivers pull the audio off the HDMI before passing signal to the TV?

Yep!

My old AVR only passed HDMI but now-a-days, the audio is extracted and the AVR decodes the audio. Welcome to 2016!!

DreamWarrior 12-31-2015 11:45 AM

Umm...that is not how HDMI audio works at all. In fact, it works exactly how you say it doesn't. If the sources are connected to the receiver then it does, indeed, decode the audio from the HDMI connection and pass along the video to the TV. In my particular receiver, the audio stream is stripped from the data sent to the TV, I would think this is standard behavior.

ARC was intended to allow the TV to send audio back to the receiver from its inputs. In modern TVs, it can be used to send along the audio streams generated by the internal applications (e.g. a Netflix app). However, it seems this is finicky, and many people seem to have issues with it. Since they have issues with it, most resort to connecting an SPDIF connection from their TV to the receiver. This is only used so the receiver can play back the sound of the TV's internal applications.

In everything I've said above, I assume you're using the receiver as the "hub". In other words, all your devices are plugged into it, and then it's monitor output is connected to your TV. If you're not planning to have it work like this, then you'll probably be very limited to what the TV will pass through to the receiver via SPDIF (or even ARC). Most will only pass stereo and DD/DTS. None can pass the newer HD codecs through SPDIF because it doesn't have the bandwidth. I believe ARC is also limited to the same formats as SPDIF.

edit: ugh, guess I was late to the party, none of those responses were up when I started typing this, lol!

edit2:
Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptainSKA (Post 40193738)
Wait, so receivers pull the audio off the HDMI before passing signal to the TV? Last I had checked that was a no-go because of HDCP. Has that changed?

Also, I understand what ARC is and how it works - I was just operating under the assumption that AVRs that switched HDMI were required to use that to play the audio from the HDMI signal.

It never worked the way you thought it did. So, your grasp of HDMI/HDCP and ARC was always hazy :p. Plus, ARC didn't even exist in the advent of HDMI, and by the time it did, receivers were fully able to perform HDCP handshakes and didn't need ARC to decode audio.

CaptainSKA 12-31-2015 11:51 AM

Well hell's bells. I do not use my current AVR as a hub (it has 2 HDMI inputs I believe), because all it does is pass the signal and relies on ARC or return Toslink for audio.

I've been wanting to use my AVR as a hub, but assumed upgrading would not help if they were still just passing the signal. So the original reason I was given (HDCP) must not be correct?

Time to start saving my shekels.

CaptainSKA 12-31-2015 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DreamWarrior (Post 40194098)
Umm...that is not how HDMI audio works at all. In fact, it works exactly how you say it doesn't. If the sources are connected to the receiver then it does, indeed, decode the audio from the HDMI connection and pass along the video to the TV. In my particular receiver, the audio stream is stripped from the data sent to the TV, I would think this is standard behavior.

ARC was intended to allow the TV to send audio back to the receiver from its inputs. In modern TVs, it can be used to send along the audio streams generated by the internal applications (e.g. a Netflix app). However, it seems this is finicky, and many people seem to have issues with it. Since they have issues with it, most resort to connecting an SPDIF connection from their TV to the receiver. This is only used so the receiver can play back the sound of the TV's internal applications.

In everything I've said above, I assume you're using the receiver as the "hub". In other words, all your devices are plugged into it, and then it's monitor output is connected to your TV. If you're not planning to have it work like this, then you'll probably be very limited to what the TV will pass through to the receiver via SPDIF (or even ARC). Most will only pass stereo and DD/DTS. None can pass the newer HD codecs through SPDIF because it doesn't have the bandwidth. I believe ARC is also limited to the same formats as SPDIF.

edit: ugh, guess I was late to the party, none of those responses were up when I started typing this, lol!

edit2:

It never worked the way you thought it did. So, your grasp of HDMI/HDCP and ARC was always hazy :p. Plus, ARC didn't even exist in the advent of HDMI, and by the time it did, receivers were fully able to perform HDCP handshakes and didn't need ARC to decode audio.

Actually, it did - I have hardware that works that way in my house as I type this - it switches and passes the signal, but doesn't decode it at all. And I know ARC wasn't there originally, that's why I have a tv that doesn't support it and only has a SPIDF out, which limits everything except it's internal tuner to 2 channels and is therefore not an option.

My grasp of how it worked 4-5 years ago is not as hazy as you seem to think.

DreamWarrior 12-31-2015 12:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptainSKA (Post 40194354)
Well hell's bells. I do not use my current AVR as a hub (it has 2 HDMI inputs I believe), because all it does is pass the signal and relies on ARC or return Toslink for audio.

I've been wanting to use my AVR as a hub, but assumed upgrading would not help if they were still just passing the signal. So the original reason I was given (HDCP) must not be correct?

Time to start saving my shekels.

How old is your receiver? Sounds like if it is too old to actually perform an HDCP handshake (and therefore, it must just act like an HDMI switch), then it is probably too old to support ARC (which didn't come along until HDMI 1.4).

DreamWarrior 12-31-2015 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptainSKA (Post 40194450)
Actually, it did - I have hardware that works that way in my house as I type this - it switches and passes the signal, but doesn't decode it at all. And I know ARC wasn't there originally, that's why I have a tv that doesn't support it and only has a SPIDF out, which limits everything except it's internal tuner to 2 channels and is therefore not an option.

My grasp of how it worked 4-5 years ago is not as hazy as you seem to think.

No, actually, it didn't. The ARC channel was meant for the TV to pass audio from other inputs or internal applications (well, actually at the time it was designed, more like the internal tuner) to the receiver. It was NOT meant to decode the audio and then return it back through the same input from whence it came. No TV does this. Nor should it...if the component that sent the audio wanted it decoded, it would've done it itself. Why would the TV send audio back to the source that sent it to it?

jdcrox 12-31-2015 12:11 PM

My Pioneer VSX-1018 is from 2009, and it plays HDMI audio just fine!

garciab 12-31-2015 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptainSKA (Post 40194450)
Actually, it did - I have hardware that works that way in my house as I type this - it switches and passes the signal, but doesn't decode it at all. And I know ARC wasn't there originally, that's why I have a tv that doesn't support it and only has a SPIDF out, which limits everything except it's internal tuner to 2 channels and is therefore not an option.

My grasp of how it worked 4-5 years ago is not as hazy as you seem to think.

I'd like to know the model number of your receiver. My oldest HDMI receiver was never not able to decode the audio before choosing to send it to the tv. Perhaps you never set the "use the AVR as the audio device" option. Every HDMI receiver I've owned has a setting where you choose whether to pass along the audio (ie, the TV becomes the audio device), or keep the audio at the AVR.

kikkenit2 12-31-2015 12:48 PM

Captain-lets go back to your first post. Please list current equipment owned/used including
speakers, sources, monitors, pre-pros/receivers and amps. What is the budget for new?
Forget about arc. Everything else is more important.


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