HDMI 2.1 and eARC - receivers finally become audio devices? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 29 Old 01-21-2017, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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HDMI 2.1 and eARC - receivers finally become audio devices?

https://hdguru.com/hdmi-2-1-to-bring...er-experience/

With eARC the audio bandwidth increases from 1 Mbps to 38 Mbps (8 channels, 192 kHz, 24 bits).

I like the idea that Enhanced ARC will put the receiver back to being an audio processing device and leave the image processing to the TV. You will be able to connect the devices that require quick response time or 0 image processing directly to the TV and send the audio bit-stream to the receiver. I think this is an excellent development with HDMI 2.1, receivers have been adding more and more video processing features that are actually making them become outdated faster, like 4K HDR, this made receivers that coudn't pass-through HDR become obsolete. Had the receiver only had to carry the audio signal it would still be useful and up to date piece of equipment for people's 4K HDR setups.

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post #2 of 29 Old 02-02-2017, 07:22 PM
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Neat. Do we have a ballpark time frame when HDMI 2.1 receivers will become available (at retail)?
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post #3 of 29 Old 02-03-2017, 10:31 AM
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This is how it should have been from the beginning. The only issue is how will the receiver's OSD work? Or are we going to require a smart phone app or something to view the settings.
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post #4 of 29 Old 06-12-2017, 06:52 AM
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I was just looking at receivers and noticed the new Yamaha Aventage '70 series all say they have eARC.
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post #5 of 29 Old 06-12-2017, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by puddy77 View Post
I was just looking at receivers and noticed the new Yamaha Aventage '70 series all say they have eARC.
Yeh .. unfortunately that was a misprint and should be removed shortly. Although they definitely won't have this feature when released, it is possible it may be added via a future firmware update (perhaps with the Dolby Vision update later this year?).
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post #6 of 29 Old 06-27-2017, 02:15 AM
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The Marantz 2017 AV receivers (at least SR6012) seem to support eARC. Atleast AVCESAR (french) news article seem to mention the same even though the back panel just says ARC. Wonder whether full HDMI 2.1 support is included.
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post #7 of 29 Old 06-27-2017, 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by LobsterB View Post
The Marantz 2017 AV receivers (at least SR6012) seem to support eARC. Atleast AVCESAR (french) news article seem to mention the same even though the back panel just says ARC. Wonder whether full HDMI 2.1 support is included.
You won't see HDMI 2.1 until at least the 2018 models (but more likely the 2019 models).
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post #8 of 29 Old 10-03-2017, 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
You won't see HDMI 2.1 until at least the 2018 models.
Does this mean eARC is possible without HDMI 2.1?

I read that my C7 LG OLED can pass out Dolby Atmos to a receiver via its ARC channel - is this true? It doesn't have HDMI 2.1 but it would be ideal for me if it was able to pass the Dolby Atmos from Netflix, Amazon Prime etc via ARC to a Dolby Atmos receiver.
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post #9 of 29 Old 10-03-2017, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by realdannys View Post
Does this mean eARC is possible without HDMI 2.1?

I read that my C7 LG OLED can pass out Dolby Atmos to a receiver via its ARC channel - is this true? It doesn't have HDMI 2.1 but it would be ideal for me if it was able to pass the Dolby Atmos from Netflix, Amazon Prime etc via ARC to a Dolby Atmos receiver.

1. Correct. Some mfr's will add eARC via a firmware update to their 2017 HDMI 2.0 models.
2. Currently, Netflix uses a DD+ audio track to pass Atmos audio. DD+ is not considered HD audio quality (as is Dolby TrueHD) so ARC can be used to pass it from the TV --> AVR.
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post #10 of 29 Old 10-03-2017, 05:08 AM
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48Gbps HDMI 2.1 cables were only recently released and the only piece of hardware that I know of confirmed to have HDMI 2.1 is the Xbone X console. Microsoft has repeatedly confirmed that they will support several HDMI 2.1 features and Microsoft is continuing to validate against features until the launch date, but some features may need firmware updates at a later date. I read an interview with Samsung or LG a few weeks ago and they said that HDMI 2.1 was coming, but wouldn't commit to a time frame. I'm sure they don't want to negatively impact sales of current displays either by giving a firm date.

Buyer beware, however. Just because it's got HDMI 2.1 on the box doesn't mean that the device supports all the features of HDMI 2.1. For example, my Yamaha RX-A3000 has HDMI 1.4 ports galore, but doesn't support [email protected] The internal video processing won't pass anything more than [email protected] to a display.

So unless you see eARC on the box or its presence and use has been confirmed by a review or another user, don't assume it is there.
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post #11 of 29 Old 10-03-2017, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
1. Correct. Some mfr's will add eARC via a firmware update to their 2017 HDMI 2.0 models.
2. Currently, Netflix uses a DD+ audio track to pass Atmos audio. DD+ is not considered HD audio quality (as is Dolby TrueHD) so ARC can be used to pass it from the TV --> AVR.
Ah perfect! DD+ with Atmos is spot on for me - I think any difference people perceive in audio quality between lossy and lossless will be placebo anyway - just like the Flac/high quality mp3 debate. Still nobody has passed the old test over at abx.digitalfeed.net, let alone all the blind tests done in studios. Give me DD+ Atmos over True HD standard 5.1 anyday!
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post #12 of 29 Old 10-03-2017, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by realdannys View Post
Ah perfect! DD+ with Atmos is spot on for me - I think any difference people perceive in audio quality between lossy and lossless will be placebo anyway - just like the Flac/high quality mp3 debate. Still nobody has passed the old test over at abx.digitalfeed.net, let alone all the blind tests done in studios. Give me DD+ Atmos over True HD standard 5.1 anyday!
Pretty much, yes.
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post #13 of 29 Old 10-03-2017, 09:36 AM
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So is this going to require a new TV and/or receiver? I'd think that if the TV can send the full audio stream out it's eArc port then it should be possible for the receiver to get it.
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post #14 of 29 Old 10-03-2017, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 1_1_1 View Post
So is this going to require a new TV and/or receiver? I'd think that if the TV can send the full audio stream out it's eArc port then it should be possible for the receiver to get it.
Both the TV and the AVR must be capable of eARC (ie. receive the firmware update or come off the factory line with it on board ... likely only beginning with the 2018 models). Currently there are no major brand AVRs that have received the eARC update.
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post #15 of 29 Old 10-03-2017, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
Both the TV and the AVR must be capable of eARC (ie. receive the firmware update or come off the factory line with it on board ... likely only beginning with the 2018 models). Currently there are no major brand AVRs that have received the eARC update.
Well that's kind of annoying, since my Living room TV is 3D capable but there aren't many new ones that are.
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post #16 of 29 Old 10-03-2017, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realdannys View Post
Does this mean eARC is possible without HDMI 2.1?

I read that my C7 LG OLED can pass out Dolby Atmos to a receiver via its ARC channel - is this true? It doesn't have HDMI 2.1 but it would be ideal for me if it was able to pass the Dolby Atmos from Netflix, Amazon Prime etc via ARC to a Dolby Atmos receiver.
All features in HDMI 2.1 are optional, and these features are:
http://www.hdmi.org/manufacturer/hdmi_2_1/
. eARC
. Dynamic HDR (i.e. transmission of SMPTE ST 2094 dynamic metadata across HDMI)
. VRR
. 48 Gbps ([email protected] HFR, …).

If a product passes the eARC testing specified in the HDMI 2.1 compliance test specification not yet finalized, it is compliant HDMI 2.1 (eARC).


https://www.avsforum.com/forum/465-hi...l#post54807336

Universal audio/video receiver (Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, etc.) is achieved.
Universal HDR TV (HDR10, Dolby Vision, HEVC HLG HDR, VP9-HLG / VP9-PQ YouTube HDR, Dynamic HDR) is required.

Push for universal HDR TV!

Last edited by DanBa; 10-03-2017 at 12:26 PM.
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post #17 of 29 Old 10-03-2017, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanBa View Post
All features in HDMI 2.1 are optional, and these features are:
http://www.hdmi.org/manufacturer/hdmi_2_1/
. eARC
. Dynamic HDR (i.e. transmission of SMPTE ST 2094 dynamic metadata across HDMI)
. VRR
. 48 Gbps ([email protected] HFR, …).

If a product passes the eARC testing specified in the HDMI 2.1 compliance test specification not yet finalized, it is compliant HDMI 2.1 (eARC).


https://www.avsforum.com/forum/465-hi...l#post54807336
Perhaps, but no AVR mfr is going to claim HDMI 2.1 capability if the only "option" it can do is eARC.
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post #18 of 29 Old 10-03-2017, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
Perhaps, but no AVR mfr is going to claim HDMI 2.1 capability if the only "option" it can do is eARC.
Perhaps

Quote:
Originally Posted by realdannys View Post
Does this mean eARC is possible without HDMI 2.1?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
1. Correct.
but it's incorrect to state it's correct.

Universal audio/video receiver (Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, etc.) is achieved.
Universal HDR TV (HDR10, Dolby Vision, HEVC HLG HDR, VP9-HLG / VP9-PQ YouTube HDR, Dynamic HDR) is required.

Push for universal HDR TV!
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post #19 of 29 Old 10-03-2017, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by DanBa View Post
Perhaps

but it's incorrect to state it's correct.
In your eyes apparently. HDMI 2.0 AVRs are able to support eARC with a firmware update. They will not then be considered HDMI 2.1.
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post #20 of 29 Old 10-03-2017, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
In your eyes apparently. HDMI 2.0 AVRs are able to support eARC with a firmware update. They will not then be considered HDMI 2.1.
I'm nobody.
What really matters is the statement from the HDMI people.



According to Jeff Park, Director of Technology at HDMI LA, a HDMI 2.0 => HDMI 2.1 firmware upgrade is possible if the HDMI chipset was designed to be upgradable.
https://cepro.ehmedia.co/webinar-confirmation11710499

Universal audio/video receiver (Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, etc.) is achieved.
Universal HDR TV (HDR10, Dolby Vision, HEVC HLG HDR, VP9-HLG / VP9-PQ YouTube HDR, Dynamic HDR) is required.

Push for universal HDR TV!
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post #21 of 29 Old 10-03-2017, 10:23 PM
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HDMI 2.1 - Valuable but Confusing

It appears HDMI 2.1 will incorporate a lot of confusion, at least when first introduced, along with valuable features. An equipment supplier can decide to support parts, but not all of the HDMI 2.1 if they chose. Most likely the division in support will be at the speed of the connection, that is 18GHz (3 x 6GHz differential pairs) which is the current HDMI 2.0 speed or 48G (4 x 12GHz differential pairs) which allows all of the HDMI 2.1 features to be implemented if desired. The following quote from the Wikipedia HDMI entry provides insight:

"For video resolutions and refresh rates up to and including 4K/60 Hz, the Dynamic HDR, Game Mode VRR and eARC features are supported with the existing HDMI cables. Higher resolutions and refresh rates than 4K/60 Hz, such as 4K/120 Hz and 8K/60 Hz, require new 48G cables.[118]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI

The lower speed features such as Dynamic HDR and eARC are of most interest to me, so I'm fine with that, your mileage may vary. Gamers that want 4k/120Hz output and higher for future high performance monitors won't be as happy.

It is likely at a lot of currently configured AVR's and the like can support the 18GHz HDMI 2.1 features using existing hardware with firmware upgrades, and the existing Premium cables already support 18GHz. This means many 2018 AV models may support these features if the standard and verification testing are in place. Features such as eARC upgrades are already promised for some 2017 models. Will upgrades to existing equipment for a feature such as eARC be HDMI 2.1 certified or will the individual features just be described and the owner can decide, who knows? At that point it seems that the feature, not the certification would be important, the unit has already been purchased. It is hard to see why a vendor would pay to have non-current models certified even if they supply some fully functional HDMI 2.1 features.

Certainly new models will be certified, when the test standards are available and the testing companies are ready, which does not seem to be the case at present. 2018 models should be interesting. It must be a hard time to be planning products in this space.
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post #22 of 29 Old 10-29-2017, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Small update:

https://usa.denon.com/us/news/news/182

Quote:
The AVR-X3400H will also gain eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) capability via a forthcoming firmware update, enabling it to receive object-based audio, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, over HDMI from TV apps.

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post #23 of 29 Old 10-30-2017, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by iatacs19 View Post
As noted in their respective Owner's manuals, the Denon X3400H/X4400H/X6400H and Marantz SR6012/SR7012/SR8012/AV7704 will receive the eARC capability via a future firmware update.
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post #24 of 29 Old 11-18-2017, 08:15 PM
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Wait does eARC support TrueHD/DTS MA?
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post #25 of 29 Old 11-18-2017, 10:45 PM
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Wait does eARC support TrueHD/DTS MA?
Yes.

eARC = enhanced ARC
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post #26 of 29 Old 07-02-2019, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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We are halfway through 2019 and I still don't see any audio-only eARC receivers...

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post #27 of 29 Old 07-02-2019, 11:06 AM
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The missing link here IMO is a lack of reliable, affordable HDMI switches on the market. Some people have too many devices to plug in to their TVs [especially when giving up one port for ARC] so it's still difficult to use a receiver as just an audio device.
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post #28 of 29 Old 07-02-2019, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iatacs19 View Post
We are halfway through 2019 and I still don't see any audio-only eARC receivers...
All 2019 Denon and Marantz models are eARC capable from the factory.
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post #29 of 29 Old 07-02-2019, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by qirex View Post
The missing link here IMO is a lack of reliable, affordable HDMI switches on the market. Some people have too many devices to plug in to their TVs [especially when giving up one port for ARC] so it's still difficult to use a receiver as just an audio device.



Good point, but they don't have to only make one kind of receiver. They can still make their current line-up and add some audio-only eARC receivers. I don't want to keep paying $1,499 for an AVR every time they release some new video format that my AVR cannot be upgraded to support...

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