Here is my thought and maybe I am crazy.
When EARC gets going why not have the TV with all the HDMI ports for all the video devices and then EARC out to receiver? The receiver would only need a couple HDMI's as you would not need one for every video device.
Hook up Roku, Apple, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, UHD, Blu Ray player etc etc to the TV. This way all Video has a direct connection to the TV. Way less HDCP problems etc. Then just have the EARC out of TV send the audio to the EARC in on the receiver. Seems like a better setup to me then the current way of hooking up 6 video devices to receiver then hoping they all work right going to tv.
I tend to watch a sporting event while playing an SACD etc so that may be an issue getting the UHD player to send audio to tv and earc sending back to receiver while playing a different video source like TV. But I am sure that could be done.
With EARC could we not bypass the receiver for the video almost totally? The reason why we do it the current way is because ARC is 2.1 or 5.1 compressed. Toslink is 5.1 at best if I am correct.
Just have 8 HDMI or one of those connect boxes that go to TV over a single cable. Then EARC to receiver with one cable.
TV's might go up a little in price but receivers should go down if they only need a couple HDMI's.
I understand that this would be considerably in the future as you would need a HDMI 2.1 EARC TV and Receiver for it to work right.
But I would think the theory is good.