The HDMI ARC Adapter in Use

The HDMI ARC adapter

HDMI ARC adapter



The HDMI ARC adapter allows you to extract audio from your ARC enable TV and connect it to your amplifier or soundbar using only a single HDMI cable. This article will help you to understand ARC and how this device works.



What is HDMI ARC?

ARC is the acronym for Audio Return Channel. It utilises conductors already existing within your HDMI cable (providing that it is 1.4 standard or newer, made around 2009 or later) to transport video in one direction and audio in another. In order for the system to work, you need both an ARC enabled TV and an ARC enabled receiver or amplifier (unless you use our HDMI ARC adapter – more later). Connected together,  you can send pictures to your TV from an external source and fetch the audio signal from your TV if you are watching an internal source such as Netflix or Freeview.

What is the Purpose of HDMI ARC?

If you are using external speakers to listen to your TV via an external amplifier and that amplifier is connected to the TV using just one HDMI cable buried in the wall, all of your external sources such as DVD or Satellite receiver can be heard through those speakers. But what if your TV has internet capability and you want to listen to your Netflix programmes through those speakers? Or you may want to watch a Freeview channel and hear that channel through your speakers.

The HDMI ARC channel allows you to do that. Without ARC you would have to chase an extra cable into your wall as in the image below.

a system without HDMI ARC

This system allows you to listen to your Blu-ray player via the external speakers and also to listen to your Netflix or freeview programmes through the external speakers. But you must be able to install an extra cable to carry the audio from the TV to the receiver.

If you have both an HDMI ARC enabled TV and an ARC enables receiver, the system would look like this;

System with HDMI ARC

This system utilises only the single HDMI cable between the TV and the receiver to allow all programmes to be watched on the TV with the sound passed through to the external speakers.

(Note that there may be some restrictions. Some TV’s pass only stereo sound to the audio return channel rather than 5.1 or multi-channel.)

What is the HDMI ARC Adapter?

The HDMI ARC adapter takes advantage of the ARC function of your TV and allows you to extract the audio from it to pass back to your amplifier. This is how it would look in practise;

The HDMI ARC adapter in use

In the scenario where only one HDMI cable is buried in the wall, you are restricted to hearing only external sources through your speaker system. But by using the HDMI ARC adapter as shown above, you can extract the audio from the TV even when watching Netflix or some other directly received programming such as Freeview, allowing you to also listen to them through your external speakers.

The HDMI cable acts to send video to the TV when you want to watch your Blu-ray player and of course, your amplifier system handles the sound as normal. When you want to watch Netflix or Freeview, that same HDMI cable fetches the audio back to the amplifier so that you can enjoy all of your TV programs using your amplifier system.

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