What Is an Audio Return Channel (ARC)?

Since the introduction of HDMI 1.4 in 2009, the digital audio/video interface has included a link called an Audio Return Channel (ARC). If you're putting together a home theater system, you may wonder about the purpose of this feature and whether it makes a difference in your sound experience. ARC does in fact provide advantages that can make your setup simpler and more flexible.

How HDMI ARC works

The functionality of ARC is to send audio from a TV to an AV receiver or a compatible sound bar via one source of connection: the HDMI cable. You send video to the TV with an HDMI cable, and that same HDMI cable sends high-quality audio from the TV back down the same cable. No muss. No fuss. No additional connections. As a result, you can easily step up from the small speakers included in today's ultra-thin TVs without worrying about a complex mess of cables.

With the debut of HDMI 2.1 in November 2017 came a new advancement: the Enhanced Audio Return Channel. As with other aspects of HDMI's latest version, eARC is designed to support cutting-edge equipment and stay current through years of advancements in home theater technology. Specifically, eARC provides the expanded bandwidth to support object-based 3D audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X through a single source cable connection.

Select a home theater receiver with the latest technology and features

To use the whole range of features available in today's equipment, always read the fine print. Check for compatibility so you can make the most of ARC's capabilities and elevate sound beyond your TVs speakers. One of the most important factors is a high-quality AV receiver that works with current advancements like ultra-high definition video and 3D audio.

Marantz receivers like the SR7012 are designed to meet the demands of today's entertainment. This 9.2-channel receiver includes support for eARC as well as compatibility with 4K TV and leading object-based audio formats. With updated features that make setup easy and straightforward, you're well on your way to achieving an experience that consistently delivers vivid sound and picture quality.

Explore the complete range of AV receivers from Marantz to find one with the perfect combination of features for your home entertainment system.