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How to setup ARC/eARC for Samsung TV

Samsung Smart TV Audio Settings


HDMI has been available since 2004 and HDMI ARC since 2009 while eARC was not generally available on a TV until 2019. Some audio video receivers and two Sony TV models offered eARC in 2018.

HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) and enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) .

Most TV makers ship their TVs with the ARC function turned OFF. We will show you how to turn on your ARC function to get your surround sound working.

How do I know if my TV and soundbar have ARC/eARC?

Look at the HDMI ports on the TV or soundbar to see if HDMI 2.1 or ARC eARC is labeled next to the port. You may see HDMI ARC or you may see HDMI ARC/eARC or HDMI 2.1 but since manufacturers can label a port HDMI 2.1 it does not mean they included the chips inside your device for all the HDMI 2.1 features.

For the eARC capabilities, your TV, soundbar or audio video receiver should be a 2019 or later model. If you see HDMI ARC but no eARC label, and your device was made before 2019 then chances are your device is not eARC capable but may be ARC capable.

Do I need a new HDMI cable for eARC?

The Ultra High Speed HDMI cable is recommended for the best results using eARC. Older HDMI cables may not be capable of delivering the latest sound formats.

8K HDMI Cable 2.1 48Gbps 6.6FT/2M, Ultra High Speed HDMI Braided

ARC supports up to 6-channel (Dolby Digital 5.1) compressed audio.

The newer eARC can carry up to 32-channel audio, including eight channels of 192 kHz, 24-bit uncompressed audio. It also supports DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, Dolby TrueHD, and Dolby Atmos formats.

HDMI Audio Return Channel allows two way signal communication to and from the TV.

You must use the HDMI port labeled HDMI ARC/eARC and use a HDMI cable to connect TV and Audio/Video Receiver or Soundbar.


Look on the rear of your TV to find the HDMI port for ARC/eARC. Typically only one HDMI port will be setup for ARC/eARC use.

Soundbar ports

The soundbar or audio video receiver should have a HDMI port labeled ARC/eARC. Connect the HDMI cable from TV ARC/eARC port to the soundbar ARC/eARC port.

The loudspeakers connected to the AVR or the speakers inside or connected to the soundbar give you surround sound when available from your source.

If your TV app has the latest high quality audio available, you can connect to a compatible AVR or soundbar to hear surround sound.

For the best sound, you need eARC turned on both on the TV and the AVR or soundbar.

Most TVs compress audio signals in advance before going through HDMI cables. The eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) enables you to transmit the original full resolution audio signal through an HDMI cable and reproduce the best sound without compromise.

The eARC is a feature implemented in the latest HDMI 2.1 specification, the biggest advantage is that it exceedingly improves bandwidth and speed. This allows you to transmit high quality audio from your TV to your Soundbar or AV receiver and is compatible with the high bitrate formats Dolby Atmos and DTS.

TV used as switching host. One issue with this setup is the TV has to passthru "high quality audio" to the AVR or soundbar and some TVs will not. Check your TV model for which audio formats it will process. Some TVs will allow audio passthru for sources such as Blu-ray but not for TV apps. Some TV models will allow all the Dolby formats but not DTS formats.

AVR or soundbar used as switching host. If the AVR or soundbar has the best audio processing capabilities then the TV is just used as a video display for sources such as Blu-ray. Be sure the AVR or soundbar has the capability to passthru the video quality of your source.


eARC provides support for larger bandwidth and supports faster speeds. Therefore, you are able to deliver higher quality audio from your TV to your sound bar or audio video receiver.

HDMI eARC is required for the advanced audio formats such as Dolby ATMOS/Dolby TrueHD. HDMI ARC is not capable of sending the newer audio formats.

IMPORTANT: Your TV, soundbar and/or Audio Video Receiver must all be capable of processing the audio format you want to hear.
Some TVs will not passthru high-end audio formats.

o You must use an eARC supported HDMI cable. (HEAC or HEC)

o Anynet + (HDMI-CEC) function must be enabled on the smart TV.

How to set ARC/eARC on:

Step 1. Press the HOME button on your Samsung remote control, and then select Settings. (Bottom Left)

Step 2. Select the Sound Menu, and then choose Expert Settings.

Step3. Navigate to the HDMI e-ARC Mode and press the enter button on your remote to turn ON. (AUTO)

Default setting for eARC Mode is off. (Connect to ARC automatically)

eARC is only activated when HDMI-eARC Mode is turned on.

Samsung TV models may differ slightly as to the menu navigation.

Step 1: Press your remote’s Home button.
Step 2: Navigate to the Settings.
Step 3: Navigate to System
Step 4: Open the Expert Settings.
Step 5: Activate Anynet + (HDMI CEC).

If you have problems:

Check that the Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC) is activated.

You will need to enable HDMI-CEC protocols in the Settings Menu on your TV. Samsung calls the HDMI-CEC protocol Anynet+.

Step 1. Press the HOME button on your Samsung remote control and then select Settings.

Step 2. On the Settings screen, choose the General Menu and then External Device Manager.

Step 3. Navigate to Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC) in the External Device Manager menu and press enter on your remote to turn Anynet+ ON.

Now you should be able to go back to SOUND, Expert Settings and set eARC ON.

Problem with NO SOUND even if connected:

When eARC is connected, but no sound

1. Make sure the proper source is selected on the Soundbar/AVR/TV.

2. You need to check Digital Output Audio Format (Menu > Sound > Expert Settings > Digital Output Audio Format)

To check if the AV device does not support the Audio Output Format, test the output sound by changing Digital Output Audio Format to PCM / Auto / Pass-Through, once each and test.

3. Check the eARC port (the same port as ARC) is connected (HDMI).

4. Check the connected AV device is an eARC-enabled device.

5. Check the HDMI cable is HEAC or HEC supported.

6. Reconnect HDMI cable, and then reset HDMI-eARC Mode to Auto.

Make sure the HDMI ARC/eARC port is connected using HDMI cable to HDMI ARC/eARC port and not another HDMI port.

Sometimes just powering all your components OFF and waiting a few mins. then powering back ON will reset HDMI.

• Try unplugging all HDMI cables, particularly any Blu-ray players, then power everything off. Wait a few mins. and plug everything back in and power up. Be sure to give the TV time to boot up before powering on the soundbar or AVR.

You may have a faulty cable so try a different one.

Try using an optical cable instead of HDMI just to check if that works. Be sure to change the audio format for optical.

You can try as a last resort to do a reset on the soundbar or AVR or TV.

I have done everything and I still do not get the sound I want. What is wrong?

You may need to turn on the eARC function on the soundbar. Every soundbar will have a different method to control this function.

For the Sony Soundbar HTX8500 which has eARC and Dolby ATMOS, press and hold the SPORTS button for 5 secs. Watch the indicators on the soundbar for eARC turning ON or OFF. Read owners manual carefully.

Two things to always be aware of:
1. Age of components such as TV, AVR, soundbar and
2. Brands of Components.

Components may have different compatibilities based on age of manufacture and also different manufacturers implement HDMI according to their standards at any given time. HDMI standards are not always mandatory and manufacturers may even pick and choose which HDMI features to use and which not to use.

Best bet to ensure compatibility is to get all the same brand and as close to the same year of manufacture as possible.

If you have done all the above and have made sure you have downloaded the latest firmware update for TV, AVR and soundbar but still have issues, contact the manufacturer. They may be aware of known problems reported by consumers. You may even be able to get a refund from the manufacturer if they advertised a function on the device you bought and it simply does not work. However keep in mind you may have to prove the facts regarding your issue. Make sure you have not forgotten to cover every possible area with regards to the problem.

Samsung Customer Support

The manufacturer may decide that to fix an issue may be cost prohibitive since a new model may be released soon.

caveat emptor


What is Dolby ATMOS? An object based audio format sent along with a container audio format like

1. Dolby Digital Plus, a compressed (lossy, some information has been taken out) surround sound format or
2. Dolby TrueHD, an uncompressed (lossless, no information has been taken out) surround sound format.

Dolby ATMOS is not sound, it is information about sound. Dolby TrueHD combined with Dolby ATMOS is the best surround sound you can get to date. Most TV apps use a compressed sound format.

Dolby TrueHD has around 12 times more information than does Dolby Digital Plus.

Why you are not hearing the best Dolby ATMOS if you are not using physical media


What is HDCP? High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection which when implemented is intended to keep media content from being copied. Content creators may encrypt their source media and hardware manufacturers may implement the protocol on HDMI ports on TV, audio video receivers and other devices. HDCP 2.2 is intended to protect 4K content. If your source media is encrypted, your connected TV HDMI port must match the protocol as well as any other device in the chain such as an AVR. Older TV HDMI ports may not be compliant with HDCP 2.2 so you may have to connect using component video at 1080p instead of 4K. Some audio video receivers have assignable HDMI ports, some have all HDMI ports compliant with HDCP and some have only one HDMI port which supports HDCP. Look on the back of the TV to find the HDMI port labeled HDCP x.y and connect your source. HDCP 2.3 is backward compatible with HDCP 2.2 but older versions may not work. This is because the older versions have been already defeated and massive improvements had to be made.

What is surround sound?

HDMI Cables

There is no such thing as a HDMI 1.4 cable or a HDMI 2.0 cable. People tend to mix up HDMI cables and HDMI standards. HDMI standards are designated by version numbers like 2.1 which defines the set of rules and features which the chipsets in your devices, like a TV, have inside them. HDMI cables are designated by speed capabilities, High Speed or Ultra High Speed etc. which simply means the cable has been tested and certified to be able to perform at those levels.

What makes HDMI cables different and are they all the same?

Most HDMI cables are basically the same but what makes them different or perform at a higher level, is the materials used in their construction. In order to perform at increasing levels of speed and capacity, the cables must use higher quality conductors, better shielding and better quality control during construction. This gives them the ability to perform at higher levels.

One of the important elements of an HDMI cable is the thickness of the conductors. Also, the type of dielectric (insulating material), the amount of shielding, the consistency of the construction (the number of twists in the conductors per inch and their positioning in the cable relative to each other) as well as the quality of the conductor metal all affect the way the cable performs. Some of the better cables use silver plating over the copper conductors. Silver is the best conductor metal and its use results in a cable that produces less jitter.

Utilizing higher quality materials: Silver-plated copper, skin-foam-skin dielectric, triple shielding and die cast metal connectors all contribute to delivering a better signal by decreasing noise and distortion.

HDMI certified cables - Standard, High Speed, Premium and Ultra High Speed

HDMI cables are submitted by the manufacturer to an accredited lab, licensed by HDMI group. The cables are then tested. When cables pass the tests, a test report is placed on file with HDMI organization, and the manufacturer of the cable is allowed to place the “HDMI Certified” label on the cable and the packaging. There may be no physical difference between a correctly-built and tested High Speed HDMI cable and an HDMI Certified Premium cable, and no test or performance difference.

The conductor size of the cable will determine the cables suitability for use at varying lengths. Generally, the longer the length of the cable, the larger conductor size required in order to pass all certification tests. AWG32 is considered to be an industry minimum for even short cables, although some unscrupulous manufacturers will use conductors as small as AWG34 on short cables, which while they may not pass testing may actually support low resolution video and be accepted by some consumers. Conductors are always tinned copper, while braid is generally an aluminum-magnesium alloy wire mesh.

Insulation jackets can vary from PE (polyethylene) to PP (polypropylene), as can filler materials. Fillers are used to fill voids in the internal wire stackup in order to retain the round look of a cable.

What makes one cable perform better than another?

1. the shape and size of the paired wires;

2. the thickness, and dielectric properties, of the insulation on the paired wires;

3. the dimensions of the shield over the pair.

Oxygen-free copper (OFC) or oxygen-free high thermal conductivity (OFHC) copper is a group of wrought high-conductivity copper alloys that have been electrolytically refined to reduce the level of oxygen to 0.001% or below.

Most HDMI cables are made in China. Even many of the cables from USA based companies are assembled in China.

HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) – Most TVs connect to a sound bar or AV receiver using an optical cable or HDMI cable. HDMI ARC enables a TV to send audio back to a sound bar or AV receiver through the same HDMI cable that delivered the HDMI signals to the TV. In other words, video and audio to the TV and audio back to the sound bar (the "return" part). The benefits of ARC include fewer cables, use of the TV remote to control sound, and the ability to transmit higher resolution audio to your sound bar or AV receiver.

Dynamic HDR – High Dynamic Range (HDR) is achieved by sending additional information with the video signal that tells the TV how to display the content. It results in greater brightness, contrast, and better color accuracy as compared to Standard Dynamic Range (SDR). Dynamic HDR simply means the dynamic range can be set on a per-scene basis (or frame-by-frame in the case of high-end TVs).

Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) was introduced in HDMI 2.1 and provides support for higher-quality audio bandwidth and speed. eARC requires a High Speed HDMI cable with Ethernet or an Ultra High Speed HDMI cable.

Standard HDMI® Cable
The Standard HDMI cable is designed to handle some earlier consumer applications, and is tested to reliably transmit 1080i or 720p video.

High Speed HDMI® Cable
The High Speed HDMI Cable is designed and tested to handle video resolutions of 1080p and beyond with support up to 10.2Gbps bandwidth, including advanced display technologies such as 4K@30Hz, 3D, and Deep Color. If you are using any of these technologies, or if you are connecting your 1080p HD display to a 1080p HD content source, such as a Blu-ray Disc player, this is the recommended cable.

High Speed HDMI® Cable with Ethernet
This cable type offers the same baseline performance as the High Speed HDMI Cable with an additional dedicated data channel, known as the HDMI Ethernet Channel, for device networking. HDMI Ethernet Channel functionality is only available if both linked devices are HDMI Ethernet Channel-enabled.

Premium High Speed HDMI® Cable and Premium High Speed HDMI® Cable with Ethernet

Premium HDMI Cables are a special certification for High Speed HDMI Cables that have been designed and certified for ultra-reliable performance for 4K/UltraHD at up to 18Gbps bandwidth including advanced features such as 4K60, HDR, and expanded color spaces including BT.2020. They have low EMI and are identified by HDMI Licensing Administration’s Premium HDMI Cable Certification Label for authentication and in-field verification.

The Ultra High Speed HDMI® Cable
The UHS HDMI Cable is the only cable that complies with stringent specifications designed to ensure support for all HDMI 2.1a features including uncompressed 8k@60 and 4K@120. The cable’s bandwidth supports up to 48Gbps, it is backwards compatible with existing HDMI devices, and features exceptionally low EMI which reduces interference with nearby wireless devices. For verification and authentication, the cable packaging is required to display the Ultra High Speed HDMI Certification Label which includes the Cable Name Logo.

CEC- the Consumer Electronic Control (CEC) uses only one conductor. The CEC is the control part of the cable. It is a bi-directional control that allows something called 1-touch play. This occurs when a trigger sends a series of intelligent commands to multiple devices in a system. A few examples of 1-touch play are: system standby, one touch record, and tuner control. The CEC is found in all HDMI cables, but its implementation is optional on some devices.

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Surround Sound Explained

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