What Is Arc On TV? – [Details Of Functions & Its Working]

Arc stands for ‘Audio Return Channel’. The primary purpose of arc is to provide a two-way audio route to the devices of common use like TV etc. This two-way transmission of the audio is accomplished through a single HDMI cable.

Before proceeding to further details, One thing that we need to keep in mind is that the arc feature or protocol is specific to the HDMI 1.4 version. So, it is necessary to make sure that the HDMI being used is the 1.4 version if we want to get the HDMI ARC TV feature.

HDMI 1.4 version was developed in the year 2009. As far as the effectiveness and efficiency of arc protocol are concerned, the practical application shows that this protocol makes many modes of entertainment, especially those related to sound transmission, easier up to a greater extent.

Details Regarding ARC-Protocol And Its Functioning:

Audio Return Channel port

How Does Arc Work?

When it comes to the streaming of content on your TV sets, the quality, and type of audio also matter a lot. Giving your TV set a connection to a device capable of supporting audio is worth considering the matter. It not only enhances the quality of sound but also makes the process of streaming more efficient.

There are some TV sets or models that have outputs especially designed for this sort of sound transmission. However, in this case, you will need a separate cable to have sound output.

But when you have ARC, there is nothing to worry about as it allows you to accomplish the same task through a single HDMI cable. In this way, it eliminates the need for an extra cable.

In short, we can say that ARC is a protocol that gives you a direct and easy method of streaming the sound, of what is being displayed on your TV, via different devices including a soundbar, etc.

Who May Benefit From Arc?

Those who need a better sound output while watching content on their TV sets may go for different sound quality enhancing devices including devices like soundbars and many others performing the same function.

For those using the above-given devices, ARC is no less than a privilege as it enables them to get sound output via the aforementioned device even without connecting any additional devices or cables.

For instance, if someone is using more than one input source like cable, consoles, or Blu-Ray, he can give input of all these sources to the TV set through an HDMI input slot. As far as the sound output is concerned, it can be carried out via an HDMI output slot via a single HDMI cable.

And all this is possible only if all concerned devices support ARC protocol.

Read: What Is An Ethernet Cable Used For On A TV?

How To Enable Arc Feature?

If you want to avail of different audio or sound devices, you will certainly need to enable the ARC feature. Here is a simple procedure for enabling the ARC feature on your TV.

Enable Arc Feature through this port

1. Find Out The Correct HDMI Input Port:

First of all, you have to search and find the correct slot on your TV set where you can plug in the HDMI input cable. Some of the TVs have four HDMI ports while others have five.

Not all the ports support the ARC feature, so you are supposed to find the one that supports the ARC feature. Sometimes the port supporting the ARC feature is labeled accordingly. If none of the ports is labeled in this regard, you may check out the user’s manual, most probably you will find out the ARC-supported port successfully.

It should also be kept in mind that the TV models older than those of 2009 do not have an ARC-supported slot.

 2. Search Out Arc Supported Output:

The number of HDMI outputs in TVs is either two or three. You need to find the ARC-enabled HDMI support as you did while finding out the correct input. In contrast with input ports, where only one input port supports the ARC feature, in the case of output ports, two of the HDMI output slots are ARC enabled and labeled.

So, find out and choose the HDMI output that supports the ARC feature.

3. Turn HDMI-CEC On:

After finding the ACR-enabled input and output slots and connecting the respective cables, the next step is to turn HDMI-CEC on. HDMI-CEC is a feature that controls or regulates the power control in attached devices.

After enabling it, if you want to turn the automatic power-off feature, you can do this after entering the settings of your device.

Also read: Connect A Sound Bar To Samsung TV Via HDMI

4. Selection Of The Correct Source:

The last step is to make sure that sound output is switched to the correct source. So, check if the sound output source is switched to the ARC feature or not. If it is not, then go to the settings and manage accordingly.

smart tv with arc option


While being a permanent or regular TV user, one may think of getting a better or simply louder sound option. The best thing he may do in this regard is to go for the respective sound devices.

However, before connecting these sound devices to the TV set, the user should have some knowledge about the ARC feature and how to enable it. Because it accomplishes the task easily through a single HDMI cable and doesn’t need any additional cables. To enable the ARC feature, shifting from HDMI to HDMI ARC is also mandatory.

So, if you are interested in enabling the ARC feature on your TV, this article will provide you with sufficient information for that. Additionally, it also provides HDMI ARC cable vs HDMI cable differences and also tells which one of these you need to have.

I'm Thomas Alex. A Computer Graduate And Tech Geek, I Love To Explain Technology Including Mobile Phones, Tvs, And Laptops. I Make Things Simple & Clear For Tech Lovers! I Highlight The Process Of Reviewing And Publishing Comparisons To Give Consumers A Clearer Picture Of The Different Features And Services Offered.

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