HDMI vs HDMI ARC vs HDMI eARC: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. HDMI: Standard audio/video interface for high-quality digital signals between devices.
  2. HDMI ARC: Allows the TV to send audio back to the audio device through the HDMI cable, simplifying setup.
  3. HDMI eARC: Enhanced version with higher bandwidth and support for advanced audio formats like Dolby Atmos, offering better sound quality and compatibility.

What is HDMI?

HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface, a standard interface for transmitting uncompressed digital video and audio signals between devices. HDMI cables are commonly used to connect devices such as TVs, computers, game consoles, and Blu-ray players to displays such as monitors and TVs. HDMI supports high-definition video resolutions up to 4K and provides high-quality digital audio transmission.

HDMI was first introduced in 2003 as a replacement for the older analog video standards such as composite, component, and S-video. The advantage of HDMI over these older standards is that it provides a purely digital connection, which can result in better picture and sound quality.

What is HDMI ARC?

HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) is a feature that allows audio to be sent back and forth between two devices over a single HDMI cable. A typical home theater setup connects a TV to a soundbar or AV receiver for better sound quality. With HDMI ARC, the TV can send audio signals to the soundbar or receiver, and the soundbar or receiver can send audio signals back to the TV, all over the same HDMI cable.

The advantage of HDMI ARC is that it simplifies the setup of a home theater system, eliminating the need for multiple audio cables. It also allows for more control over the audio system, as many TVs can be programmed to automatically turn on the soundbar or receiver when the TV is turned on.

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What is HDMI eARC?

HDMI eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) is an updated version of HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) that provides improved audio capabilities for home theater systems. eARC supports higher-quality audio formats, such as Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and 7.1 surround sound, which require higher bandwidth and more advanced processing.

One of the main advantages of eARC is that it supports higher bitrates and sampling rates than HDMI ARC, which allows for better audio quality. It also supports more advanced audio features, such as object-based audio (Dolby Atmos and DTS:X), which can create a more immersive and realistic listening experience.

Difference Between HDMI, HDMI ARC, and HDMI eARC

  1. HDMI supports basic audio formats such as stereo and 5.1 surround sound, while HDMI ARC supports sending audio from a TV to a soundbar or AV receiver. HDMI eARC supports higher-quality audio formats, such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, and improves audio quality.
  2. HDMI provides a maximum bandwidth of 18 Gbps, while HDMI ARC provides a maximum bandwidth of 1 Mbps. HDMI eARC supports a higher bandwidth of up to 38 Mbps.
  3. HDMI is a universal standard used for connecting video and audio devices, while HDMI ARC is a feature included in some HDMI-enabled devices. HDMI eARC is a newer feature in some of the latest HDMI-enabled devices.
  4. HDMI ARC supports lip sync correction, which can help to eliminate the delay between audio and video signals. HDMI eARC improves lip sync correction, particularly important in home theater systems.
  5. HDMI eARC is backward compatible with HDMI ARC, which means that devices that support HDMI eARC can also work with devices that support HDMI ARC. However, the reverse is not true – devices that support only HDMI ARC will not work with devices that support HDMI eARC.
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Comparison Between HDMI, HDMI ARC, and HDMI eARC

Parameters of ComparisonHDMIHDMI ARCHDMI eARC
Audio capabilitiesStereo, 5.1 surroundUniversal StandardAdds higher-quality audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
BandwidthUpto 18 GbpsUp to 1 MbpsUp to 38 Mbps
CompatibilityUniversal standardFeature in some HDMI-enabled devicesFeature in some of the latest HDMI-enabled devices
Lip sync correctionNot supportedSupportedImproved lip sync correction
Backward compatibilityN/AHDMI ARC devicesHDMI ARC devices
References
  1. https://search.informit.org/doi/abs/10.3316/informit.858545748634738
  2. https://search.proquest.com/openview/86858d9694f37e8d2f136cf94c003751/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=2026366&diss=y

Last Updated : 16 August, 2023

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