AV Receiver with just eARC

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Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
ARC is limited to lossy DD+ but can contain and pass atmos metdata. Using ARC requires HDMI-CEC to be ON. This is where many problems start. So, somebody with a disc player connected directly to the TV would lose lossless Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD MA when sending audio to the receiver via ARC. They may end up with DD 5.1 or even PCM 2.0. Then eARC came along and solved a couple of problems. It aloud the return of audio to the receiver without activating HDMI-CEC and had the bandwidth to pass lossless audio from a disc player back to the receiver when connected directly to the TV. It does nothing for the DD+/atmos signal from Smart TV apps. ALL streaming services use lossy DD+/atmos signals at best and there are still some that only contain DD 5.1. If a Smart TV app has Dolby Vision/Dolby Atmos support, great! Many still do not and Smart TV app stores have nothing on streamers like the Apple TV 4K, Nvidia Shield Pro or Roku Ultra.

Many are still using TVs and receivers with just ARC. It may not be worth the hassle when having to deal with HDMI-CEC to use ARC. If a Smart TV app can pass atmos metadata from a DD+ stream using ARC, it might be worth it. If not, an optical connection may be sufficient passing DD 5.1. Oh, and currently, it is impossible to stream from a Smart TV while sending audio to the receiver via ARC/eARC AND be able to make onscreen adjustments to the receiver. They'd need to come up with eARC+GUI so that could be possible. Presently, one needs to stop streaming and switch to the HDMI ARC/eARC input so that the AVR's GUI can be made visible on the TV screen.
 
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alc

Audiophyte
You miss very little content now between optical and eARC. Not much lossless audio in tv streaming apps.....and why use a tv as a receiver? It's a poor receiver.
Why would I want to use the tv as a receiver? I want to use it to display video and handle video.

A receiver is a processor with built in amplification so a tv doing this makes no sense. This is the job of the audio components. I.e. a dedicated processor or if you prefer then a receiver.

Why all the discussion about streaming? You can plug in a blu-ray player and pass through True HD or Atmos etc.

I just want the right component to do the right thing. Video handled by the thing that does video and audio by the thing that does audio.

Yes some people may feel the need to want to display processor info on the TV but I can equally argue that a phone is just as good for this role.

I.e. my control device does control stuff which includes feedback.

You know it makes sense.
 
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T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
Hello and welcome @alc. I think all of the talk about streaming comes from the fact that more and more folks are using it for watching content these days over cable/sat/ota or disc. If a person has an eARC capable Smart TV and receiver/processor, they may prefer to connect their devices directly to the TV and there is nothing wrong with that setup. It’s actually essential for some with new gaming consoles and TVs capable of HDMI 2.1 features. However, if just one of them does not support eARC they will have to use ARC and activate HDMI-CEC. They will have to deal with potential glitches and lose lossless audio in the process. There have been many glitches with eARC as well from connecting different TVs to different receivers. Nothing is going to work perfectly all of the time.

Control apps for receivers are getting better but aren’t yet as complete as the web setup features. It’s easy enough to type in the address on a tablet or phone but these may not be available to some and they may still need access to the GUI via the TV. Some get frustrated when trying to bring up a GUI when streaming not realizing they need to switch inputs to do so. They need to think of their Smart app feature as a separate streaming device and input.

Somebody wanting the best of both worlds will have a disc player sending audio to the receiver/processor and video directly to the TV. Only a few models have dual HDMI outputs and some use multi channel analog outputs.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Why would I want to use the tv as a receiver? I want to use it to display video and handle video.

A receiver is a processor with built in amplification so a tv doing this makes no sense. This is the job of the audio components. I.e. a dedicated processor or if you prefer then a receiver.

Why all the discussion about streaming? You can plug in a blu-ray player and pass through True HD or Atmos etc.

I just want the right component to do the right thing. Video handled by the thing that does video and audio by the thing that does audio.

Yes some people may feel the need to want to display processor info on the TV but I can equally argue that a phone is just as good for this role.

I.e. my control device does control stuff which includes feedback.

You know it makes sense.
While some tvs are finally able to handle all audio and/or pass it back out to other devices, this is a relatively recent occurrence and not with all tvs either (and I certainly wouldn't change out my tvs, I prefer them as monitors only generally). An audio video receiver is more a switching station, while a tv may make for a good video one, it has generally made for a rather poor audio one. AVRs these days are generally only handling audio processing these days, but have video processing capabilities for legacy gear, but passes thru most. I still prefer an avr as a switching center for peripherals over a tv no contest. Then again I'm more audio-centric and less video-centric as well (I'm not a gamer for example whatsoever, nor do I have the option of over-the-air tv and I have superior streaming apps separate from my tv). Do you get great audio sync plugging audio into a tv? Not so much in my experience. I don't even know how a phone comes into play with video, I don't use mine but for audio. YMMV.
 
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Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
I think @alc meant using an AVR’s phone app for adjustments and not needing to use the TV for certain adjustments. One could keep streaming or using a connected device and not pause play to switch to a receiver’s GUI.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I think @alc meant using an AVR’s phone app for adjustments and not needing to use the TV for certain adjustments. One could keep streaming or using a connected device and not pause play to switch to a receiver’s GUI.
Yeah, was thinking more of the phone as source rather than remote....
 
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alc

Audiophyte
It's really nice to see everyone's comments. Great stuff everyone. It shows that there is diversity in how people wish to use their gear and what gear they have.

I personally have an Onkyo PR-SC5507 that still goes well but the video section is 1080P so I would have to throw away my processor to buy a 4k tv. Thats just ridiculous for me.

My solution is to get an eARC converter dongle and then eARC to my non eARC capable processor.

Why throw away almost £2k of processor because I go from 1080p to 4k. What about the future where video standards change quite often. Is everyone happy to throw away £2k or more of processor?

What if you have a nice Trinnov and wanted the latest 8k oled tv but your hdmi out if the Trinnov only supported 1080p.

I want to be able to upgrade each component in isolation.

My power amps are 30 years old and I don't have to worry about upgrading because video standards have changed.
 
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Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
That scenario is one reason I brought up the dedicated HDMI Audio Output port. They can add it for those with older receivers/processors that do not support 4K or ARC/eARC. One can make do if they have a player with two HDMI outputs but not for other devices. So, if somebody had a device connected directly to the TV, the HDMI Audio Output port could send audio to the receiver/processor without worrying about HDMI-CEC/ARC or eARC. They can lose the optical output for the HDMI audio output port. Optical can’t support anything above DD 5.1. It’s time for it to be retired on new Smart TVs that support DD+/TrueHD/atmos devices.
 
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alc

Audiophyte
Well I did some research to try and understand why eARC wasn't implemented as an audio out over standard HDMI to make it backwards compatible with older non eARC proceasors. It sort of makes sense when you read it.

How does eARC work? eARC transmits a high bitrate audio signal from the television to the audio device using an HDMI with Ethernet cable. This cable was designed in HDMI 1.4. An HDMI with Ethernet cable has the same connector and pins as an ordinary HDMI cable. However, inside an HDMI with Ethernet cable, pins 14, 15 and 19 are constructed as a twisted, shielded pair – originally intended to serve as an Ethernet channel alongside HDMI. In HDMI cables without the Ethernet feature, these are simply straight-through pins, which cannot support transmission of the eARC signal. The eARC signal transmitted by the television is similar to the format of a SPDIF audio signal, but it is transmitted at up to 98 megabits per second. Because of the protocol overhead, the maximum raw audio speed is about 37 megabits per second, which is the rate of eight channels of 192 kHz, 24-bit uncompressed PCM audio. (8 x 192,000 x 24 ≈ 36,864,000 bits per second)

A one megabit per second, bi-directional data signal is modulated on top of the eARC audio signal. This bi-directional signal is used to allow the eARC TV to discover the eARC audio device. This data signal has several other functions: It allows the TV to read a list of audio formats supported by the audio device, allows the TV to send lip sync correction data, and it lets the audio device send regular “heartbeat” signals to the television, letting the television know that its built-in speaker should be muted. These data-related signals are mandatory in eARC devices. None of these signals are available in optical (TOSLINK) or SPDIF audio, and are optional in the older HDMI-ARC audio.
 
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