can i use regular hdmi cable for arc

by:HDera     2023-09-14


Can I Use Regular HDMI Cable for ARC?


HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) cables are widely used for transmitting high-quality audio and video signals between various devices. One of the notable features of HDMI is the ability to support Audio Return Channel (ARC) technology. ARC enables the transmission of audio signals from the TV back to the audio device, eliminating the need for a separate audio cable. In this article, we will explore whether regular HDMI cables can be used for ARC and the factors to consider when setting up ARC.

Understanding ARC:

1. ARC Explained:

Audio Return Channel (ARC) is a feature that allows you to send audio from your TV to an ARC-enabled audio device, such as AV receivers or soundbars, using the HDMI cable. It simplifies the setup by eliminating the need for extra audio cables. ARC uses one of the HDMI ports on your TV and can carry both audio and video signals.

2. HDMI Cable Types:

HDMI cables come in different versions, such as HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0, HDMI 2.1, etc. While these versions differ in terms of supported features and maximum data transfer rates, all HDMI cables can transmit audio signals. However, not all HDMI cables support ARC specifically. This brings us to the question: Can you use a regular HDMI cable for ARC?

Using Regular HDMI Cables for ARC:

1. Compatibility Check:

To use ARC, both your TV and audio device must support ARC functionality. Most modern TVs have at least one HDMI port labeled as ARC. Similarly, audio devices such as AV receivers and soundbars also feature HDMI ports with ARC support. Check the user manuals or specifications of your devices to confirm if they support ARC.

2. HDMI Ports and ARC:

If your TV and audio device have ARC-compatible HDMI ports, you need to connect them using an HDMI cable. In most cases, a regular HDMI cable (earlier versions like HDMI 1.4) can handle ARC functionality. However, it is recommended to use HDMI cables labeled as 'High-Speed' or 'High-Speed with Ethernet' to ensure optimal performance. These cables are designed to support higher data transfer rates.

3. Consider Cable Length:

When setting up ARC, the length of the HDMI cable can impact its performance. Longer cables may introduce signal degradation or loss, leading to audio or video issues. If you're planning to use a long cable for ARC, it is advisable to invest in a higher quality cable to minimize any potential signal loss.

4. Potential Limitations:

While regular HDMI cables can generally support ARC, there may be limitations based on the HDMI version. For example, HDMI 1.4 cables can support ARC but have a lower audio bandwidth compared to later versions like HDMI 2.0 or HDMI 2.1. This may impact the quality of audio transmitted through ARC. If you have a higher-end audio setup or prefer the best audio quality, consider using the latest HDMI cable version compatible with your TV and audio device.

Troubleshooting and Tips:

1. Enable ARC on Your TV:

To use ARC, make sure to enable it on your TV. This can usually be done through your TV's settings menu. Look for options related to audio, HDMI, or ARC and enable the ARC functionality.

2. Check Audio Device Input:

Ensure that your audio device is set to the correct HDMI input corresponding to the ARC-enabled HDMI port on your TV. This allows the audio device to receive the audio signals sent through ARC.

3. Update Firmware and Drivers:

Keep your TV and audio device firmware or drivers up to date. Manufacturers often release updates to improve compatibility and fix any known issues related to ARC functionality.

4. Try Different HDMI Ports:

If you encounter any issues with ARC, try connecting your devices to different HDMI ports. Sometimes, specific HDMI ports may have better compatibility or performance for ARC than others.


In conclusion, regular HDMI cables can, in most cases, be used for Audio Return Channel (ARC) functionality. However, to ensure optimal performance, it is recommended to use HDMI cables labeled as 'High-Speed' or 'High-Speed with Ethernet.' Consider the HDMI cable length and potential limitations based on the HDMI version when setting up ARC. Always check the compatibility of your devices and enable ARC in your TV's settings. By following these guidelines and troubleshooting tips, you can successfully utilize ARC to enhance your audio experience without the need for additional cables.

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