What is HDMI ARC?
How ARC works
ARC is short for Audio Return Channel. This is a technology that's used for most HDMI inputs and almost every HDMI cable. Where a regular HDMI connector is only able to transmit video images, ARC has the added functionality of being able to transmit audio from a TV back to the source, like a receiver or soundbar. This means you only require 1 cable in order to transmit both video and audio signals.
An connection comes in handy when your TV is also the audio source. This is the case when you're watching a Netflix series on your smart TV, for example. If your TV is connected to your receiver via an ARC connection, you can play the sound over the connected speakers. This means you won't need a separate optical cable, leaving you with more free inputs. Another advantage is the ability to control the volume of your speakers with your television's remote control.
What do I need?
For a successful connection, the TV, the connected device, and the HDMI cable must also feature the ARC technology. You can easily check whether or not your devices features ARC. If they do, the letters ARC are displayed next to the HDMI inputs. You need to specifically connect the HDMI cable to these inputs. A cable that supports versions 1.4 and up is always equipped with ARC. Was your cable manufactured before 2009? Then you'll probably need to purchase a new one.