HDMI vs HDMI ARC vs HDMI eARC – Difference and Comparison

What is HDMI?

An interface called HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is used to communicate music and video between devices. It is used to connect digital devices. HDMI cables provide a single connection for audio and video, so users don’t need to worry about managing separate cables.

HDMI is a popular choice for connecting digital devices because it is relatively easy to use and requires minimal setup. It’s also a cost-effective solution, as HDMI cables are relatively inexpensive and can be found in most electronics stores. 

HDMI is an essential technology in the digital age and is increasingly used to connect digital devices in the home and commercial settings. It’s essential to use the correct type of HDMI cable for connected devices and check for compatibility before purchasing.

What is HDMI ARC?

HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) is a feature of HDMI technology that allows audio from a TV to be sent back to a home theater system or sound bar without needing a separate audio cable. This technology is beneficial for connecting a TV to a sound system without running a separate audio cable. 

HDMI ARC allows audio signals to travel in both directions over the same HDMI cable. When you connect a sound system to this port, you can send audio from the TV to the sound system, and the sound system can send audio back to the TV, eliminating the need for a separate audio cable.

HDMI ARC is valid for streaming services and live TV. It also allows you to use your sound system’s remote to control the TV volume rather than having to use the remote.

What is HDMI eARC?

HDMI eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) features the latest HDMI specification, enabling lossless, high-quality audio streams from a TV to a soundbar or home theater system. It is an upgrade from the previous HDMI ARC and has added capabilities such as support for more immersive audio formats. It also supports object-based soundtracks, enabling users to experience sound in three-dimensional space. 

HDMI eARC is especially beneficial for those who want to use the latest audio technology without running multiple cables to their receiver. It also reduces the number of wires that need to be connected.

It is compatible with existing HDMI devices, making it an excellent feature for those upgrading their home theater systems. Overall, HDMI eARC is an excellent feature for those who want to take advantage of the latest audio technology.

Difference Between HDMI, HDMI ARC, and HDMI eARC

  1. HDMI is a one-way connection from a source to a display, while HDMI ARC and eARC are two-way connections that allow audio to be sent from the TV to an audio device and vice versa.
  2. HDMI cables are thicker than HDMI ARC and eARC cables.
  3. HDMI ARC is limited to two audio devices, while HDMI eARC can support up to four.
  4. HDMI ARC requires a separate control signal to switch between audio sources, while HDMI eARC supports automatic switching between audio sources.
  5. HDMI eARC supports auto lip-sync, which HDMI and HDMI ARC do not support.

Comparison Between HDMI, HDMI ARC, and HDMI eARC

Parameters of ComparisonHDMIHDMI ARCHDMI eARC
Bandwidth10.2 Gb/s36 Gb/s48 Gb/s
Speedspeed up to 10.2 Gbpsspeed up to 18 GbpsSpeed up to 36 Gbps
Compatibilitywith most deviceswith newer deviceswith newer devices
Audio format supportsupports up to 8-channel, 24-bit audiosupports up to 32-channel, 24-bit audiosupports up to 32-channel, 48-bit audio
Video format supportsupports 1080p and 4K resolutionssupports up to 8K resolutionssupports up to 8K resolutions


  1. High-Res How-To. – Document – Gale Academic OneFile
  2. 30.2: HDMI: High‐Definition Multimedia Interface – Eidson – 2003 – SID Symposium Digest of Technical Papers – Wiley Online Library