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Audio Return Channel question

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Old 12-08-2010, 10:49 PM   #1
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Default Audio Return Channel question

I'm getting ready to purchase an HDTV, Blu Ray player and upgrading to an HD Directv receiver and have a few questions.

Can someone provide an example of when an audio return channel would be used?

I understand that HDMI provides a two way communication channel, but what is the purpose of having return channel functionality on the HDMI inputs on the HDTV?

Here are the components I plan on purchasing/upgrading to:

HDTV - Panasonic P50VT25
Blu Ray - Panasonic BDT-100 (Free from Panny)
Sat Receiver - DTV HR20 to 24 (DTV will not guarentee the model number I will receive).

No A/V receiver at this time. One will be added later. Audio will be provided through the TV speakers or I might hook up my Infinity speakers to the TV.

So, how would an audio return channel be utilized based on the components I listed above?

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Old 12-09-2010, 12:31 AM   #2
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Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
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It wouldn't be used with your equipment.

ARC is designed to replace the optical cable used to feed audio from a TV to a receiver. Let's say you have an off air antenna for TV reception and you want to use your surround processor for audio, then you have to feed audio from the TV to the processor. That's usually done with an optical cable from the TV's digital output to an unused receiver input. But, if you already have an HDMI cable connecting the receiver and TV, ARC allows you to use it instead of installing an optical cable. Both the TV and receiver have to support HDMI 1.4 and ARC, of course.
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