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Do Projectors Support HDMI ARC/eARC?

Does your projector not have a built-in speaker? Perhaps it does, but the sound isn’t sufficient for your needs? 

Connecting it to an external audio device might just do the trick. Audio/video junkies often choose a soundbar to get this job done. 

Most soundbars nowadays are equipped with either HDMI ARC or eARC. Because of this, you might be asking: ++

Do projectors support HDMI ARC/eARC?

And the answer is – that depends.

Although HDMI ARC and eARC are not standard in projectors, a few models possess them.

Let’s look at what HDMI ARC and eARC are, why you need them, and how you can set them up on your projector.

What is ARC?

HDMI ARC port and USB ports on TV

HDMI ARC, or Audio Return Channel, is a protocol that allows both audio and video signals to be transmitted on a single platform. In other words, you only need an HDMI cable to get both video and audio on your TV. Using one cable removes the clutter that we typically see in A/V setups.

HDMI ARC is available on HDMI versions 1.4 and up. This protocol allows devices to process more advanced audio codecs, such as Dolby Atmos, for a much higher audio experience. 

What is eARC?

HDMI eARC, or Enhanced Audio Return Channel, is the latest version of ARC. It’s available in HDMI versions 2.1 and up and performs the same job as the previous ARC version – but better. 

HDMI eARC doesn’t compress audio signals the way ARC does because it provides higher bandwidth and faster speeds. Because there is no compression, sound quality is better and has fewer latency issues. 

With HDMI eARC, devices can process more advanced audio formats, such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD. So, you can enjoy a fuller, much brighter sound on your audio outputs. 

8K HDMI Cable 2.1
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Do Projectors Support HDMI ARC/eARC?

Several projector models support HDMI ARC/eARC. However, they’re a little tricky to find. 

A few of the most popular models that support HDMI ARC/eARC are:

How Do I Know If My Projector Has ARC or eARC?

To find out if your projector has ARC or eARC is easy. You just need to check your unit for the ARC and eARC labels. 

Most manufacturers label HDMI ports according to their functionalities. If your projector HDMI port is ARC or eARC compatible, it’ll most likely be labeled “HDMI 1 ARC” or “HDMI 1 ARC/eARC.” 

LG HF65LA Ultra Short Throw LED Home Theater CineBeam Projector
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How Do I Connect My Projector to My Soundbar with ARC/eARC?

Connecting your projector to your soundbar is simple. You just need to plug each end of your HDMI cable into the correct ports, and you’re good to go. 

If you’re still confused by the process, here’s a little step-by-step guide to help you out:

How to connect the projector to the soundbar with ARC?

ARC is less complicated than eARC. Since it’s backward compatible with almost every HDMI version, it’s less likely you’ll encounter problems while trying to connect. 

A standard HDMI cable should be able to support HDMI ARC without altering the resolution of your audio or video. 

PowerBear 4K HDMI Cable
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To get started: 

  • Turn off both projector and soundbar.
  • Plug in each end of your HDMI cable to their respective ports (the ones labeled ARC).
  • Make sure each end is secured correctly; otherwise, errors may occur.
  • Turn on both devices.

to connect the projector to the soundbar with ARC

On your projector:

  • Go to “Settings” or “Projector Menu.”
  • Look for “Audio Settings” then “Audio Output.” 
  • Using the arrow keys on the remote, navigate to the option that says “ARC” or “Audio Return.” 
  • Select “Raw” from the options.
  • Press “Exit” or “Save” to save your changes.

On your soundbar: 

  • Go to “Settings” or “Menu” 
  • Look for “Audio Settings”
  • Turn on “CEC/ARC”

And you’re done!

How to connect the projector to the soundbar with eARC

Unlike ARC, the latest version of eARC is not backward compatible with just any HDMI version. In other words, to make a solid connection, you need both your soundbar and projector to support eARC. 

SAMSUNG 120” The Premiere Ultra Short Throw 4K Smart Laser Projector
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Otherwise, your device will have to downscale the audio and video resolution to fit the functions of the lower HDMI version. 

To connect your projector to your soundbar with eARC:

  • Use a high-speed HDMI cable with Ethernet to connect both devices.
  • Make sure either side is plugged into the port labeled “eARC.”
  • Plug both devices into their power source and turn them on.

to connect the projector to the soundbar with eARC

On your projector:

  • Go to “Settings” or “Menu.”
  • Select “Audio” then “Audio Output.”
  • Use the arrow keys on your remote to select “eARC” or “ARC +.”
  • Select “Auto” from the options.
  • Press “Exit” or “Save” to save your changes.

On your soundbar:

  • Go to “Settings” or “Menu.” 
  • Look for “Audio Settings.”
  • Turn on “CEC/ARC.”

Note: The process will be different between projectors and soundbars. Make sure to check your device manual to get the process right.

Will HDMI Ports on My Projector All Be ARC/eARC-compatible? 

It’s possible for more than one HDMI port to be ARC or eARC-compatible. However, that will depend on your projector manufacturer. 

To confirm, you can check your product manual to see HDMI functionalities. You can also check the labels on the back of your projector. 

Is eARC or ARC Necessary for Projector Gaming?

If you like to use your projector for gaming, it will make sense if you’d also want an external soundbar to get better audio. 

While you don’t need to have eARC or ARC on your projector for gaming, it can be a huge advantage. 

Since eARC and ARC have larger bandwidths than the standard HDMI versions, they are less likely to experience latencies and errors. 

In other words, you’ll be able to enjoy much clearer images and audio while you game. 

Final Thoughts

Not all projectors support HDMI ARC/eARC. If you plan to buy a projector that supports HDMI ARC/eARC, you must know how to check for it. Read labels and product manuals before finalizing a purchase to ensure you get what you need. Confirm with a sales clerk about a projector’s features. 

If you plan to connect an external soundbar with your projector, make sure that both devices have compatible ARC/eARC ports. Since eARC is not backward compatible with other HDMI versions, it might result in lower sound quality or no sound produced.

Last update on 2022-08-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

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