You'll find the ARC, or Audio Return Channel, built into most current-generation televisions. It uses a single HDMI connection to send audio from a TV to a receiver or soundbar. Thanks to this protocol, a single HDMI connection can provide two-way communication between the two compatible devices. In other words, the HDMI ARC port allows you to use HDMI as both an input and an audio output. Finding whether your television supports HDMI ARC is a relatively simple process. Here's how to figure it out.
Products used in this guide
- Amazon: LG Electronics OLED55B8PUA 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV ($1,800)
- Amazon: Outlite A100 Portable Ultra Bright Handheld LED Flashlight ($13)
What you should look for
- If your television offers HDMI-ARC compatibility, you'll find one or more ports somewhere on the back or side of your television.
- Using a flashlight, look for the words HDMI and ARC near one or more of the ports. That's the one that is compatible with HDMI ARC.
- You can also check your TV's instruction manual to see whether it supports HDMI-ARC.
Most of the newest televisions, especially smart ones, features HDMI-ARC compatibility. It was first introduced in 2009 and has become a common standard on nearly all TVs, soundbars, and receivers. Any device that supports the HDMI 1.4 standard should support ARC. Note that using HDMI-ARC doesn't require a new HDMI cable.
Our top equipment picks
If you're looking for a terrific smart television (that just so happens to support HDMI-ARC), you can't go wrong with the LG OLED55C8PUA. Also available as a 65-inch model, this is one of the highest rated TVs of 2018. This set supports HDR 10+, has four HDMI ports, three USB ports, and a sleek and modern design.
Near perfect choice
Brighten your day with these impressive TV
Featuring AI ThinQ, this LG OLED TV includes Google Assistant built in, allowing you to control compatible smart home devices with ease using the LG Magic Remote. It also works with Amazon Alexa devices.
This television, like most built in the last decade, features Audio Return Channel support (via HDMI).
Outlite A100 Portable Ultra Bright Handheld LED Flashlight ($13 at Amazon)
Trying to find ports on a new television set isn't an easy process. Depending on where your TV is located, you might need a flashlight to see the ports better. It'll get the job done.
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Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.