Know If Your HDMI Cable Is ARC Enabled (2-Step Method)

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HDMI ARC is a technology that has revolutionized the connectivity of audio and video products. But new technology comes with a hustle of learning new things, and sometimes these technologies bring new issues to overcome. Like, how to know if your HDMI cable is ARC?

At A Glance: As a general rule of thumb, If the HDMI cable is above the HDMI 1.2 version and has a bandwidth of at least 10.2 GB/s then this wire is ARC capable.

Keep reading, as we will be discussing many more important questions about this topic. After reading this article, you will learn many more new things. You will be more educated than your friends.

Are there 2 types of HDMI cables?

There are two types of HDMI cables if you classify them into HDMI ARC and Non-ARC enabled. Here the wire gets two types. Otherwise, all modern HDMIs are the same.

WIreBandwidthVersionYes or No
1st HDMI Cable10.2 GB/s1.3Yes, HDMI ARC
2nd HDMI Cable10.2 GB/s≤1.3Not HDMI ARC
This is a basic table to know your wire nature

Why the 10.2 GB/s bandwidth is the standard?

The ARC, as you may know, stands for Audio Return Channel. It has a huge duty to carry out. It has to pass the video to the display and take the audio from the display and transmit it back to the receiver. It is two-way traffic here.

For two-way traffic, we always create large roads because allowing two-way traffic on a single road will create a mess. Here in HDMI, the thing is a little different but I wanted to explain it better to you.

One the duty is huge and another it has to carry huge data. Yes, the ARC is capable of delivering Dolby Audio and compressed Dolby Atmos versions. However, for the Dolby Atmos compressed version, you need a bigger bandwidth than 10.2 GB/s but still, it can give the basic Audio return channel feature in that bandwidth.

This top-rated HDMI cable on Amazon is ARC-enabled with HDR10 support. But I will recommend this HDMI cable below. It is 8K enabled, certified, and super fast.

Why the HDMI version 1.3 is the standard?

Because there was no HDMI ARC before that. LOL! The ARC feature was released with the 1.3 version and that’s why the ARC is supported by all newer versions than the 1.3.

After the ARC the newer feature which was introduced is eARC. This is the enhanced version of eARC that can transfer uncompressed Dolby Atmos and a few more cool features. But for eARC, you need a wire that has at least 48 GB/s bandwidth.

Read this guide to know, If you need an eARC soundbar. I have compared the eARC with other technologies in this guide.

Can I use HDMI ARC as a regular HDMI?

In-Short: You can use the HDMI ARC port as a regular port. However, there is no such thing as an HDMI ARC cable because the port decides the ARC’s capabilities.

In-Depth: All the HDMI cables are produced keeping the HDMI version, HDCP version, and bandwidth in mind. These metrics decide whether they can be used for ARC or not. 

But there are two types of ports. One is ARC enabled and the other is regular HDMI. 

The cable that can fulfill the above thumb rule can be used for both ARC and regular HDMI.

The higher bandwidth can be used for both, but the lower bandwidth wire can only be used for regular HDMI.

Read this guide to know, does HDMI ARC goes both ways? I have compared ARC & eARC in this guide in a cool table form.

How do you tell the difference between HDMI cables?

In-Short: You can’t tell the difference between them, instead of the bandwidth. Because brands write the bandwidth on the packing, but not the HDMI version of their wires.

In-Depth: Brands don’t write the HDMI version, but they widely advertise the bandwidth of their wires. And due to their advertisements, you can tell the difference between the wires. This is the only thing you can differentiate between them.

Read this guide to know, how to hide home theater speaker wires? I have included 13 cool & creative ways to hide them.

Do HDMI cables have different speeds?

In-Short: They have different cables because they have different bandwidths. The bandwidths decide the speed of the cable.

In-Depth: There are many more aspects that brands advertise their wires with. They will say that their wire is gold or silver plated for better speed. But it is not true. The gold-plated property doesn’t improve the speed of the wire.

However, the gold plating will give the wire a prolonged life span. Because the gold is prone to stand against corrosion and can’t be piled off easily when you are plugging or unplugging the wire quite often.


Can I use directional HDMI cables with Arc?

You can’t use directional HDMI for the ARC feature. Because the directional HDMI can only transfer in one direction, ARC needs two-way traffic capabilities.

But the directional cable can be used for many more cool things like transferring data over a very long distance that a regular wire can’t do.

How do I connect HDMI to ARC?

You just have to simply tuck in the wire to the ARC port and the software will take care of it automatically. There is no need for rocket science to kick-start the ARC working.

The software knows when you tuck in the HDMI cable to this port. The software will trigger the ARC feature automatically.

Are all HDMI cables ARC enabled?

Not every HDMI cable is ARC enabled. The wires that have the capability of transferring data at a 10.2 GB/s or above bandwidth are ARC enabled.

The ARC needs such a large amount of bandwidth to carry out its duties.

What to do if HDMI ARC is not working?

First, change the connectivity wire to never HDMI version, and this will for sure solve the problem but if it is not then contact your receiver company, so they can provide an update to the firmware if the receiver is old.

This is a very common problem, and it is easily solved by a newer version of the cable. This happens because newbies don’t know that you need a specific bandwidth for the ARC to work, and they randomly order a cable online. 

Later, they know that this wire bandwidth can’t match the demand for the ARC.

Helpful Resources For The FAQs To Read More

  1. This was my opinion, read more from the CNET blog. (Resource for the third answer)
  2. This was my opinion, read more about it from this Sony Blog. (Resource for the fourth answer)

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Ayaan Khan
Ayaan Khan

I'm Ayaan khan, a freelancer and a Computer Science degree holder from P.E.S. College. After my degree, I started an internship with my father in his home theater showroom. After working for a month I realized that this is the best job in the world for me and it could be turned into a passion. Fast forward to when my internship ended, I joined my father as a full-time home theater equipment tester. I test new equipment and approve it before it can be installed in the customer's house. I love to test equipment and sometimes love to install it by myself in the customer's theater room. I have the right experience and knowledge to learn from my articles. In my Free time I write & answer questions here on AVSFORUM. Every Article on Homelytainment is curated according to Homelytainment's Editorial Policy and Sponsorship Policy. If you have any questions for me. Reach out to my email (Support(AT)

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