eARC Firmware Updates for HDMI 2.0b class devices

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by mrcorbo, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    I never realized just how bad ARC was until I read the following:

    What this means is that the bandwidth that currently limits HDMI-ARC outputs in the connection between TVs (output) and receivers (input) will see a bandwidth boost from the previous 1 Mbps in ARC to a whopping 38 Mbps in eARC.
     
  2. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    I heard about VRR and ALLM before, but hadn't seen QFT mentioned before. It sounds like it should improve things for gamers.

    Denon AVRs listed from the article for October 31st firmware update:
    • X3400 (2017)
    • X6400H (2017)
    • X8500H (2017)
    • X3500H (2018)
    • X4500H (2018)
    • X6500H (2018)
    Sony products listed:
    • 2018 Master Series TVs (all A9F, Z9F)
    • AV DH780
    • AV DN1080
    • AV ZA810
    • AV ZA1100
    • AV ZA2100
    • AV ZA3100
    • Soundbar HT-ST5000
    • Soundbar HT-ZF9
    • Soundbar HT-XF9000
     
  3. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    I think you misunderstand the benefit. Unless you're suffering A/V sync issues, the introduction of eARC is only likely to cause further compatibility issues. The aim is to shift certain audio data from an existing channel into the eARC channel, hence the bandwidth increases, but only cruddy audio encoding so no Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HS or anything you're likely to find on on a 4K Blu-ray.

    This introduces a greater variety of pic'n'mix of what is 'standard'. Every time HDMI allows manufacturers to pick what is standard, it's only introduced compatibility problems. I can't see how this can possibly be considered a good move except for folks who exist entirely in a hardware / software / firmware HMDI 2.1 environment from a single manufacturer. :???:

    That's nobody right now. :nope:
     
  4. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    LOL. The linked article directly contradicts what you just posted. Where did you get the idea that this wasn't going to allow passing the more advanced audio formats? That's the entire point of increasing the bandwidth! Are you confusing this with some of the stuff LG and others are doing now to give "Dolby Atmos" over the current ARC? It's not the same thing. This one of the HDMI 2.1 features that can be implemented over a 2.0b spec connection since it requires no additional bandwidth.

    The additional bandwidth is being re-purposed from the HDMI Enthernet Connection allocation, BTW, which has gone virtually unused since it was introduced. We've basically had 100Mbps of capacity just sitting there doing nothing since 2009.

    Edit: I found a direct source for that last bit from Lattice Semiconductor, since I don't remember where I actually learned that detail.
     
    #5 mrcorbo, Nov 3, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
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  5. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    It was designed to transport stereo LPCM audio and Dolby Digital, which it was perfectly adequate for. Why it took them so long to update it though, especially since the way they went about it could have been made to work over any revision since 1.4, is an open question.
     
    #6 mrcorbo, Nov 3, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  6. DSoup

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    The article is, contrary to your post, not "a good write up". Support of uncompressed H/Q audio compressed is "supported" but not standard. Ergo in the HDMI world it will never get implemented like dozens of other HDMI capabilities that never make it to shipping hardware.

    Nope, HDMI is a bus standard with a a maximum throughput but it's up to the sending/receiving devices to decide how that bandwidth will be used and for what. That's wha the handshaking is responsible for. If you're not using ethernet over HDMI, you're not losing that 100Mbps bandwidth, it just means it's not reserved and can be used for something else.
     
  7. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    Which isn't an issue with this feature, specifically. And it would be pretty damn stupid to bother to offer it at all if you weren't going to support the additional features. Why bother? I expect manufacturers will be keen to support it because it addresses a very specific problem that is likely to be harming AVR sales. No AV enthusiast is happy with how the different HDMI revisions since 2.0 have very quickly obsoleted models due to the video portion of the spec changing. This lets you buy an AVR with the confidence that, unless some new audio format comes along (unlikely IMO), you're good for a while.

    HEC had two dedicated pins on the connector and eARC will be re-purposing those pins. Until now that bandwidth was physically allocated for HEC.

    Correction: eARC will be using the *one* dedicated pin for HEC and the *one* dedicated pin for the existing ARC and will operate them as a differential pair.

    From the Lattice link I posted:

     
    #8 mrcorbo, Nov 3, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
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  8. steveOrino

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    LMAO. As long as proprietary formats exist this will never ever be true. Any sane person that has spend decent money on AV equipment over a few decades has learned to avoid AVRs like the plague. Buying separates is the only way to be sure (if you care about having the newest formats supported) that you wont be throwing ALL your money away at another all-in-one.
     
  9. Malo

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    What are "separates" in the context of different than AVRs?
     
  10. Nisaaru

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    Buying separates sounds nice in theory.

    In practice brand AV-Preamps are niche products with delayed release cycles and higher prices which makes it pretty pointless for most people to not just get an AVRs which may be used in Pre-Out mode if that's needed for a certain setup.

    Obviously keeping up with the newest formats is throwing money away but I can't really see how AVPres really fix that in practice.
     
  11. BRiT

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    You mean it's doesn't mean what I think it means?

    I thought this was to allow certain HDMI 2.0b class TVs (with built in applications like Netflix, Prime Video, EMBY, Plex, YouTubeTV, Philo) to be able to send higher quality audio to the AVRs using their existing HDMI connection.
     
  12. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    Focusing only on audio formats, there has been exactly *one* major change to the audio capabilities of the HDMI spec since version 1.3 back in 2006 and that was introduced with 2.0 back in 2013. If audio were the only consideration, the AVR I bought back in 2008 would be just as capable for what I need it for (in a secondary room, which will never get an Atmos setup) as the day I bought it. But, unfortunately, it can't handle 4K, so my current main AVR is going to end up in the secondary room and an eARC-capable AVR will replace it in the main room. If that AVR can also get a 10+ year useful life, I'll be more than happy.
     
    #13 mrcorbo, Nov 3, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
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  13. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    This is correct, but it will also allow audio from devices connected directly to the TV to be passed to an AVR/preprocessor/soundbar in full fidelity. This is a pretty big deal, because as mentioned the audio capabilities of HDMI change very infrequently relative to the video capabilities and the current specs have a *lot* of headroom. If only the source and TV have to worry about handling video, the audio device can have a much longer useful life without limiting functionality.
     
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  14. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    Seperate in terms of a seperate pre-processor and power amplifier. An AVR integrates the two into one device.
     
  15. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    Thank you for clarifying that it means what I thought it meant. I knew that would be handled too, but was focused on the other because I'm revamping my parents setup so everything would be handled by the TCL 65" P617 except for BluRays. Currently they're on an older Denon E400, which is more than they need for the 5.1 setup but it hampers 4K video playback.
    That's what I want too, so then my AVR can possibly get 10+ years of use without feeling antiquated or hamstringing the video quality. It's a shame that I need to replace their Denon E400 now and eventually my Denon X3000 when I upgrade to 4K HDR TV. I can't even upgrade my AVR and pass the old one down to them because of the Video limitations -- 4K HDR. They're barely 5 years old and have been outdated for a while.
     
  16. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    You can level that question for about half of the features that the HDMI specification offers technical support for but never gets implemented!

    I hadn't appreciated they'd shifted audio onto the pins previously reserved for ethernet (for 1.4+ devices/cables that support it). I found a genuinely good read here [PDF] by Lattice Semi (who make interface chips) for various connectors, including HMDI. Removing CEC's role (used in ARC but not in eARC) is worth it alone.
     
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  17. ToTTenTranz

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    There's no reason for receivers that support object based audio and eARC to not support object based audio through eARC.
    At the very least, it'll be convenient for HTPCs to support 8 audio PCM channels through eARC, which they can't at the moment.
     
  18. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    Yeah, but you had suggested that there would be half-assed implementations that only supported compressed audio and that makes no sense to me. I expect manufacturers will either do eARC properly, or they won't do it at all. Why would they bother developing an implementation of eARC that doesn't offer any advantages over regular ARC?
     
    #19 mrcorbo, Nov 4, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  19. tuna

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    If you have an HDMI 2.1 eArc TV, can you plug in an old receiver to that and route audio through the TV? Or does the receiver need to support the new eArc as well?
     
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