Audio Return Channel (ARC) is a very useful feature that is available in HDMI V2.0 cables.
The ARC feature allows you to transfer audio from the TV back to your Home Theater receiver without having to connect an Optical Cable, or another form of audio cable. All of the Audio from the TV is sent back through the same HDMI cable that is sending the picture and sound to the TV, back to your receiver. This is ofcourse providing both your Home Theater receiver and your TV have HDMI V1.4 OR V2.0and support ARC.
Eliminating the use of an optical cable not only makes for a visually neater scenario at the back of the TV, but it also saves you the cost of having to purchase two cables when connecting your Home Theatre system.
So if you have just purchased a new TV, and a new Home Theatre System, then chances are that both will have the ARC function available for you to use. Check the back of your TV, and you should see next to one of the HDMI inputs the label ARC. You must use this port to connect to your receiver as it will not function from any other HDMI port not labelled as such.
So next time your standing in a store purchasing cables and the sales guy tells you to buy an Optical cable so you can hear the TV channels through your Home Theatre System – remember the three letters – ARC!