Alan Freedman -- The Computer Language Company - Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Longest-Running Tech Reference on the Planet

A CDE Definition

You'll love The Computer Desktop Encyclopedia (CDE) for Tech Term of the Day (TTOD)



(1) (Audio Return Channel) See HDMI ARC.

(2) PC compression programs from System Enhancement Associates, Inc., Clifton, NJ. ARC was one of the first compression utilities to become popular in the early 1980s. ARC+Plus provides enhanced features and speed.

(3) The ARC extension was previously used by PKWARE Inc. in its PKARC program.

(4) (Advanced RISC Computing) An earlier open system specification based on the MIPS R3000 and R4000 CPUs. It included EISA and TURBOchannel buses.


(HDMI Audio Return Channel) Starting with HDMI Version 1.4, the ARC channel lets a TV function as a home theater hub. The surround sound audio from the TV, Blu-ray player and other sources connected to the TV is directed back out via the HDMI ARC port to an ARC-enabled soundbar or A/V receiver connected to a sound system.

Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
In 2017, HDMI 2.1 introduced eARC, which added support for high-end surround sound such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. eARC also supports variable refresh rate (VRR), quick media switching (QMS) and quick frame transport (QFT), all of which reduce or eliminate delay and latency. See HDMI versions.

HDTVs Have Built-In Sources
In the past, the A/V receiver was always the central switching component for all the sources connected to a TV (cable, Blu-ray, media server, etc.). However, smart TVs have multiple sources built in such as Netflix and Hulu, and CableCARDs eliminate the cable box all together. In addition, the TV might also receive over-the-air signals from a roof antenna. The smart TV has thus become a central hub, and ARC allows it to send the audio from its internal and connected sources back out to a high-quality sound system instead of the TV's internal speakers. See home theater, smart TV, CableCARD, HDMI 1.4, soundbar, home theater in a box and A/V receiver.

The ARC port is labeled "in," because it can also accept video from an A/V receiver while sending the audio back out.

Personal Use Only

Before/After Your Search Term
AR headsetARC port
AR/VRARC server
AR/VR headsetarch
ARAXArchistrat computer
arbitrated looparchitecture
arbitrationarchitecture neutral
Arbor Softwarearchitecture police

Terms By Topic
Click any of the following categories for a list of fundamental terms.
Computer Words You Gotta KnowSystem design
Job categoriesUnix/Linux
Interesting stuffPersonal computers
InternetIndustrial Automation/Process Control
Communications & networkingAssociations/Standards organizations
HistoryDesktop publishing
ProgrammingHealthcare IT
System design