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Ergo Josh

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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The New Apple TV 4K Does Indeed Support ARC (and It’s Pretty Awesome) By Jesse Hollington Following the announcement of the 2021 Apple TV 4K last month, evidence appeared in tvOS 14.5 that Apple was working on a new enhancement to allow one or more HomePods to effectively be used to anchor your entire home theatre experience, and now that the new set-top box has arrived in stores, it looks like it’s official. To be fair, when the reports first appeared that support for eARC has been found in tvOS, it wasn’t entirely clear if this would be coming to the new Apple TV 4K or whether Apple was laying the foundation for some other future Apple TV like product, but now it seems that our best hopes have materialized, as Apple has quietly taken the wraps off the feature in a new support document. What’s even more astonishing, however, is that Apple is still adding features that are specific to the now-discontinued full-sized HomePod, giving users yet another reason to snap one up before they’re all gone. Further, right on the back of the box for the new Apple TV 4K is an image of a HomePod — not a HomePod mini, but a full-sized HomePod — with a note that you can “pair for wireless surround sound.” This leaves us with little doubt that Apple plans to eventually bring out a successor to the full-sized HomePod. For now, however, this new feature is a nice reward for those who have already invested in Apple’s original smart speaker. How It Works ARC, which stands for Audio Return Channel, is a long-standing part of the HDMI 1.4 specification, so these days its found in almost all modern TVs, AV receivers, and soundbars. eARC is simply an enhanced version of ARC that’s part of the more recent HDMI 2.1 spec for handling higher-bandwidth audio formats such as Dolby Atmos. As the name suggests, ARC allows audio to be sent along the same HDMI cable that’s being used to carry a video signal, but in the opposite direction. In other words, while video is being sent TO your TV, audio can be sent back FROM your TV to your receiver or sound bar. For example, a smart TV with an HDMI ARC port would be able to send audio to your soundbar while watching something directly in an app like Netflix on the smart TV,

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