Vero 4K+: Can I play Dolby TrueHD Atmos through HW-Q90R Soundbar (w/eARC as of June) and Samsung Q8FN (regular ARC) TV?


I just noticed the Atmos-sound bar from Samsung, the HW-Q90R, has gotten eARC enabled through a firmware update. Hence as it’s on a discount price in my country, I figured I’d fetch it. Before though, I wonder about this:

My current TV, the Samsung Q8FN (2018), does not carry eARC-support natively. I have some rips of UHD BluRays which to my knowledge only feature Dolby TrueHD uncompressed Atmos. In other words, not the lossy Digital Dolby+ audio used by Netflix etc. for Atmos. IF the file can’t play the Dolby TrueHD track, then it will hence revert to standard 5.1, with no Atmos, which is a huge bummer. To my knowledge, uncompressed Dolby TrueHD only works through use of higher bandwidth eARC.

So I need an answer basically, is there any way I can connect the now eARC-enabled sound bar to my Vero 4K+, and get support for playing Dolby TrueHD, even if the TV itself only supports regular HDMI ARC? Or do all sources have to carry eARC - the TV, Vero4K+ and the sound bar itself? I can’t seem to figure it out by researching online, so any help is much appreciated. :grin:

If you connect the soundbar so that it’s between your Vero box and your TV, i.e. Vero -> Soundbar -> TV, then you don’t need eARC for the content you play on your Vero box. That is, you can play TrueHD (+ Atmos) and DTS-HD (+DTS:X) just fine. What you need eARC for, is to be able to play TrueHD and DTS-HD audio on your TV and for the audio to be transferred to your soundbar. You probably won’t have the need for this as no streaming services deliver lossless audio as far as I know.

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Excellent! That was exactly what I was looking for. I don’t think the Vero4k+ har eARC (?), so I was a bit in doubt about whether it would then feed the TrueHD to the soundbar or not. :slight_smile:

You seem to be confused on exactly what ARC is. Without ARC on a TV the hdmi ports can only receive and audio and video. If you wanted to get sound out of your TV into a soundbar/AVR then your only option was to run a second cable (usually toslink) to send the sound out from the TV. ARC allows the same cable that can receive A/V from your soundbar/AVR when using an external source device, to also send audio from the TV for OTA or devices plugged into it. As such the only devices that can have ARC support are displays and audio output devices, and it has nothing to do with any players.

ARC has the same limited capabilities as toslink. The kind of signals that could be passed were expanded with eARC. The only thing that would have changed with your soundbar update is the kinds of signals it would accept from its display output port if connected to a display that also has eARC.

Aha, appears I twisted my head around it the wrong way completely then!

That’s funny then. Then the entire eARC support is pretty much useless? Because I don’t think there is a single integrated app in the TV (Netflix, HBO etc.) that uses TrueHD encoding. And the media player integrated in the TV (both Samsung and LGs latest models) certainly don’t support TrueHD encoding. So what you’re saying is that they added support for format playing, when there is essentially not a single piece of content available to be used with it. Because you’d need either a player or UHD BluRay disc either way to get TrueHD content, and then eARC is not necessary as it’s connected straight to the sound bar itself, and will play it effortlessly. :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t say it is useless, just not beneficial for all use cases. ARC only supports two channels and can only do surround sound with regular AC3 and DTS. The eARC upgrade removes this limitation and there is no down side to this as eARC is backwards compatible with ARC.