Last week Sony introduced two new premium TV series; the AF9 OLED TV series and the ZF9 LCD LED TV series. These models come with various interesting features, including the new X1 Ultimate Processor and a special Netflix calibrated picture mode. In addition, these TVs are the first televisions that support HDMI eARC.
We have seen HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) on televisions for years. This function makes it possible to send audio from the TV or TV connected sources via an HDMI cable to a connected soundbar or receiver. HDMI eARC is the next generation of this feature and enables transmission of the latest audio formats.
HDMI eARC stands for enhanced Audio Return Channel and has a much higher bandwidth than the standard ARC -function. This ensures that high-resolution lossless audio can be transmitted with eARC, for example 24-bit audio, Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Atmos. Actually, HDMI eARC is part of the new HDMI 2.1 standard but some features that fall within this standard can be added by manufacturers to HDMI 2.0 devices. For example, we saw earlier AV receivers that support HDMI eARC.
Sony has now confirmed that the AF9 series and ZF9 series televisions support the full functionality of HDMI eARC. This means that you can, for example, connect a Blu-ray player to the TV and listen to a movie with Dolby Atmos via the HDMI cable between the TV and the receiver via the receiver. Please note; the receiver or soundbar must also support HDMI enhanced Audio Return Channel. Unfortunately, the Netflix app on these TVs does not yet support Dolby Atmos and Sony can not tell you when an update is released for this.