HDMI-ARC Cable Properites

  • 12 January 2019
  • 5 replies
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Can the cable provided with the Sonos Beam be used as a regular HDMI cable? Somehow in my mind I wonder if the provided cable only works for ARC audio since the cable diameter is smaller than any of the other HDMI cables I've recently purchased (HDMI2). I also am mystified why there seems to be no way of distinguishing the various classes of HDMI cable (ARC, Ethernet, HDMI2, etc.) and data transfer speed capability. I've never seen any markings on any of the HDMI cables so how do I know if I have HDMI or HDMI2 or etc. Is seeing that it doesn't work the only method? And I am not sure what would manifest itself as not working. Drop outs/no data connectivity/etc.?

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5 replies

There are several "generations" of HDMI. See:

https://denon.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/192/~/differences-between-hdmi-versions-1.1%2C-1.2%2C-1.3a%2C-1.4-and-2.0%3F

as an example.

In my experience, most HDMI cables don't indicate on the cable what version they support. Sometimes it's on the packaging, which most of us don't save....
Guess the obvious answer is just to try it, but pretty sure it is no different to any other HDMI cable - they come in all shapes and sizes. I have seen markings on many of them (eg 'HDMI 1.4'), and also no markings. Mesh covered ones probably won't etc. Not sure why you would use it for anything else though seeing as you need it to connect your Beam in the first place, even if you are using optical.

If you have no markings then try it and see if it works generally is the answer. If you buy a cable through Amazon for example, it is always going to tell you what version it is on the site though.
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It probably can, because the cable also is used to send an image to the TV. Try to tune to the HDMI port you’ve picked for the Beam. It’s a black and white image though...
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The HDMI-ARC cable is just a standard HDMI cable so any HDMI cable should work just fine. The problem I ended up with was that nothing on the market would physically fit the Sonos Beam for my specific configuration. All the cables I could find at Best Buy, Fry's, etc. would not fit the space between the Beam female connector and the wall. My Beam is mounted on the Sonos wall bracket. All the connectors were much longer then the Sonos supplied cable connectors and every cable was of a considerably larger diameter being wrapped in a protective layer so in addition to the connector hitting the wall, the necessary bend radius couldn't be realized. I ended up having to purchase a HDMI female-to-female connector which cost more than the 10 foot HDMI cable I would have preferred and extending the Sonos provided cable with another HDMI cable. 90 degree male-to-female adaptors were available that might have worked plugged directly into the Beam connector but for me this type of adaptor disallowed having the cable run inside a center line placed/wall-blended cover. On the HDMI cable types, it is a sales gimmick since they want you to buy the latest and greatest for the next technology upgrade go round rather than mark the cable with the applicable standard. Cable quality impact on sound has been a mystical topic since the 1900's. I see where HDMI-ARC has been replaced with a newer electrical interface so as usual, I am already behind the technology curve.
Understood. I've given up on Frys, Best Buy and the like for special items like that, and tend to purchase from Amazon. I was able to get some fairly useful 90 degree HDMI adapters there, several years ago, that have worked quite well.

And frankly, for actual HDMI cables, if I can, I go to bluejeanscable.com for what I need. I find that cables such as Monster, and the like, seem to be wildly overpriced. Although RCA seems to have reasonable-ish prices on cables at Fry's.

But I feel your pain. Having special needs for adapters makes life unpleasant, until you can source the right thing.