In the Audio/Video world Audio Return Channel (a.k.a. ARC, but not to be confused with Objective-C's Automatic Reference Counting) is a way for a TV to output audio over the same HDMI cable already hooked up between it and a receiver. This renders a separate audio output cable redundant, resulting in a reduction of the cable mess usually found behind your A/V equipment.
In theory it's great, but actually getting it to work can take some configuration. Below are the steps I took to set this up so that the audio from the over-the-air TV channels I watch on my Panasonic ST60 TV would play through my receiver, which is a Yamaha RX-V375. I only mention the make and model of my equipment since it's the one combo I know these steps work for, although the procedure should be similar for other equipment.
- First you obviously need to connect an HDMI cable from the receiver's HDMI output to the TV's HDMI2 input, which is the input marked (ARC).
- Then set the TV to show the HDMI 2 input, so you can see the video output from the receiver.
- On the receiver's remote control press the Setup button to bring up the setup menu.
- Now turn the receiver's setting for HDMI > HDMI Control to On.
- On the TV's remote control hit the Apps button and go to the Viera Link app.
- Set Speaker Output to Home Theater.
And there we are, you can now enjoy the audio from TV broadcasts through the superior speakers hooked up to your receiver.
I put these instructions here mainly for the benefit of my future self as I will probably have to do this again at some point in the future, and don't want to spend time doing the research a second time. Perhaps someone else will also find it useful.
This article is based on information found in the ST60 eHELP Owner's Manual and the RX-V375 Owner's Manual, specifically page 18 and 59.