Fixed: LG TV HDMI ARC Isn’t Working (Easy Tips)

Some people say their HDMI ARC port just wouldn’t work, some say it works, but very inconsistently.

There seems to be some kind of underlying issue in the LG TVs manufactured recently because quite a number of people have been having these complaints.

Let’s look at the reasons and solutions below.

What Is an HDMI ARC?

On most smart TVs, you’ll see a list of inputs on the main screen or menu.

Depending on the number of HDMI ports your TV has, you may see two or three HDMI inputs.

Some may only say HDMI, while others might say HDMI (ARC).

ARC means audio return channel, which lets two devices communicate back and forth over the HDMI port.

Sound can go in and out through the port connection.

Many people use an HDMI ARC port for sound bars, surround sound, or external speakers.

As you may already know, HDMI transmits both video and audio signals simultaneously.

Before HDMI, there were separate ports for video and sound.

When your HDMI port or HDMI ARC port isn’t working, you can’t use it to watch a video or hear sound through external devices.

Why Is My LG HDMI ARC Not Working?  

Some of the reasons an LG HDMI ARC isn’t working are pretty straightforward.

But they take some troubleshooting to pinpoint the correct root cause.

Here is a summary of the reasons the ARC port isn’t responding.

  • The port is dead or there’s a hardware issue.
  • The connected device isn’t compatible.
  • An HDMI cable is bad or loose.
  • The port on the external device has a hardware failure.

Dead Ports

Yes, you can have dead or malfunctioning HDMI ports on your LG TV or external device.

This may be the most frustrating and expensive root cause.

That’s because you either have to fix the port or replace the device.

To determine whether you have a hardware issue, try another HDMI cable that you know works.

Also, turn off both devices and unplug the cable before you try a different one.

You can also connect different external devices to isolate which port is bad.

Incompatible Devices

No, not all external devices will sync with your LG TV.

Before you buy a sound bar or another external device, do your research.

See which makes and models will work with your LG HDMI ARC port.

Say you’ve got a device lying around or already bought one.

You can still do your research to see if there’s an incompatibility problem.

If there is, put that external device away for another TV.

Tip: If this is the case, you can always opt for using an optical cable to connect your external device and your TV, or any other type of cable suitable both for your TV and the external device. The audio quality won’t be ideal, though.

HDMI Cable Issues

Sometimes it’s the HDMI cable that’s to blame.

It could be loose or past its prime.

While cables don’t go out often, it’s a possibility.

You can troubleshoot this one in a few minutes.

Check the cable connection on both ends and secure it if it’s loose.

For good measure, you can unplug it from both ends and plug it back in. If that doesn’t change things, try another cable.

Motherboard Issues

This is the last major thing that can cause your HDMI ARC to act out.

Unless you know what you are doing, it’s best to stay away from trying to fix this particular issue yourself, contacting LG customer support would be a much more sensible idea.

How To Fix It?

We’ve already gone over some of the ways to troubleshoot the reasons why an LG TV HDMI ARC isn’t working.

However, there are some general steps you’ll want to take before you start isolating specific problems.

Here they are in order.

1. Perform a Power Cycle

Remove the HDMI cables from your external device and LG TV.

Turn off all connected devices and your TV.

You can do this from a surge protector or from the devices.

Next, you’ll want to take all the power cords out of the outlets or surge protectors.

Pause for 10 to 15 seconds, then plug all the cords back in. Only plug back in the power cords.

Once everything’s plugged back in, power on your external device and TV.

Reconnect your HDMI cables.

This will clear your TV off any cache and cookies and will help get rid of other troublesome software glitches if they were the culprits.

After your TV and external device’s power are back on, plug your HDMI cord back into the TV and external device.

Try to play the sound through the device again.

2. Switch to Any TV App

Here is an interesting this for you to try to get that stubborn connection to appear.

First, load up your audio source on HDMI like you normally would when you turn your TV on, then, once the audio format for the external device is negotiated and detected by the system, switch back to any TV app, such as Hulu or Netflix.

This way, your receiver will switch to TV and the ARC negotiation will be established, so the ARC audio will finally work as well until you turn off your TV.

This is a pretty cool trick that helps to establish the handshake in between your TV and the external device, this is just what we need.

3. Check Your TV Settings

If those basic steps don’t work, you may need to check your TV’s settings.

You’ll want to ensure your ARC port is turned on.

Also, check to see if the TV’s CEC settings are enabled (it is called SIMPLINK on LG TVs).

If either of these isn’t enabled, you’ll want to turn them on and try the device again.

Make sure to also check the sound mode you are using to see if it is compatible with your external device.

Of course, the problem could also be low or muted sound settings.

This may sound like a no-brainer and a mistake you wouldn’t make, but it’s worth a check. You never know.

4. Check your External Device

Even though unlikely, it’s possible that your TV isn’t the issue, but your receiver or any other external device is.

Try disconnecting it for the short while and get the sound out of the TV itself.

If everything is working fine, chances are there is something wrong with your external device.

I recommend taking the exact same steps as we did for the TV, which is disconnecting all the cables, and letting it sit for a few minutes.

This will essentially soft reset your receiver and help get the sound out.

5. Use an Optical Cable Instead

I know you came here to try to fix your HDMI ARC connection, but looks like we are not getting very far if you are reading this point and your issue is still not resolved.

The good news is, I got an alternative for you!

You can always use an optical cable instead, that should definitely get you up-and-running in no time.

The audio quality might suffer significantly using this method, so please, keep this in mind.

6. Contact LG Customer Support

If your TV is relatively new, and you are still having problems with the port, I suggest contacting LG directly.

As previously mentioned, if none of the solutions above have helped you, you are probably looking at a faulty motherboard which needs to be replaced by the professionals.


In most cases, your LG TV’s HDMI ARC isn’t working because of a software glitch in the TV itself, it seems.

Unplugging and reconnecting the HDMI cord or performing a power cycle fixes the issue most of the time.

If not, try using a different HDMI cable or even use an optical cable as the last resort.

Switching in between the external device and the TV apps helps to establish the handshake of the two devices.

Last, but not least, make sure that the TV’s CEC and the ARC mode are enabled, and you have chosen the right source and the sound/audio settings.

However, you may have a hardware failure with one of the ports, a bad HDMI cable, or a compatibility issue.