Top is the info.txt from the latest HW-N950, bottom is the text from the eARC update of HW-Q90r.
As you can see it's just generic Tizen. The hardware in both sound bards is basically identical, and whatever differences there are, shouldn't influence eARC which is basically a software feature.
Things get even more interesting when we open the HW-Q90r firmware file with a HEX editor. The HW-N950 (SAT-HKA18WWC) is literally mentioned in the file headers.
I see this as a huge f*ck you from Samsung. There was an implicit promise that the HW-N950 would get eARC, and seeing how it seems to be literally baked in the firmware (it's just a Tizen distro with software features after all), it feels wrong doubly so.
Are we getting this update or not?
Indeed, Samsung is obligated to give us HW-N950 owners the eARC update since this was promised. Also since this is the same hardware as the q90r aside from a slightly redesigned sub there is no reason not to roll out the update for the HW-N950/850. Make it happen!!!
Why can't they say it here? And why are the models mentioned in the Q90r firmware?
Also eARC is basically using the Ethernet part of HDMI 2.0 for audio return, it's not a hardware feature as long as there is HDMI 2.0.
The responses you got were typical Samsung. Anything to deny software support as fast as possible.
Sony and LG soundbars from 2017 got eARC. They were saying to reviewers these would get too. Truly disgusting.
Mine is already up for sale.
any recommendations on what make/model of sound bar I should purchase as replacement?
LG? Nakamichi? Bose? Sonos? Sony? Please advise
I'm thinking of doing exactly the same and going for the LG SN11RG.
Seems more powerful, has proper Google Assistant implementation, eARC, and incredible things (for Samsung), like room calibration in a $1400+ audio product.
It also seems to be more powerful, and have proper eARC from the start. I will wait to check some reviews, but it will be seriously bye bye Samsung after this.
It has only double HDMI inputs, but it doesn't matter as long as the TV and the Soundbar have eARC, as pluging things on the TV enables the best visual features (VRR, HGIG etc), with zero compromises on audio.
I checked the reviews about the LG SN11RG on YouTube, very positive, although a bit pricey, still better than putting up with this crappy N950 and support. Good luck with the N950 owners here. Bye bye Samsung
It amazes me when a product is released and stated what is promised to the consumer but it is never produced. It took last year's model to get the update over a year later. The N950 is a premium sound bar and their is no reason why EARC can't be added. All you need is 2.0 HDMI not 2.1 With the newest TVs , PS5 and Xbox Series X launching, in order to take advantage of EARC, you expect your counsumer to fork over another 1700 dollars for a bar to have EARC. That is ridiculous. Especially, when your competitors have updated their 2017 sound bars. Your customer service sucks, your promises are lame and you don't care about the customer. You care only about how much money you can make. You have really exposed yourself looking at the firmware files and their is no reason that EARC can't be added except for greed. Take notice Samsung because your loyal customers have no problem going elsewhere. Quality is important but customer service is essential. Obviously your company has none and it starts at the top.
This is what I got from Samsung:
"Hey Bart, thanks for your message! I will answer your question today. Though the answer is sadly: I don't know. We from costumer service only get this kind of information right before the update is released. And these updates are made outside of the Benelux, in countries like Poland or even South Korea. But I have the same question. I have the N850 and would also like that the update would be announced. So the only thing I can say is that we should wait patiently until the update arrives. Though is there anything else you want to ask or know?"
I find it fascinating that Samsung representatives are giving out different replies to each one person who asks here. I wonder what that tells about Samsung, and what it means having the names of our products being found inside the firmware of the Q90R.