I have spent 4 painful days trying to solve the issues with eARC on the Q950A when paired with a Samsung TV (I have QN800A). I have finally got the eARC connection to persist and have some explains below. Hopefully someone from Samsung reads this and fixes their software.
What you need to sacrifice to get this to work:
Samsung universal remote for everything except Q950A.
CEC functionality from a non samsung device.
What the issues are:
1 - any device connected in the chain which has CEC enabled can break the earc handshake
2 - if you use samsung universal remote it will not leave the appropriate delays when turning on devices causing earc handshake to break
Steps to get a perfect earc setup:
1 - on every device except for TV disable CEC or HDMI control. Apple TV, Sky Q, Xbox, PS5. Has to be all of them.
2 - unplug all devices from tv and Soundbar and hard reset both. 950A hard reset is holding volume up and down on bar until you see INT displayed and then it says BYE.
3 - During Samsung tv setup plug everything back in (nothing into Soundbar, all into TV)
At this point samsung setup pairs things with the smart remote. But it also defaults earc to ‘off’ which is helpful for next step.
4 - once the tv is set up - do not enable earc (yet). Go to sources and universal remote and delete all sources created by Samsung so they default to HDMI 1, 2 etc. You can still rename them and add them to home just don’t use the universal remote.
5 - Turn off all HDMI inputs and turn off Soundbar.
6 - now enable earc in the menu. If it doesn’t switch on the Soundbar after this you can. It should detect earc for the first time.
7 - now turn on Xbox or PS5 - you will have to change the input manually on Samsung remote. In samsung sound settings on tv once the input is up select pass through and leave it.
Now you have an earc connection which can’t be killed by external sources. One final point:
whenever you turn on tv - make sure you turn on tv first and no other device. Soundbar should come on automatically if you have a Samsung tv - if not turn that on after tv is on. Check you have earc - if so you’re safe to turn other devices on.
I don’t know if Samsung will fix this - but I know understand why it’s not totally within their control. However it is in their control to fix pass through for multi channel LPCM and DTS-X.
make sure Xbox is set to bitstream Atmos pass through and PlayStation set to Dolby. Also make sure to change blu ray app output to bitstream within the player to get lossless Atmos.
Hope this helps someone. And I hope Samsung read it.
Solved! Go to Solution.
had my main board changed in the OCB today and earc issues are solved - so anyone who has this issue I recommend getting same replacement done via Samsung. Also I would make sure the OCB is in a ventilated area and not in a cabinet. I found out that there is no fan or heat sink on the main board (just some thermal rubber pad). I now have a new issue with the screen that Samsung will sort but it’s unrelated - likely another part of the OCB that’s failed.
earc is perfect now - don’t put up with the loss of handshake you have a faulty board.
Go to sources then up, then scroll all the way to the right and click “universal remote”. Then select each source that’s discovered and delete. You have to do it from the sources menu not the home menu.
You can avoid the config of each HDMI port by selecting “add to home” from each source in the sources menu while they are still labelled HDMI1/2 etc. Then from home you can rename them and give them a logo too - once they are added to home you won’t get promoted to configure them again unless you go into universal remote menu.
Samsung if you are reading this - add a function to your universal remote that disables the power on of the device as an option but still allows you to control it.
That doesn’t prevent having disable CEC on the other device to prevent bounce back of CEC before the eARC handshake but at least people can use the smart remote.
Also take into account that the Q symphony function takes longer to initialise than the standard eARC function so makes it even more susceptible to this issue.
You don’t even need an external device to destroy the earc handshake - all you need to do is start the TV with the Netflix button and it will do it then from a cold power on too.
The issue wouldn’t be as bad if simply power cycling solved it - but I think it’s corrupting the stored CEC network when it happens which necessitates a hard reset.
One more point notice that input signal plus is disabled by Samsung on the input for earc. It needs to then be enabled manually once earc handshake is established for first time - otherwise lossless Atmos won’t pass through.
again you only need to do this once.
Wish I could delete replies sorry I meant exact opposite - input signal plus should be disabled if you are only plugging video inputs into TV. Enabled if you have 4K video inputs in the sound bar.
Thank you soo much!!
I wil try this tomorrow because these eARC problems are driving me crazy! Everytime I lose the eARC connection, TV defaults to TV-speakers.
Thank you again!
Q950A with 65 NEO LED
Good luck let me know how it goes. I lost earc again today as accidentally turned the TV on while one of the inputs was on. It’s almost like it can’t handle anything else while it’s doing the earc handshake. From a programming perspective they should block all other input processing when the TV is turned on until the earc handshake completes but I don’t think that’s happening. As a result the CEC network is getting corrupted.
Very poor implementation - I’m still considering a refund will see what Samsung engineers say on Monday.