SHARC-V2 Online Manual

This online manual provides details on the connections and the setup of SHARC-V2 eARC Processor.

Once you receive the device, please check you have the following items included:

  1. SHARC-V2 eARC processor
  2. HDMI cable
  3. 5V USB style power supply
  4. USB-micro cable.


  1. Connect SHARC port 3) to the TV eARC/ARC port.
  2. Connect SHARC port 4) to one of the INPUT ports of the sound system (it is a common mistake to connect to the output of the sound system which is typically labeled “ARC”).
  3. Connect the USB micro cable between the included power supply and the POWER 5V/DC input on SHARC.
  4. Optional: Connect source devices, such as Xbox or PS5, to the input ports labeled port 1) and port 2)
  5. Set the TV into eARC mode and select PASSTHROUGH or AUTO -mode to retain multi-channel audio. PCM-setting on TV will always result to only stereo PCM and sometimes basic DD bitstream.
  6. Optional: enable TV per-input bitstream support to enable Atmos/multichannel-PCM (typically Sound->Additional Setting->bitstream or similar menu). Default only allows stereo.
  7. Make sure the LED indicator light is solid green (eARC active) or slowly blinking (ARC active). eARC connection is required for all lossless audio.

It is necessary to configure the TV to enable the eARC connection. Sometimes this is referred to as generic HDMI ARC -setting and the eARC operation specifically is selected under the ARC detailed settings.

It is often the case that TVs default to sub-standard video capabilities to make sure customer always gets at least some picture visible. There are often settings such as “input plus” or “deep color” or alternative settings that must be enabled typically per input port to allow the maximum video and audio capabilities to flow to the TV. Make sure all such settings are corretly enabled by consulting the TV manual.


The two LED lights are multifunctional indicators. TOP LED indicates that the input port 1) is selected and is passed through to the TV. BOTTOM LED indicates that the input port 2) is selected and passed through to the TV.

Simultaneously the LED can be stable color indicating an active eARC connection. A blinking LED light indicates an active ARC connection.

For most all setups you need to find settings on the TV to have a stable LED light indicating an eARC connection. Only eARC connection can support lossless audio such as MAT Atmos, TrueHD, DTS:X and uncompressed 7.1 PCM.


There are several advanced options to control the flow of the video and audio and these settings can be changed using the DIP switches. There are four DIP switches:


Some TVs automatically convert all audio into Dolby MAT format. In case the connected sound system does not understand MAT formats, the audio will be rendered mute. To control this there are two settings:
DIP #1 in UP position: All ATMOS formats ok [default]
DIP #1 in DOWN position: Convert MAT formats


Some TVs incorrectly mark speaker placement as 7.1 for all PCM multichannel audio. This results in surround speakers lost in 5.1 sound systems. DIP #2 controls this:
DIP #2 in UP position: According to the TV stream [default]
DIP #2 in DOWN position: Correct for 5.1 systems

DIP #3: CEC WAKEUP option

DIP #3 in UP position: Type 1 [default]
DIP #3 in DOWN position: Type 2


SHARC-V2 supports FRL-6, 48Gbps signaling which is above and beyond what next-gen consoles like PS5 or Xbox use today. FRL-6 is a very demanding format for cabling and many times FRL-5 achieves the exact same thing especially if the content is not anywhere near the 48Gbps link.
DIP #4 in UP position: Follow the source FRL level [default]
DIP #4 in UP position:Limit to FRL-5 to simplify cabling


  1. The most common issue is that the port 4) is connected to the output port on AVR. Make sure the port 4) connects to one of the input ports on the sound system.
  2. Check indicator LED status corresponds to the desired operation.
  3. Disconnect any connection between the TV and the output port of the AVR/receiver/soundbar. This is an advanced setup and can create a potentially unsupported CEC loop. Contact Thenaudio for help with this.
  4. Some TV models require a CEC reset to reload the changed CEC network parameters.
  5. Analog audio output requires TV to be set as PCM.

SHARC-V2 8k eARC Processor

Thenaudio is proud to introduce SHARC-V2, a smart eARC processor with 8K / FRL-6 / 48Gbps dual-port input switch with CEC control and advanced audio processing circuitry.

The following three key areas have been addressed in SHARC-V2:

  1. INPUT PORTS: Added two FRL-6, 48Gbps input ports with a smart CEC control zone.
  2. CEC ZONE 2: Improved second CEC zone used for the connected audio system to further increase compatibility
  3. ANALOG OUTPUT: Improved analog output quality.

Each point has been extensively discussed with customers over the past year and it has helped us to target efforts. For details, we have listed below these three points and highlighted them in more detail.


SHARC-V2 now has two input ports that are capable of handling HDMI2.1 features. Each port supports FRL6 / 48Gbps video formats to effectively cover every video format under the HDMI 2.1 specification. The ports are forwarding audio and video to the TV/projector and support any level of encryption or video signaling as long as it comes from an HDMI source. The bandwidth of FRL6 is very high and therefore the performance is limited by the choice of the cables. Only the best quality cables should be used for 48Gbps. Of course, any other video format is also supported such as 4K, 1080p and ports can be mixed with FRL and non-FRL signals at will.

SHARC-V2 inputs support pass-through of any audio format that can be sent over HDMI. This covers all flavors of lossless and lossy Dolby Atmos, TrueHD, DTS:X, 7.1 PCM and so on. SHARC-V2 eARC processor side also supports every one of these formats and can convert them and send them to the connected audio system. However, SHARC-V2 does not itself extract audio formats from the input ports but utilizes the eARC channel for audio. It means that TV ultimately dictates which formats can be supported by the customer system.

We decided to have two input ports instead of more ports as a tradeoff to keep the overall cost lower. There are only a limited number of sources that send FRL-5/6 video formats and the main feedback suggests that a user will have either two game consoles or a PC and a single game console. These both can then connect to SHARC-V2. In case more inputs are needed, we offer GUIDE-3, a smart three-port AVR switch to add even more FRL-6/48Gbps ports and can be used together with SHARC-V2.

The input selection is handled by CEC from the TV side or the source side using their respective remote controllers. We advocate the use of CEC for channel switching in SHARC-V2 and simplified the design by removing IR and any manual buttons. Since SHARC-V2 is always connected to an eARC capable TV it means the TV is CEC capable and can therefore communicate properly with SHARC-V2. Further, the sources connecting to the input ports of SHARC-V2 should be CEC capable as well to work properly. Below is an example of how the input ports appear on the TV input selector. You can see how XBOX and PS5 appear under the HDMI2 where SHARC-V2 is connected.

SHARC-V2 input sources appear under the TV input selector (LG CX example)


One of the unique features of SHARC is the ability to control the volume and the power state of the connected audio system. It means you can control the sound system connected to the SHARC AVR port with the TV remote controller.

There is a dedicated improved CEC zone in SHARC-V2 that sends commands to the connected AVR or soundbar. The improvements in SHARC-V2 allow the use of the source remote controller as well. For example, watching a show using AppleTV and using the AppleTV remote controller volume up and down now controls the volume level of the connected audio system. The same is true for Roku remote controller or any other source device that implements sending CEC volume control commands. These devices can either be connected to SHARC-V2 or to any of the remaining TV inputs.


It turns out the headphones jack is used much more often than the RCA line-level output, and for this reason we removed the RCA jack and in turn optimized the analog performance of the headphones output.

SHARC-V2 allows the volume level of the headphones output to be controlled with the TV remote controller or the source remote controller for maximum convenience.

We wanted to maximize the audio quality performance while still not affecting the cost too much. We are trying to walk the line between those who want the best analog quality and those who never use analog outputs. There is a great difference in the prices of DACs for generic use and for ultimate conversion quality. Increasing dynamic range and reducing distortion beyond certain points exponentially increase the cost. As a suitable tradeoff where we took into account availability, cost, quality, robustness and so on we chose to use the PCM512x series DAC from TI and a low-noise amplifier to drive the headphones output. The dynamic range is over 100dB which ensures a great listening experience. The analog output easily supports HD AUDIO since the DAC natively converts up to 384kHz sample rates. Most HD AUDIO is 96kHz but some sources can output even at 192kHz 24bit.

The other issue frequently encountered within the past year in our experience is that some TVs do not process PCM pass-through correctly. We have identified many of these cases and have created run-time fixes in our code to compensate for this. We are proud to confirm that SHARC-V2 supports up to 7.1 192kHz 24bit for the digital HDMI output and up to stereo 192kHz 24bit for the analog side.

To order, follow the link here: SHARC-V2 eARC Audio Processor.

GUIDE-3 HDMI 2.1 48Gbps Switch with CEC Control

Thenaudio is proud to introduce GUIDE-3, a smart three-port AV switch with up to 48Gbps / FRL6 switching capability and CEC control support for extra convenience.

GUIDE-3 is engineered in a completely new way to support various audio, video, and encryption standards. In a typical AV product, the incoming signal is first decoded and then re-encoded inside an increasingly complex IC. This is generally done for multiple reasons that have to do with needing to establish a unique video path for each input signal. Since standards keep changing these methods will only work for a short period of time until a new encryption version or faster data rates are introduced. This signal decoding and re-encoding is an extremely demanding process and generally limited to 40Gbps / FRL5 for the best of the best products at the moment.

We decided to look for other ways to be completely transparent to the contents of the input signal using the fastest data rates of 48Gbps FRL6 while still allowing the much-needed CEC control support. Each input port of GUIDE-3 is equipped with a unique way to process the information exchange between the connected source and the TV in runtime while the audio and video signal is flowing untouched with perfect pass-through quality.

These innovations allow GUIDE-3 to support any HDMI video signaling all the way to the latest standards found from the 2.1 specification. GUIDE-3 can support 4k120 10/12bit HDR, 8k60, and any other format up to 48Gbps while including features such as VRR for the best gaming experience. For audio support, there are no limitations, and all standardized audio formats such as all flavors of Dolby Atmos / DTS:X / PCM 7.1 are supported including all standard sample rates like 48kHz to 192kHz.

GUIDE-3 is also capable to support CEC control. CEC control is a desired feature to use in modern AV setups since most TVs sold in the past several years offer CEC control simply by using the TV remote controller. TV menus are often engineered to natively support this feature, yet many switches have never added the capability due to the additional complexities to support these commands while making the CEC network reflect the correct parameters.

An example of GUIDE-3 using three connected devices, XBox One X, Blu-Ray player and AppleTV is shown below. Each source is connected to one of the GUIDE-3 inputs and the output is connected to the HDMI 3 of an LG TV. TV will scan the CEC network and display each capable source under HDMI 3 as this is the input where GUIDE-3 is connected. By using the remote it is simple to switch between the inputs. The actual switching happens automatically inside GUIDE-3.

CEC channel switching example

Another way to start watching the desired source is to press the menu button on the remote controller for the respective input source. For example, pressing the AppleTV remote controller menu button will issue a string of specific CEC commands which GUIDE-3 will process accordingly to make the channel change.

There are other ways to perform channel switching with GUIDE-3. In case CEC control is not available, it is possible to use a simple “+5 switching”. There is a rudimentary way that HDMI sources use when informing their presence when connected to a sink device. They do it by showing a fixed voltage level that can be detected by the connecting device. Whenever such voltage is detected GUIDE-3 will switch to this channel if the relevant feature is enabled using the DIP switches on the side of GUIDE-3.

In case GUIDE-3 is installed within a system that has system controllers then it is possible to use IR control for channel selection. The IR hex codes are available in the download section.

For use cases without an IR system controller, there are special additional IR commands that GUIDE-3 can respond to. This means it is possible to use an already existing remote controller, say, from an AVR to do the switching. Such support is generally ongoing and will be added depending on the number of requests for specific models.

Finally, there is also a manual push-button that cycles through the inputs in case no automation is desired.

Semiconductor Shortages

Global Semiconductor industry sales have skyrocketed creating a huge supply shortage across almost all components used in electronic products.

We have been following this closely in our production processes and have not seen any signs of it coming to an end anytime soon.

Some of the ICs we have been using, now have over a year of lead times. It has forced us to change some vendors and come up with even more creative ways to still be able to ship products without delays to customers all through this year.

At this time, however, due to the ongoing pressure from all sides of the manufacturing process, we are going to be increasing the prices on June 1st as follows:

  • SHARC eARC Processor will increase to $188.00
  • ZONE2 eARC Processor will increase to $228.00

We remain committed to having stock available and use whatever means necessary to achieve this. There will be separate production runs with somewhat different components to help with the lead time issues. This is how we are trying to overcome any delays as best as we can.

Starting on June 1st we are getting another fulfillment process in place which is able to deliver 1-day service to some locations within the USA and also deliver on weekends. International shipments continue to be handled by DHL Express. Shipping rates will remain the same.

Be Direct To Your TV.

Happy New Year 2021 from Thenaudio to everybody ! We are excited to start the year and continue innovating and delivering value to your home theaters.

Over the holidays many of you might have gotten your hands on one of the new gaming consoles that were released a couple of months back – namely the new Xbox Series X and the PS5. These are both wonderful powerful engines and are already delivering a superb mix of high-resolution gaming and atmospheric audio experiences.

We wanted to do some experiment on what kinds of resolutions are now available and how they look like. There were some surprises on the way.

Xbox Series X direct connected to LG CX

In the above picture, you can see the result when Xbox Series X is direct connected to an LG CX HDMI 2.1 TV. The resolution is a fantastic 3840×2160 (4K) running at 120Hz with full 10-bit RGB chroma with deep colors. This is a full 48Giga bandwidth using HDMI 2.1 FRL video mode and is as good as it can possibly get at this stage. The games we tested look incredibly detailed and nuanced. This particular title is even supporting Variable Refresh Rates (VRR) which is one of the new HDMI 2.1 features introduced some time ago and meant to privde with a tear-free game play on supporting displays.

Of course, for audio performance this is far from perfect as you are only listening to the TV internal speakers and this hardly gives you a full realistic atmoshperic experience which is something that is intended to be enjoyed along with playing the game. Audio is a tremendously important part of immersing the gamer to get the full experience.

Traditionally by connecting an AVR in-between the game console and the TV, we can get the full audio experience as well. We wanted to test this using a modern 8K AVR with all the latest bells and whistles that would surely support this experience. We were surprised by the results as shown in the next picture

Xbox Series X connected to a modern 8K AVR and then to LG CX

Interestingly the above is what we get when cables are moved around so that a new modern 8K AVR is placed in between Xbox series X and the LG CX TV in order to get the full audio experience as well. The video format instantly changed. The HDMI 2.1 FRL format got disabled and was replaced by a standard “basic” HDMI 2.0 signal.

Upon closer examination, the video format indeed still reports as 4k120 but the chroma has been changed to 4:2:0 downsampled version. This means that the original 48Giga signal is now only 18giga with roughly one-quarter of the video detail information present anymore. Any potential HDR is lost since 8-bit 420 cannot convey the extra rich “detail”-bits.

In other words, the video performance got sacrificed to a fraction of what it could be using a direct connection in order to be able to enjoy the immersive audio.

It has been widely reported by various outlets already how the current generation of AVRs is not able to process the HDMI 2.1 signaling for 4k120. The automatic workaround seems to be now uncovered. Yes, connecting Xbox Series X the signal format does show 4k120 but the picture quality is tremendously reduced and the HDR (high-dynamic range) content is crippled for the gameplay rendering.

Fortunately, there is a solution to retain the best of both worlds as opposed to accepting a tradeoff between audio and video performance.

Our vision at Thenaudio is to enable and activate existing audio systems to process the best audio formats while connecting the sources directly to the TV to be able to enjoy 48GHz video signals. By utilizing the eARC infrastructure in our processors we are able to capture the full lossless atmospheric audio experience as well as uncompressed lossless 7.1 PCM signals. In the great majority of cases, there is no reason to update or upgrade any of the existing audio equipment.

Introducing our portfolio of Sharc eARC Audio Converter and Zone-2 eARC Audio Processor products. Both products will provide you with the best possible audio performance your system can support.

Thenaudio Year-End Update

As New Year is approaching with new goals and changes we are wrapping up an innovative year with a big thank you to all of you great customers! You are a special group that is adopting brand new cutting edge technologies and placing your trust in us to deliver on our promises. We truly thank you for your business and trust.

We are finally caught up to demand and are now in a position to ship from stock both Sharc and Zone-2 processors. It is now a good time to also inform everybody about changes to the shipping providers and methods that just went live.

We have negotiated a great agreement with FedEx to handle all our domestic USA orders. We can now offer a guaranteed express 2-day air shipment for a flat fee of $9.50. This is exciting news for all of us and means we can now rely on a dedicated FedEx network and likely have fewer missed or misdirected packages as compared with our previous provider. The agreement is written specifically for the 2-day service but we also offer a choice of standard next-day air service. This next-day service is not as heavily discounted but we still offer it for those who are in a hurry.

We also have changes to the DHL express contract. Our previous service was a flat-rate $39 anywhere in the world. This new service is an accurate amount based on the country and the location. This way you will get an exact charge directly from the DHL servers.

We can, from time to time, also offer USPS International Priority service for locations where DHL does not ship to or in case DHL assesses a remote area delivery upcharge. USPS Priority International is typically around $39 and the service is slow and usually tracking info is spotty. For specific cases please connect with us and we can make it happen.

For new products, please stay tuned as we are working using the latest HDMI 2.1 ICs and are committed to providing you with new innovative ways to add value to your home theater setups.

Wishing you all wonderful holiday time and Happy New Year 2021.

ZONE-2 Processor, a Case Study

ZONE-2 eARC Audio Processor adds to the Thenaudio portfolio of eARC audio processors by introducing a way to extract and forward the original lossless audio received from a TV eARC port.

ZONE-2 builds on top of the already well known and popular SHARC eARC Audio Converter. SHARC is used in situations where you have a modern eARC TV and want to keep your existing audio system. SHARC will interface the two and you don’t need to purchase a new audio system for years to come. ZONE-2 has the same capabilities as SHARC and adds the capability to also forward the eARC audio to another zone.

For those who already have made the investment and purchased a modern soundbar, HDMI2.1 AVR, or another modern eARC sound system, ZONE-2 eARC Audio Processor will now enable the extraction and forwarding of a lossless audio stream from TV. This is useful for multiple scenarios that will be highlighted below.

HDMI 2.1 AVR Audio Splitting: If you have purchased a brand new modern HDMI2.1 AVR with eARC capabilities you can find yourself in a situation where forwarding audio is impossible. Depending on your model capabilities you either can’t route eARC audio anywhere or in some cases can only route a downmixed or transcoded signal. Using Zone-2 eARC Processor in between your TV and the AVR allows you to extract the original lossless audio and share it to a second zone with no degradation in the audio resolution or format.

Adding a Subwoofer: Let’s take an example of Sonos ARC soundbar. This new popular soundbar is capable of playing Atmos audio and does a very good job of producing a fantastic audio experience. In some situations, a user may still want to boost the bottom frequencies by introducing a subwoofer. Currently, this is not possible as you cannot get access to the audio signal “in-between” TV and Sonos ARC. However, with the use of ZONE-2 eARC Audio Processor, you can now extract the audio signal while having a connection between TV and Sonos ARC. This extracted audio signal can then be used to power a subwoofer amplifier using HDMI audio, optical SPDIF, or analog headphone connections. ZONE-2 audio signal is a perfect pristine representation of the original content. Your amplifier will perform the signal decoding and can therefore retain the full lossless accuracy.

Adding Second Room Audio: With a similar soundbar setup as above, you are able to route the standard HDMI audio signal to any additional room or zone in your house.

Launch of the New Website

Welcome to the new Thenaudio website.

We moved our website to Amazon Web Services to better handle the global traffic and to serve pages faster. In addition, we implemented a direct “my account” and cart system that will help you to track your orders and make changes easier. Payment processors now include PayPal and Stripe for CC payments. Amazon Pay will be added in the future.

Purchasing directly from Thenaudio website will allow the fastest shipping times as well as global shipping to almost anywhere in the world using trackable DHL Express service.

Our Amazon selling page will also remain active and can be used for domestic USA purchases.

State of the eARC


TV manufacturers tend to be drivers for new functionalities, features, and ever-improving video quality. It is understandable as it is the TV that always drives the user experience for the picture quality.

It is in consumer’s best interests to connect source devices such as PlayStation, Xbox, streaming players like Apple TV, and Blu-Ray players directly to the TV input ports rather than using a device such as an Audio Video Receiver to handle channel switching.

This has been increasingly important already over the past many years. Right now predominantly all new TVs in all price categories accept most flavors of HDR and the latest models already widely accept Variable refresh rates (VRR) and auto low latency modes (ALLM) which are indispensable for any gamer. Also, we already have Quick Sync and early HDMI 2.1 8k formats.

Such formats as described are accepted by nearly none of the current audio systems or repeater/matrix systems.

With this rapid evolvement of video formats, it is clearly not advisable to invest in those “man in the middle” devices which could easily be lacking a simple new feature rendering the device obsolete in a matter of months. We are living in a time where standards greatly change within a short period of time.

To discuss the development of the audio side we must investigate the past to see how sound formats got to be where they are.

In early 1990’s Dolby Digital was introduced. In the early 2000’s lossless high bit rate audio formats Dolby TrueHd and DTS-MasterAudio were created. In 2012 metadata object-based audio was introduced. These are the Dolby Atmos and the DTS-X formats. All these audio formats have been extremely popular together in most video content and continue to enjoy wide acceptance today.

An audio system purchased since 2012 already supports everything a Blu-ray / streaming content can throw at it. Why is this not highlighted more and why have customers still been upgrading audio receivers after 2012? How do audio system makers stay in business?

The reason is that each change in the video standard, even offering a single new HDR format, requires a purchase of a brand new Audio Video Receiver to pass such a signal to the TV. Each model after 2012 really only improve the video side and possibly add some new services from cloud vendors depending on the model.

The great new paradigm shift for HDMI audio came in late 2017 when the HDMI 2.1 specification was released and along with it the specification for a new audio transport called eARC – enhanced audio return channel. This is an upgrade to the legacy ARC specification already available since early HDMI 1.4 specification.

It is revolutionary because now there is a method to transport non-retouched lossless audio all the way from the original content to the amplifier via TV, something only an AVR could offer before using a direct connection to the source device.

AVR manufacturers have been understandably slow to adopt eARC because surely why detract from the only driving force that requires consumers to upgrade audio systems. This eARC, if widely accepted, would work towards removing the need of upgrading due to the video format evolvement.

Thenaudio has recognized this trend and the disconnection between the development of the audio and video formats in the past years. We offer solutions that finally enable consumers to get past the need to upgrade a perfectly sufficient working equipment.

Our products, such as SHARC eARC Audio Converter and ZONE-2 eARC Audio Processor harness the new eArc transport found in TVs and activate your current perfectly capable sound system for the latest lossless audio formats. Years ago you may have spent hundreds or thousands of dollars thinking your sound system will be good forever, just to find out that a year later it already was lacking in functionality.

Unfortunately, today the situation is still the same. If you were to finally buy a new receiver, today, or six months from now you may already be missing an important new video-related capability or never get the functionality you were promised. This is the case with the current HDMI 2.1 announced receivers due to a new bug as outlined in articles such as Bug in HDMI2.1 chips.

Please take a look at our Thenaudio products to learn how they will enable what you already have for the best possible audio experience without sacrificing anything in the video performance.

Connection Guide

  1. Connect SHARC port 1) to the TV eARC/ARC port
  2. Connect SHARC port 2) to one of the INPUT ports of the sound system (it is a common mistake to connect to the output of the sound system)
  3. Connect the USB micro cable to one of the USB ports on the TV.
  4. Set the TV into eARC mode and select PASSTHROUGH mode (or equivalent) to retain multi-channel audio.
  5. Enable TV per-input bitstream support to enable Atmos/multichannel-PCM (typically Sound->Additional Setting->bitstream or similar menu). The default only allows stereo.

LG C9 Owners

  1. Sound->Sound Out is set as HDMI ARC
  2. Sound->HDMI ARC -menu: eARC must be set ON and Digital Sound Out as “passthrough”
  3. Sound->Additional Settings->HDMI Input Audio Format -menu must have “bitstream” selected for each input to allow Atmos and multi-channel PCM

LG CX Owners

  1. Sound->Dolby Atmos is ON
  2. Sound->Sound Out is set as HDMI ARC
  3. Sound->HDMI INPUT AUDIO FORMAT must be bitstream per each port (not PCM) to allow Atmos andmulti-channel PCM
  4. Sound->Digital Sound OUT must be either AUTO/Passthrough. This depends on content, use both. Typically pass through is correct
  5. Sound->eARC must be set ON

Other TV Owners

Other TVs have similar setup procedure: find the eARC menu and make sure eARC is active and make sure each input port is setup to accept Atmos/multichannel PCM from sources (TVs typically limit this to stereo by default).