While we all wished that worked my opinion is the industry blew their chance at setting this as the way to connect it all ...reliably... You did write a lot but my answer is that ARC is too unreliable for me to give anyone the idea it works well enough to trust it.
To that end I continue to connect up with optical, analog or bluetooth. What I use varies with the set and system. Optical cables run http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Digital-Optical-Audio-Toslink/dp/B00NH11H38/ about 6 bucks now.
If you feel Samsung should fix this, tell them and if they can't fix it, start asking for refund.
Anyone else wake up to issues with their Samsung TV and Soundbar this morning? Long story short, they released an update last night, and once the update was completed, my TV is unusable.
Here's the long version. We've always had an issue with our Samsung TV (UN55ES6100FXZA) and soundbar (HW-F550) combination where they would only work with the soundbar source set to "HDMI", and about 5-10 seconds after you turn the systems on, it would switch to "TV ARC", you would have to switch it back. I don't want to dive too much into this, as I think this may have been an issue with how I had it setup. I'll get into that later. It was annoying, but it worked. I had called Samsung support shortly after I bought the soundbar and hooked it up (2013), but there was no resolution.
This morning, when I turned on the TV, the "updating..." icon appeared in the top right, and afterward, it could not get the TV to stay on HDMI. It was unusable. Every time I switched it to HDMI, it immediately switched back to TV ARC.
I called Samsung support. After a brief call, they recommended a better way to setup the system. As soon as I switched the setup, it started working. I thanked the technician and ended the call, only to find that after about 5 minutes, the TV flickered, as if changing resolutions, and the soundbar stopped playing sound. The only way to get it working again is to shutdown the TV/soundbar and turn the components back on.
I called into support again, and after a much longer call, they remoted in, reset the settings, and end result, they determined I have a bad HDMI port. My issue with this is the TV was functioning until the software update this morning.
Anyone else having new issues this morning?
(Previous setup issue. We have Time Warner cable, just FYI. I had an HDMI cable running from the cable box to the HDMI in on the sound bar and another running from HDMI out on the soundbar to the HDMI input on the TV. I have tried HDMI1 and HDMI2 inputs on the TV in the past, but this didn't make any difference. This is how it was setup when we were experiencing our issues up through this morning. The updates setup that was recommended was to run an HDMI cable from the cable box to the TV's HDMI port labeled "DVI" and another cable from the HDMI port labeled "ARC" out to the HDMI out port on the soundbar. I tried the HDMI in port on the soundbar, but that didn't seem to work. I think if I had it setup this way to begin with, we would have been fine, up until this morning.)