550BN + Firestick 4K Max + Echo Studio + HDMI ARC

Just wanted to leave this here in case anyone else is trying to do some or all of the same as I am.

I am a big fan of the Echo (Alexa) ecosystem and basically have fully adopted it throughout my home. Everything works as well as it can or should, but obviously the most finnicky is audio/video content with my TVs. I have Firesticks on every TV and on two TVs in particular, I have echo studios connected. The 4K Max fire stick will act as an ARC hub, and I had the bright idea of passing audio over ARC through to my gaming consoles. That’s where the KINIVO 550BN comes in.

Here is the setup/plan and below is the outcome.

I have a TCL S546 TV. It has an eARC port, plus HDMI 2 and HDMI 3. I additionally have a PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch and a SFF Gaming PC. My audio device is an Echo Studio synced with a Fire Stick 4K Max, which when paired with the Echo Studio acts as an ARC hub.

My Fire Stick will be plugged into my TV’s eARC HDMI input. The 550BN HDMI output will go into the HDMI 3 input of my TV. My gaming consoles will each plug into various HDMI inputs on the 550BN.

Each console will have HDMI-CEC enabled.

The TV will have HDMI-CEC enabled.

The Fire Stick will have HDMI-CEC enabled.

Here’s the outcome: audio does pass through as intended. I tried another slightly cheaper hub from Amazon and it did pass audio through also, but then it just broke and I could never get it working again. the 550BN doesn’t suffer from this problem.

Some minor issues that I have to figure out:

  1. Let’s say I power on a console and switch to the KINIVO. The video and audio will pass through no problem. But the audio will be SLIGHTLY out of sync. To correct this, I just switch back to the Fire Stick and then back to the KINIVO and problem solved. Small price to pay and I think this just comes down to the fire stick hub and echo studio being connected over some proprietary wireless solution.

  2. CEC doesnt work, but I didnt think it would. If I turn a console on, the KINIVO recognizes the input and the TV switches to the KINIVO, but video remains black. i have to manually switch back to the firestick and then back to the KINIVO and all is solved.

  3. If I am gaming on one device and then turn it off and switch to another device, the KINIVO will not switch to that device automatically because as far as my TV is concerned, the KINIVO output is already on. Maybe this has something to do with my TV or the CEC options on all the different devices. I don’t know and it really isn’t so much trouble for me to manually switch.

My goal was to have all my devices pass audio through to the Echo Studio, which they all do. Maybe we can get some feedback from other users and help me solve some of my issues.