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What Is HDMI CEC? Everything You Need to Know!

by Lisa Hayden
hdmi cec

What Is HDMI CEC? Everything You Need to Know!

Have you ever wondered how you can simplify controlling all your devices from one remote control? Have you ever got so confused with all those remotes lined up on your table just to turn on the wrong speaker? Well, you’re not alone. Apparently, there are a lot of people also wondering how you can make life easier with just one remote. Thanks to the HDMI-CEC, you don’t have to use all those remotes anymore.

What is HDMI-CEC?

The HDMI-CEC is part of the HDMI family. The CEC stands for ‘Consumer Electronics Control’. It basically means allowing the consumer to control all other HDMI devices using one remote control. Of course, this only applies to those that are compatible with HDMI. Since HDMI is for high-definition audio/video devices, your old stereos and TVs won’t be able to get connected.

The HDMI-CEC can connect up to 15 devices. If you have a full home theatre, you can skip all those remotes and just focus on one main remote control. Take note, though, that if your speaker or television has other specialized features, you might need to use their own remote for that.

cec hdmi in use

And no, it’s not a universal remote. Universal remotes are made to be compatible with a lot of audio and video devices, but they don’t communicate with the devices all at once. Instead, it only connects to a single device. For the HDMI-CEC, it can communicate to all devices connected to it.

How Does the HDMI-CEC Work?

The concept of the HDMI-CEC is not that difficult to grasp. But in case you’re wondering how it can control up to 15 devices, here’s a rundown on how it works.

Let’s say you’ve connected the device to your TV, your Apple TV, and your speakers. When you use your TV’s remote, you can turn on your Apple TV and your speakers. It does this with the help of the CEC signal running through the HDMI cable. So if you use your TV’s remote and you want to turn on Apple TV, just click the power button, and your remote will send the signal to the TV and then to the Apple TV.

Features of the HDMI-CEC

The HDMI-CEC’s use is not only to connect a number of HDMI-compatible devices. You can do so much more with it, and it’s actually very convenient to use them all. Here are some of the main features of the HDMI-CEC.

1. Remote Control Pass-Through

The most basic feature of the HDMI-CEC is the remote control pass-through. It allows the remote’s commands to “pass-through” to other devices. This is how it controls other devices. You can use your other device’s remote control, too.

2. Deck Control

The HDMI-CEC’s deck control allows you to do common commands like play, pause, stop, rewind, fast forward, and the like using one remote. This works for your HDMI-connected Blu-ray, disc player, and media streamer devices.

3. Audio Control

If there’s deck control, there’s obviously audio control, too. Audio control allows you to adjust audio settings like volume and calibration. This means that you can do away with calibrating every single audio device. With the HDMI-CEC, you can calibrate once for the whole sound system. How convenient is that?

cec with different remote control

4. One-Touch Play

If you’re done binge-watching your favourite Netflix series on the TV and the next series you want to watch isn’t available in other streaming sites, but on the DVD, then you would normally switch to the DVD settings and use the DVD remote to power up the show. With the HDMI-CEC, all you need is to insert a disk in your DVD player, and this automatically prompts your TV to switch to DVD. It’s as easy as that. No need to change the wires and reconnect your DVD player.

5. One-Touch Record

Want to record something you found on the TV? The One Touch Record feature allows you to record the display by switching your recording device on.

6. Routing Control

Lastly, there’s routing control. Routing control lets you control the input source. For example, you can use one remote to set the input selections on your home theatre.

See? The HDMI-CEC is a lot more useful than you would think. It’s not just a simple control for all your other devices.

Pros and Cons of the HDMI-CEC

Despite the many features of the HDMI-CEC, there are pros and cons to using this.

Advantages include having a central control to all HDMI-compatible devices. This will lessen the need for you to buy a universal remote control and to even keep all those remote controls lined up on the table. You also just need one HDMI cable to control both audio and video devices. If you’re not a fan of setting up these things, this is definitely going to be a lifesaver for you.

On the other hand, disadvantages include not having standard features access across all components. This is simply because different manufacturers have their own way of depicting controls. If your devices have special features, you will still have to use the device’s own remote control. This means that you can’t totally do away with all those remotes. There’s also the issue of turning on/off other devices connected even if that’s not what you meant to do.

Needless to say, HDMI-CEC is not perfect. Although it has been existing for a while, it’s not an explored connection, and it has its own set of problems, especially where controlling different manufactured devices are concerned. You may still encounter some command problems along the way.

Other Names for HDMI-CEC

wireless hdmi kit

Wait, what? Does the HDMI-CEC have more than one name? Unfortunately, yes. This is one of the disadvantages of HDMI-CEC, and it can be confusing to a lot of consumers. Nonetheless, here is a shortlist of the other names the HDMI-CEC goes by.

● Anthem - CEC Control
● Hitachi - HDMI-CEC
● LG - SimpLink
● Mitsubishi - NetCommand
● Panasonic - EZ-Sync, HDAVI, Viera Link
● Philips - Fun-Link
● Pioneer - Kuro Link
● Samsung - Anynet, Anynet+
● Sharp - Aquos Link
● Sony - Bravia Sync, Bravia Link
● Toshiba - CE-Link, Regza Link
● Vizio - CEC

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