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What Is HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control)?

HDMI-CEC provides an alternative control option for your home theater

HDMI is an audio/video interface used to transmit data from a source device to a monitor. HDMI-CEC is an optional feature on many HDMI-compatible devices that allows you to control multiple HDMI devices, such as a TV remote, from a single remote. “CEC” in HDMI-CEC stands for Consumer Electronics Control.

What is HDMI-CEC?

Benefits

  • Use the TV remote to control some features of devices connected to the TV via HDMI, reducing the need for a universal remote.

  • The same HDMI cables connecting your audio and video components can be used as conduits to control these devices.

Disadvantages

  • CEC functionality is not necessarily available on all HDMI-equipped devices.

  • For devices with HDMI-CEC, feature access is not always consistent when using mixed brand components.

  • Control is not as extensive as using the supplied remote or a universal remote.

  • In some cases, HDMI-CEC must be enabled for HDMI-ARC to work as well.

  • Sometimes HDMI-CEC turns devices on or off when you don’t want them to.

HDMI is the main connection standard used in the AV environment. Along with HDMI-ARC, HDMI-CEC is an optional feature of HDMI. HDMI-CEC may already be enabled on a device you own. (Although it is necessary to enable it manually from the settings menu.)

resources

HDMI-CEC provides various features listed below. However, not all features listed here are available on all products with HDMI-CEC. Feature compatibility between brands often varies.

  • remote control pass: This allows remote control commands to be transmitted to other devices within a system. For example, you can use the TV’s remote control to control some functions of different devices connected to the TV using HDMI.
  • One touch: When starting playback on your source device, switches the TV to the HDMI input used by the device. For example, when you insert a disc into the Blu-ray Disc player and press the play button, one-touch play automatically instructs the TV to switch to the HDMI input that the Blu-ray player uses.
  • routing control: You can manually control the input source selection. For example, you can change the input selections on a connected home theater receiver using a TV remote.
  • deck control: This allows users to control playback features such as Play, Pause, Rewind, Forward via a TV remote control on a compatible Blu-ray/Ultra HD disc player, media streamer or cable/satellite box with HDMI connection.
  • One-touch recording: If you have an HDMI-CEC compatible DVR or DVD recorder, you can start the recording process when you see a program that interests you on the TV screen.
  • timer programming: You can use the electronic program guide (EPG) that came with your TV or cable/satellite box to set the timer on compatible DVD recorders or DVRs.
  • System volume control: This allows you to control the volume levels (or other compatible audio settings) of an HDMI-CEC equipped home theater receiver or AV preamp/processor using the TV’s remote control.
  • Device menu control: This allows your TV to control the menu system of other devices. For example, you can use your TV’s remote control to navigate menu settings on a connected source device such as a Blu-ray Disc player, media streamer or DVR.
  • waiting system: This allows you to put multiple devices on standby using a single remote control. With the TV remote, you can switch to each input your source devices are connected to and switch them to standby and off as you wish.

other names

One confusing thing about HDMI-CEC is that it’s not always obvious whether a device includes it. This feature is often referred to by a specific brand name. To clear up the confusion, here’s a list of what various TV and home theater manufacturers refer to as HDMI-CEC:

  • divine: MSK control
  • Denon: CEC or HDMI control
  • Funai, Emerson, Magnavox, Sylvaniaand some Philip: fun link
  • Hitachi: HDMI-CEC
  • engagement: InLink
  • LG: SimpleLink
  • Mitsubishi: net command
  • Onkyo: RIHD
  • Panasonic: Viera Link, HDAVI Control, EZ-Sync
  • Philip: EasyLink
  • Pioneer: exchange link
  • SAMSUNG: Anynet, Anynet+
  • Focused: aquos connection
  • Sony: Bravia Sync, Bravia Link
  • Toshiba: Regza Connection, CE Connection
  • Image: MSK

There are other brands not listed, and labels may change over time.

Underline

In addition to connectivity, HDMI-CEC enables control of multiple devices without the need for a universal remote or other control system.

However, HDMI-CEC is not as comprehensive as many universal remote control systems. It only works with HDMI-connected devices, and there are some feature inconsistencies between product brands. Also, as mentioned, the feature can sometimes turn devices on or off unintentionally. On the other hand, you may find it more convenient than using remote control apps available for smartphones and tablets.

HDMI-CEC may not be as “glamorous” as Alexa or Google Assistant, the control options offered by a growing number of product brands. Virtual assistants like this can replace existing control options.

If you have HDMI connected devices in your home theater setup, check the HDMI-CEC feature and see if any of the available control features work for you.

Common questions

  • How do I enable HDMI-CEC on my Samsung TV?

    Press on the Samsung TV remote. house and choose Definitions > Generally > External Device Manager > Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC).

  • How do I disable HDMI-CEC?

    The steps vary by manufacturer, but the HDMI-CEC settings can usually be accessed using the TV’s remote control. Go to the TV’s menu and look for settings related to the specific brand name. Disabling HDMI-CEC on your TV will prevent audio transmission via HDMI to other devices.

  • Which HDMI cables support CEC?

    Most HDMI cables should work with HDMI-CEC, as it depends on whether the device includes HDMI-CEC, not the cable.


See more

What Is HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control)?

HDMI-CEC provides an alternate control option for your home theater system

HDMI is an audio/video interface used for transmitting data from a source device to a display. HDMI-CEC is an optional feature found on many HDMI-compatible devices that allows you to control multiple HDMI devices from one remote, such as a TV remote. The “CEC” in HDMI-CEC stands for Consumer Electronics Control.

What Is HDMI-CEC?
Advantages

Use your TV remote to control some features of devices that are connected to your TV via HDMI, reducing the need for a universal remote control.

The same HDMI cables that connect your audio and video components can be used as a conduit for controlling those devices.

Disadvantages

CEC functionality is not required to be included on all HDMI-equipped devices.

On devices that include HDMI-CEC, feature access is not always consistent when using mixed-brand components.

Not as comprehensive control as using the device’s included remote or a universal remote.

In some cases, HDMI-CEC must be activated in order for HDMI-ARC to also work.

Sometimes HDMI-CEC will activate or turn-off devices when you don’t want it to.

HDMI is the primary connection standard used in the AV environment. Along with HDMI-ARC, HDMI-CEC is an optional feature of HDMI. HDMI-CEC may already be enabled on a device you already own. (Although you may need to activate it manually via the settings menu.)

Features

HDMI-CEC provides several capabilities, which are listed below. However, not all features listed here are accessible on all HDMI-CEC-enabled products. Feature compatibility between brands often varies.

Remote Control Pass-Through: This allows remote control commands to pass through to other devices within a system. For example, you can use your TV remote to control some of the functions of different devices connected to your TV using HDMI.
One-Touch Play: When you start playback on your source device, it will switch the TV to the HDMI input that the device is using. For example, when you insert a disc into your Blu-ray Disc player and press play, One-Touch Play instructs the TV to automatically switch to the HDMI input that the Blu-ray player is using.
Routing Control: You can manually control the input source selection. For example, you can switch the input selections on a connected home theater receiver when using a TV remote.
Deck Control: This allows users, via a TV remote, to control playback features, such as Play, Pause, Rewind, Fast Forward on a compatible HDMI-connected Blu-ray/Ultra HD Blu-ray disc player, media streamer, or cable/satellite box.
One-Touch Record: If you have an HDMI-CEC-enabled DVR or DVD recorder, you can start the recording process when you see a program of interest on your TV screen.
Timer Programming: You can use an electronic program guide (EPG), which may come with your TV or cable/satellite box, to set the timer on compatible DVD Recorders or DVRs.
System Audio Control: This allows you to control volume levels (or other compatible audio settings) of an HDMI-CEC equipped home theater receiver or AV preamp/processor using the TV remote.
Device Menu Control: This allows your TV to control the menu system of other devices. For example, you may be able to use your TV remote to navigate the menu settings on a connected source device, such as a Blu-ray Disc player, media streamer, or DVR.
System Standby: This allows you to place several devices in standby mode using one remote control. With your TV remote, you can switch to each input that your source devices are connected to and toggle them in and out of standby mode as desired.
Other Names

One confusing thing about HDMI-CEC is that it isn’t always obvious whether a device includes it. The feature is often referred to with a brand-specific name. To clear up the confusion, the following is a list of what several TV and home theater manufacturers call HDMI-CEC:

Anthem: CEC Control
Denon: CEC or HDMI Control
Funai, Emerson, Magnavox, Sylvania, and some Philips: Fun-Link
Hitachi: HDMI-CEC
Insignia: InLink
LG: SimpLink
Mitsubishi: NetCommand
Onkyo: RIHD
Panasonic: Viera Link, HDAVI Control, EZ-Sync
Philips: EasyLink
Pioneer: Kuro Link
Samsung: Anynet, Anynet+
Sharp: Aquos Link
Sony: Bravia Sync, Bravia Link
Toshiba: Regza Link, CE-Link
Vizio: CEC

There are other brands not listed, and labels may change over time.

The Bottom Line

In addition to connectivity, HDMI-CEC allows some control of multiple devices without the need for a universal remote or another control system.

However, HDMI-CEC is not as comprehensive as many universal remote control systems. It only works with HDMI-connected devices, and there is some feature inconsistency between product brands. Also, as noted, the feature can sometimes unintentionally turn devices on or off. On the other hand, you may find it more convenient than using remote control apps available for smartphones and tablets.

HDMI-CEC may not be as “glamorous” as Alexa or Google Assistant—control options that a growing number of product brands are offering. Virtual assistants like these may end up superseding current control options.

If you have HDMI-connected devices in your home theater setup, check for HDMI-CEC capability and see if any of its available control features work for you.

FAQ

How do I enable HDMI-CEC on my Samsung TV?
On your Samsung TV remote, press Home and select Settings > General > External Device Manager > Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC).

How do I disable HDMI-CEC?
The steps vary by manufacturer, but HDMI-CEC settings can generally be accessed using the TV remote. Go to the television’s menu and look for settings related to the brand-specific name. Disabling HDMI-CEC on your TV will prevent sound transmission through HDMI to other devices.

Which HDMI cords support CEC?
Most HDMI cables should work with HDMI-CEC, as it does not depend on the cable but whether the device includes HDMI-CEC.

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