In this article, we will touch on HDMI CEC, one of the features of the HDMI interface used to replace the very old VGA standard and connect display devices or various display devices in recent years.
Today, many electronic devices now have various features, and in the same way, many peripherals need separate connection points. Here are the HDMI CEC appeared to eliminate this concept, all compatible devices HDMI one of the oldest links for connecting with the interface.
What is HDMI CEC? Features of HDMI CEC
This feature, which was introduced to the market with HDMI 1.0, was updated again with HDMI 1.3 for a better experience. Basically, HDMI CEC is a technology that aims to allow peripherals up to 15 devices and various devices to work in harmony with each other and provide a seamless usage experience. We can state that it is a very good technology for a smooth use and home theater experience.
So what does it do? How does it work or what is required for it to work? Do not worry, you will learn almost all your curiosities about this topic and find answers to your questions.
Explanation of Concepts: What are HDMI CEC and CEC?
We talked briefly about what HDMI CEC is in the previous paragraphs. What about CEC?
CEC stands for Consumer Electronics Control. Using HDMI CEC, you can use all connected devices compatible with each other or with a single remote. For example, if you have a CEC compatible television remote, you can control the 4K blu-ray player, TV box device or all of the multimedia devices you have connected with this remote.
Of course, you need your device’s own remote to use the unique features, but today generally all the features on the remote are supported by HDMI CEC. You can use the playback, volume on / off and various menu selections synchronously and harmoniously between your devices thanks to HDMI CEC technology.
If you intend to set up a home theater or don’t want to constantly use individual peripherals, controllers (such as remote controls, keyboards, smart controls), HDMI CEC provides the simplicity you are looking for. Although the setup process may sound a bit tedious, it is very useful for places where multiple devices are connected.
Let’s move on to the technical part without extending the theoretical part of the work. Because what our readers are really curious about is mostly on the technical side of the business.
Features of HDMI CEC
HDMI CEC allows you to use almost all the features you can see in a normal remote. In case of pressing keys such as on-off, menu selection and volume adjustment, all related operations are usually successfully transmitted thanks to this technology.
In other words, no longer changing remotes constantly, no longer using universal remotes by constantly changing them. You control all devices with the help of only 1 remote.
Difference of Universal Remote with HDMI CEC, How HDMI CEC Works
“How is this different from a universal remote control?” I know you are thinking. Actually, you are not wrong in your opinion, but HDMI CEC is a completely different technology.
In universal remote controls, it is programmed into chips within the wireless signals of hundreds, perhaps thousands of companies. So if you are using a universal remote control, you start controlling the compatible device directly. Likewise, your remote is in communication.
In HDMI CEC technology, a remote control is used to control the whole home multimedia system. For example, when you try to control the DVD player from your TV using the remote control, the remote control communicates with the TV and CEC signals are transmitted to the DVD player with the help of HDMI cable.
Here you can logically control other connected devices, no matter which remote control you are using. The interesting thing is that even when your devices are asleep, and even when HDMI is disabled and the devices are completely turned off, it can still be operated thanks to this technology.
Although CEC is a technology included in the HDMI cable, it actually consists of an electrical signal independent of HDMI. Therefore, CEC signals can still be transmitted even with HDMI off.
Features Supported by HDMI CEC
Let’s take a quick look at the features that HDMI CEC offers us, or more accurately.
Deck Control; play, stop, rewind and so on
For Blu-ray devices, recorders, or other devices, you can use the deck control features – play, stop or rewind – all in one remote.
System Volume Control
In the past, one of the biggest concerns of those trying to set up a home theater was to adjust the sound on the TV and the player in harmony, harmoniously equalize and prevent distortions.
With HDMI CEC, you don’t have to deal with this kind of thing. You can provide a single volume level for the entire system and maintain control.
One Push Play
Let’s say you wanted to watch your favorite movie, TV show, or their favorite cartoon if there are some young people at home. You know that in order to open a movie, you usually have to connect the DVD or USB to the player and switch from your video device to the player.
There is no need for such a thing anymore. Thanks to the “One Touch Play” feature that comes with HDMI CEC, the source of the display device changes automatically during the playback. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to navigate through the source menu to quickly open a movie that is playing.
Turning the Power On and Off
In a normal home theater system, there are usually 3 devices such as television or video device, sound system and player. It may be troublesome to turn off and disconnect these devices one by one after the movie is over.
With the HDMI CEC feature, this struggle will gradually take its place in the dusty pages of history. The system standby/standby feature allows you to switch all devices to standby mode at once.
One Touch Recording
Another nice feature that HDMI CEC allows to use is “One Touch Recording”. No need to connect all your devices to a single recording device and record images, sounds this way.
It easily records everything that plays and plays on your one-touch display device to the recording device of your choice automatically. With HDMI CEC, they’re all in sync with each other.
Names of HDMI CEC in the Commercial Market
The HDMI CEC feature is generally introduced and known by different names. In general, each of these may offer additional different features, but more or less all of them are similar and the basic functions do not differ.
Here are the names that different companies have given to the HDMI-CEC feature:
- Samsung: Anynet +
- Philips: EasyLink
- Sony: BRAVIA Sync
- LG: SimpLink
- Hitachi: HDMI-CEC
- Pioneer: Kuro Link
- Panasonic: HDAVI Control, EZ-Sync or VIERA Link
- Roku: 1-Touch-Play
- Sharp: Aquos Link
- Toshiba: CE-Link or Regza Link
- Onkyo: RIHD
- Vizio: CEC
- Mitsubishi: Net Command
We see that some companies use it directly without going away from the original name, but many companies use more familiar names rather than HDMI-CEC. We can easily say that these nomenclatures are very successful commercially.
Advantages and Disadvantages of HDMI CEC Feature
As with everything else, HDMI-CEC technology doesn’t have its pros or cons. While the pros are past the minus, there may be situations where you need to turn off HDMI-CEC, have better alternatives to temporarily disable it and use, or upgrade to use it with an eARC-supported system. In this part of the article, we’ll talk about the pros and cons.
The HDMI-CEC feature has many advantages. As we have mentioned since the beginning of the article, the most prominent of these is the global control features that allow you to use the home theater system easily.
In addition, the HDMI-CEC feature is used together with the HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) feature, which is used to reduce cable clutter when connecting multiple devices.
In other words, HDMI ARC allows the sound to move in both ways, and the number of cables is reduced by using it to connect a Blu-Ray player or an external device to the television.
To take advantage of the HDMI ARC feature, HDMI ARC or eARC connection ports must be available on your device. Generally, when configuring your device for HDMI CEC, you also activate the ARC feature. However, we recommend that you consult the user manual in order to be more accurate and not waste time.
One disadvantage of the HDMI CEC feature is that it unfortunately limits the delivery of high-quality surround sound while removing cable clutter with HDMI ARC.
The most uncompressed stereo sound or compressed 5.1 surround sound can be transmitted with HDMI ARC. Unfortunately, if you want to get rid of cable clutter, you have to settle for it.
If you want an uncompressed 5.1 sound experience or better, you need to forego HDMI CEC and ARC or upgrade to an eARC supported device. In HDMI eARC, there are no restrictions as in normal ARC.
With eARC, not only can uncompressed audio be provided on 7.1 or 5.1 channels, but also better higher formats offered by DTS or Dolby.
HDMI CEC Setup
The HDMI-CEC setup usually depends on the display device or other devices you use. In order to set up this feature, you usually need to check the device settings or system settings, although it depends on the device you are using. You can use the user manual for more detailed information.
First of all, if you have a device, player or anything that you intend to use with HDMI CEC, you need to make HDMI CEC settings for each device. If you upgrade the connections you have used in your home theater to the HDMI 2.1a connection ports, HDMI eARC is automatically activated.
If any of the devices you use are not compatible with HDMI eARC, unfortunately, with all the disadvantages, HDMI eARC is going back.
HDMI CEC Activation on Popular TV Models
Although activating and starting to use HDMI-CEC and ARC features varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, most of the time it is necessary to do more or less the same.
For example, you may need to make some adjustments for the devices after entering the device settings as usual and turning on the HDMI ARC feature. Fortunately, in the rest of the article, we talk about how you can activate the CEC and ARC feature on the televisions of 5 known manufacturers.
- LG: Setting up on LG TVs is quite easy. After pressing the “Home” button, come to the “Settings” tab and go to the “Sound Settings” tab from the “Sound” section. Here you have to set the ARC mode to “ON” and the TV speaker to “OFF”. You can then exit the menu.
- Philips: Enter “EasyLink” option under general settings. Turn the EasyLink Remote setting to “ON” here.
- Vizio: Come to the menu and select “System”. Select the “CEC” feature from this section, mark it as “Enable” from the function section, and change the related setting to “ON” in the “System Sound Control” section. After these adjustments, you can use the “Device Discovery” feature to let the TV find other devices.
- Sony: Come to the main menu section and switch to the “Settings” tab. In the “System settings” section, go to the setting that says “AV Setup” in the “Setup” section. Make sure that the setting belonging to the speaker is marked as “Sound Output” and come back to the “Setup” menu with the back button. After doing these operations, press the “BRAVIA Sync” button. Just select the “BRAVIA Sync Device List” feature from the place that appears.
- Roku with TCL: Come to the main menu, switch to “Settings”, then to the “System” tab. Select the “Control Other Devices (CEC)” feature and enable both HDMI ARC and “System Audio Control” features at the same time.
- Samsung: Go to the “System” section from the menu and activate the “Anynet +” feature.
In addition, if you are using A / V receivers or a sound bar, you need to activate the HDMI ARC feature on those devices. For this, it will be sufficient to turn the television to the input setting to which the audio device is connected.
For this, you will need to tinker with the sound menu of your device to activate the HDMI ARC and CEC feature, which are known by various names in various manufacturers. In addition, if you are using some sound bars, you may need to use various applications to activate the ARC feature.
HDMI-CEC and ARC are two very useful features today. One of them eliminates the use of multiple controllers or controllers, while the other helps us get rid of cable clutter.
If you are going to set up a home theater or if you are tired of constantly changing controls, you can activate these features and start using them immediately. We think it will be very convenient.