HDMI CEC: control your home theater system with one remote control


Today, HDMI is regularly used to efficiently connect each element in a home theater system. Blu-ray players, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players and A/V media players, A/V receivers and soundbars, 4K-UHD TVs, OLED televisions, QLED TVs, and even projectors and 4K Ultra HD projectors all benefit from the advantages of HDMI. With an HDMI cable, it is possible to stream HD and Ultra HD 4K video as well multi-channel sound in a completely digital format and in optimal quality.

HDMI CEC makes it easier to turn on, control and turn off different devices that are connected to one another using HDMI cables (here, a Sony 4K Ultra HD TV, a Sony A/V receiver and a Sony UHD 4K Blu-ray player).

HDMI CEC: control your home theater system

We often forget that the HDMI standard also integrates a control and communication protocol that allows different devices to “communicate” with one another. Named CEC (Consumer Electronic Control), it allows you to “wake up” the entire home theater system simply by activating one device using your remote control. HDMI CEC technology can also convey orders sent from a remote control between different devices that are connected to one another via HDMI cables. Therefore, you can control the key functions of a Blu-ray player, soundbar and TV with one remote control. For it to be operational, you simply have to activate the HDMI CEC function in the settings menu of each of these devices.

Thanks to the HDMI CEC protocol, when you select the Blu-ray input on an A/V receiver, the Blu-ray player is activated and plays the inserted disc, while the television comes out of standby mode and switches to the correct HDMI input to display the image.

In practice, simply pressing your UHD 4K Blu-ray player’s “play” button plays the movie, controls the startup of your TV which switches to the correct input by adjusting the image so that it is in the right format. The TV can sometimes turn on your A/V receiver, which automatically switches to the correct source.

Thanks to HDMI CEC technology, the remote control that comes with Samsung’s QLED TVs can control soundbars and Blu-ray players developed by the Korean brand and other manufacturers.

HDMI CEC: different trade names

HDMI CEC control technology is now integrated in the majority of devices from leading brands. It can be found in Blu-ray players and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players, Blu-ray recorders, A/V media players, A/V receivers, compact home theater systems, soundbars, 4K Ultra HD, OLED and QLED TVs.

The Yamaha MusicCast YSP-2700 is compatible with HDMI CEC.

Note that this technology has a different name depending on the manufacturer:

  • Viera Link (HDAVI Control) at Panasonic
  • Bravia Sync at Sony
  • AnyNet+ at Samsung
  • Simplink at LG
  • EasyLink at Philips
  • T-Link at TCL

Generally, HDMI CEC compatibility between devices from the same brand is ensured. With equipment from different brands, simultaneous activation and deactivation of connected devices is usually covered, along with volume control. More advanced functions aren’t always viable.

Discover a selection of HDMI cables at Son-Vidéo.com.

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