With HDMI-CEC or Simplink or Anynet+ you automatically switch to the channel of the connected device, without touching the remote control
In the following guide we will show you what is HDMI CECone of the most useful additional functions of HDMI and a real lifesaver for anyone connecting different devices to the HDMI ports of a smart TV or any other device with HDMI inputs.
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1) What is HDMI CEC and how does it work
Technology HDMI CEC (HDMI Consumer Electronics Control) is present in all modern TVs even if few people and it is active by default: in most cases we don’t have to do anything, since it is immediately operational (also it is called in different ways depending on the manufacturer).
HDMI CEC allows devices connected to the Smart TV to control the basic elements (volume, change channels, change source, switch off and on) and, conversely, allows the TV remote control to control connected HDMI devices (switch on, off, volume and other features ).
For example, if we connect a Amazon Fire TV Stick or a Chromecast with Google TV to any Smart TV the two stick remotes will be able to change the volume of the TV, mute the volume when needed, on some TVs, even switch video sources.
The most useful function of HDMI CEC is definitely related to switching off and switching on the devices at the same time: when you turn on the TV, all connected devices will turn on and, vice versa, they will turn off when you press the red button on the TV remote control.
Another useful function of HDMI CEC is the automatic switching from one source to another: if we turn on a game console or press on the remote control of the Fire TV or Chromecast with Google TV, the video source will go directly to the indicated HDMI port, without having to use the remote control associated with the TV.
2) Names used for HDMI CEC
The trade names by which HDMI CEC technology is identified they are unfortunately different from brand to brand; you must therefore identify it and then go to the TV configuration settings to activate it. Here are the names given to HDMI CEC technology by the most popular TV brands:
- Samsung: Anynet+
- LG: Simplelinks
- Mitsubishi: NetCommand
- Panasonic: HDAVI Control, EZ-Syncor VIERA Link
- Hitachi: HDMI CEC
- Philips: EasyLink
- Pioneers: Kuro Link
- sharp: Aquos Link
- sony: BRAVIA Sync
- Toshiba: CE-Link or Regza Link
- Vice: CEC
On Android TV it is simply called HDMI CEC and is available in the TV settings and by enabling the items in the menu HDMI CEC.
3) Differences between HDMI CEC and HDMI ARC
Soundbars can also take advantage of HDMI CEC technology to switch on, switch on and change the volume using only the TV remote control; in this specific case it is necessary use the port that also supports HDMI ARCwhich is the return audio technology required to connect the soundbar with an HDMI cable to the Smart TV.
If our TV supports HDMI ARC we buy a HDMI 2.0 cable or higher and connect the soundbar to the TV via this cable, using the HDMI ARC port on the back of the TV and the port HDMI ARC located on the back of the soundbar.
With this connection, the TV audio will “reverse” over the HDMI cable and play on the soundbar; in addition to this function, HDMI CEC will also be enabledturning the soundbar on and off in conjunction with the TV, and allowing users to use the TV remote control to adjust the volume of the soundbar.
To learn more we can read our guides on how to use a single HDMI ARC cable for video and audio on your TV come on how to use the best technology for audio (Toslink, HDMI ARC or eARC).
The HDMI CEC feature is probably the best feature of the HDMI cablemaking it in many ways superior to any other new generation cable (such as the DisplayPort cable, which is better suited for use in PC monitors).
With a single cable we can control the ignition and the main functions of all the devices connected to the TV and, using the remote controls of the connected devices, we can also manage some of the functions present on the Smart TV.
On the same subject we can read our guides on how to extend an hdmi cable come on how to use HDMI adapters for old TVs.