Currently, HDMI is the main mode for transferring uncompressed video. Earlier DVI and VGA connectors were quite popular.
Today, most of the devices do not use VGA connectors because of rather poor quality. HDMI port or interface can be discovered everywhere such as in desktop monitors, consoles, laptops, TV, and even in USB hubs too.
HDMI supports 48 Gbps which made it popular. Along with that, it brings HDMI-CEC aka HDMI Consumer Electronics Control. It assists in syncing with other devices effortlessly. Users need not use multiple remotes for multiple devices. Rather they can control everything with one single remote.
Let’s see what HDMI-CEC is and how it can be super beneficial to consumers.
The article follows everything about HDMI-CEC, from device compatibility to working mechanism, benefits. One will easily find the necessary information below.
So, What’s HDMI-CEC Exactly?
Before getting into the technical mechanism let’s understand the basics first. Most of the TVs come with multiple HDMI interfaces. It applies to both smart TVs and non-smart TVs.
The ports are used to connect different devices such as media players, gaming consoles, set-top boxes, home theatre, etc. Each device needs its own remote to control and navigate menu and content or turn on/off the devices.
Multiple connected devices to TV along with their own remotes make the overall experience sloth, frustrating, and increases clutter.
A person can use all of them in a rush. It slows down the recreation enjoyment. What if one wants switching to gaming from something like enjoying a TV show? One needs to switch off the set-top box to disable the HDMI input. Then activate the gaming console using a controller to play.
Similarly, what will one do if one wants to close gaming and tune into favourite content show? Suppose a Chromecast is connected to another HDMI port of the TV. The person needs to turn off the active HDMI, turn on the Chromecast HDMI and connect through a smartphone to stream.
Modern TVs do not need to switch off the gaming console or set-top box for freeing the HDMI input. The reason is none other than HDMI-CEC. One can change every input through a single remote in all connected devices simultaneously.
Moreover, the process is significantly fast and hassle-free. Users can redirect devices to devices effortlessly because of HDMI-CEC. Earlier they needed manual interventions which were quite a hectic.
In a nutshell, the connection between multiple devices through HDMI ports refers to HDMI-CEC in present days. HDMI consortium wanted the revolution of uniting all the HDMI interface devices to reciprocate from one single point.
With HDMI-CEC feature, one can navigate to all connected devices like gaming consoles, media devices, a set-top box from only the TV remote. However, all devices must have HDMI-CEC compatibility. Otherwise, there will be no result.
Let’s say there are two or more HDMI-CEC compatible devices. Each one is connected through the HDMI interface in a single TV. Now a user can switch on the TV and set-top box or media devices by pressing TV remote’s power button. There is no requirement to turn on the set-top box one at a time.
Similarly, one can stream using Chromecast by using the present HDMI input. Earlier, all these interventions were manual which fostered the clutter. Currently, users can take full advantage of it since HDMI-CEC is available in many modern TVs.
Till now, the reader may think that it is completely a hardware feature. Rather, it is both hardware and software features at the same time. HDMI consortium introduced CEC feature in 2006.
It made hardware implementation mandatory in HDMI interfaces. However, the TV manufacturers got the discretion to implement the software and most of them did not do it until 2015. Otherwise, there could have been a bigger revolution earlier.
One can notice that almost every TV has now HDMI-CEC interface but it does not have the software implementation to enable it. Even Google introduced the HDMI-CEC feature on Android TV in 2007. On the other hand, it is necessary that some Android TV OS such as Mi TV (India) does not support advanced HDMI-CEC. It is quite disappointing.
One can switch between multiple HDMI inputs. However, it cannot operate “One Touch Play” to switch on different connected devices at the same time. Use a single remote for controlling all the peripherals. Mi TV stick came to India in 2020 with HDMI-CEC support. Eventually, other Android TV companies such as Sony and NVIDIA’s Shield TV have also introduced the same.
TVs and other Devices that are HDMI-CEC compatible
HDMI consortium has named it as HDMI-CEC but at present TV manufacturers have renamed it as per their choices. Let have a glimpse of the devices:
- Vizio: CEC
- Samsung: Anynet+
- LG: SimpLink
- Roku: 1-Touch Play
- Panasonic: EZ-Sync ,VIERA Link and, HDAVI Control
- Toshiba: CE-Link, Regza Link
- Sharp: Aquos Link
- Philips: EasyLink
- AOC: E-link
- Mi TV Stick, Mi TV Box
- Xbox One X
- PS4 and PS5
- Fire TV Stick
- Thomson: T-Link
- Runco: RuncoLink
- Mitsubishi: NetCommand for HDMI, Realink for HDMI
- Pioneer: Kuro Link
- Onkyo: RIHD Insignia: INlink
- Hitachi: HDMI-CEC
- Emerson: Fun-Link
- Sony: BRAVIA Link, BRAVIA Sync, Control for HDMI
Q1. What does HDMI-CEC Work?
Ans: HDMI-CEC helps to connect multiple HDMI interface devices with TV simultaneously. Earlier, separate devices needed individual remotes to control them. HDMI-CEC allows all connected devices to reciprocate from TV remote only. Both hardware and software implementation is necessary to enjoy the features.
Q2. How can a person use HDMI-CEC?
Ans: HDMI-CEC basic commands are automatically enabled. It does not require any effort and it is a default setting. However, if one wants advanced instructions such as one-touch record, audio passthrough one needs to activate HDMI-CEC feature under settings menu on the TV. Often the manufacturers change the name and set their own “trade names”. So, if anyone does not find it, must check from the above list or device manual. The user can find it in the settings menu also.
Q3. Do HDMI ARC and HDMI-CEC work like same?
Ans: The simple answer is no. HDMI ARC can only perform audio passthrough. On the other hand, HDMI-CEC can perform almost all actions including power off/on instruction, audio-video passthrough, etc.
Q4. Is there any Input Lag from HDMI-CEC?
Ans: No! It is a popular misconception that HDMI-CEC is the reason behind lagging while gaming. But the fact is it has a different channel to transfer electrical signals.
Q5. Is HDMI-CEC supported by all TVs?
Ans: All the TVs in the last decade come with HDMI interface and hardware support. However, TV manufacturers did not use software implementation on HDMI-CEC hence, it is the conclusion that all TVs do not support HDMI-CEC. Today, smart TVs do have both hardware and software implementation on HDMI-CEC.
Q6. Is HDMI-CEC supported by non-smart TVs?
Ans: Yes! They have a hardware interface, means HDMI ports with CEC compliant. One can use Mi TV Stick, Roku Stick, Fire TV, Android TV Box, to make fully HDMI-CEC compliant.
This was all about HDMI-CEC and how it can be beneficial for consumers. From the above explanation, one can notice that it is not only a hardware feature, software implementation is equally important to make it work.
Therefore, before purchasing a TV set, check whether it supports HDMI-CEC or not. Here “support” means both hardware and software implementation.