Technology "HDMI-CEC", which stands for HDMI Consumer Electronics Control, is present in almost all modern televisions even if few people know that it exists, what it is and why it can be useful.
The problem is that HDMI-CEC, in addition to being a poorly documented feature, is called differently depending on the manufacturer and is disabled by default.
Generally speaking, it is a feature that allows different devices to work better together.
In particular it is very useful for those who connect a console such as the Playstation to the TV or a device such as the chromecast, which have now become very common and widespread.
HDMI-CEC allows devices connected to the TV on the HDMI ports to control the TV.
For example, it may be possible to control the Blu-ray player through the remote control of the TV or to have the Chromecast turn on the TV, without using the remote control.
I have already talked about this practical example in the article on ways to use the Chromecast that nobody knows about.
Suppose you have a Chromecast connected to your TV, without using it, while watching TV.
If HDMI-CEC is enabled, you can take your smartphone or computer to stream something on TV using the dedicated application, without any need to change channels.
The TV will automatically switch to the Chromecast source and you will then be able to see what is being transmitted.
Indeed, if the TV is turned off, it will turn on by itself on the Chromecast channel, without using the remote control.
In some televisions, the HDMI ports change their name in the choice of the input source taking that of the connected device, in this example, Chromecast.
Another practical application of HDMI-CEC can be obtained with game consoles.
For example, if you own a PlayStation 4, you can start playing by just pressing the button on the controller or console.
The TV will automatically switch to the HDMI input to which the Playstation is connected, without having to change channels with the remote control.
Unfortunately, this is not possible with the Xbox One or even with the Wii.
More advanced functions, such as controlling connected devices using the TV remote control, may or may not work depending on the device.
To enable the HDMI-CEC function we must first see how this is called by the manufacturer of the TV.
Trade names are unfortunately different from brand to brand and there is no defined standard.
It is therefore necessary to identify it and then go to the configuration settings of the TV to activate it.
The following are the names given to HDMI-CEC technology by the most popular TV brands:
- Hitachi: HDMI-CEC
- LG: simplink
- Mitsubishi: NetCommand
- Panasonic: HDAVI Control, EZ-Syncthe VIERA Link
- Philips: EasyLink
- Pioneer: Kuro Link
- Samsung: Anynet +
- Sharp: Aquos Link
- Sony: BRAVIA Sync
- Toshiba: CE-Link o Regza Link
- Vice: CEC
For example, on my LG TV (from 5 years ago) I was able to activate Simplink from the Main Menu, in the Configuration -> Options section.
In some cases the function may need to be activated in the configuration panel of the device that connects via HDMI to the TV.
Therefore, if HDMI-CEC is already activated on the Chromecast, on the Playstation 4 it must be activated from the system settings, with the "HDMI Device Link" option.