What is CEC? Get to know the feature that syncs TVs and HDMI peripherals

The CEC ("Consumer Electronics Control") is one of the most widely used, and yet unknown, functions of HDMI. In compatible models, the feature allows televisions and devices connected to their HDMI ports to "talk" to each other. That is, the CEC synchronizes functions such as volume, image enhancements and other settings.

In the following text, explains how HDMI-CEC works. Discover how to identify it in different brands of TV, and see how the feature can make more practical use of devices, such as video game consoles or set-top boxes .

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What is HDMI-CEC?

Although it has existed since the connector was created, the CEC has only become widely known in recent years with the popularization of electronics that use HDMI ports. In these devices, the function allows the receiving device, usually a TV, to receive automatic commands from the source device, which can be any electronic device connected to the TV.

The CEC function allows devices connected via HDMI to communicate

In practice, it's thanks to HDMI-CEC that peripherals such as a Chromecast, for example, can connect, without the help of the user, to the TV they're connected to - and leave it ready for content playback. Without the feature, you would need to connect the peripheral, turn on the television and then set it to the corresponding HDMI port.

In addition to allowing both devices to communicate, with volume synchronization, image enhancement, sound and even operation - by turning the power on and off together, the CEC allows one remote control to be used for different devices. As an example, you can mention the use of a TV on the Blu-Ray player connected to it.

How it works?

The HDMI pin dedicated to ECC is always the thirteenth

To send and receive commands between devices, the CEC uses the thirteenth of the 19 "pins" present on an HDMI connector. However, unlike the pins that transmit the video and audio signals, the dedicated CEC component can operate even when the device is turned off. Without this feature, the feature would not be able to reconnect the devices.

In addition, for electronics of different makes and models to communicate, CEC also uses a universal protocol - this allows compatible devices to always speak "the same language." This protocol, in turn, was defined along with the creation of the HDMI standard, and gains new commands whenever the connector is upgraded.

The different names given to the CEC

On Samsung TVs, the CEC function is called Anynet +

Although it has a universal protocol, working in the same way on all compatible devices, the CEC can receive different nomenclatures - commercial names given by the manufacturers in order to promote the feature in their devices. In the list below, check out how the CEC is called by each of the TV brands:

  • Samsung: Anynet +;
  • Sony: Bravia Link, Bravia Sync, Control for HDMI;
  • LG: SimpLink;
  • AOC: E-link, CEC;
  • Philips: EasyLink;
  • Toshiba: CE-Link, Regza Link;
  • Panasonic: Viera Link, EZ-Sync, HDAVI Control

In other devices, other than TVs, the CEC can still receive other names. Even so, the most important thing is to verify that your TV model supports the functionality and then, activate it in Settings.

With CEC enabled, it is expected that any device launched in the last four or three years, and that connects via HDMI, will be able to control the basic functions of the TV or Home Theater where it is connected.

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