What is CEC? (Consumer Electronics Control)

HowToAV explains HDMI CEC (or Consumer Electronics Control).

What is CEC?

CEC allows AV devices connected via HDMI to communicate with one another allowing a limited amount of control from device to device. Therefor a Television display screen can provide levels of control over source devices and source devices  can have limited control over a display.

For example, if you have CEC-enabled Television and CEC-enabled Blu Ray player which are connected via HDMI, then you may be able to control your Blu Ray player functionality  using your TV remote. (This reduces the number of remote controls you have to use for your Audio Visual system).

Devices controlling devices is commonly known as CEC which stands for Consumer Electronics Control or HDMI CEC. It is a feature of the HDMI standard which is supported by a wide range of consumer and professional audio visual devices such as televisions, Blu Ray players, digital media streamers and games consoles. Although HDMI CEC is commonly supported, it is worth knowing that this function is usually switched off as a default on AV devices new out of the box.

What do the major TV brands call CEC?

CEC is commonly supported by all major consumer AV brands but many manufacturers have decided to give it their own brand names such as:

  • Sony - 'BraviaSync'
  • Philips - 'Easylink'
  • LG - 'Simplink'
  • Samsung - 'Anynet+'
  • Toshiba - 'CE-Link' or 'Regza Link'

Hitachi and Vizio however are kind enough to call it 'HDMI CEC' !

Please note that though there is some common functionality between all CEC systems, not all manufacturers CEC interfaces are fully compatible with one another. Therefore, to get the best out of a CEC interface, using the same brand for Source and Display devices is required.

What are the disadvantages of CEC?

  • Not all devices support CEC and there are huge inconsistencies between its functionality between manufacturers and devices.
  • It can cause problems in multi-screen distribution systems where AV splitters or matrices are used as conflicts such as turning off one screen can also turn off another screen on the system. (The simple fix to this however is to turn off CEC in the device settings).

But to add some simple automation to a small AV or home entertainment system and to cut down the number of controllers you need to change one device to another CEC is an easy option to implement.

CIE Team offers AV system design and support.Want help with your AV system design?

CIE is one of the UK's leading and most innovative professional AV distributors and is a leading provider of AV signal and HDBaseT professional systems and devices.

With over 50 years experience in supply and system design for many of the UK's largest, high profile audio projects, our AV experts provide a unique level of technical support and customer service.

Call the CIE AV experts now on T. 0115 9770075 or email us at [email protected]

HowToAV.tv free audio visual training channelGot a question for the HowToAV team?..

HowToAV.tv provides a whole host of tips, tricks and technology know-how for the professional and residential AV sectors.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel now at howtoav.tv for all the latest video casts or send us your questions to [email protected]

Featured Products

CYP - QU-14S 1 to 4 HDMI Distribution Amplifier
view product
CYP - QU-12S 1 to 2 HDMI Distribution Amplifier
view product
CYP - PUV-1630TTX 2 x HDMI, 1 x VGA over Single CAT5e/6/7 HDBaseT Table-Top Transmitter (Single LAN & PoH up to 100m)
view product
CYP - SY-12H-4K22 HDMI 4K Scaler with dual outputs & HDCP Convertor
view product
< Back