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TV & streaming

The best TV trick you’re probably not using (but should be)

Think about all the devices you use daily. Your phone, tablet, TV, gaming console, streaming boxes, thermostat, smart speaker, etc. Depending on the model, they can communicate with each other, opening up new features and increasing usefulness.

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You can get started on connecting your devices right from your TV and all you need is the right tool. HDMI-CEC lets you control devices with your TV and vice versa. We’ll show you how this works and easily get started.

Plug and play

HDMI-CEC, or Consumer Electronics Control, allows communication between your TV and devices connected to it via HDMI ports. The connection goes both ways and works for multiple devices at once.

So what’s the point? Imagine using one TV remote to power on your PlayStation 5, cable box, DVD player and more. Control a Blu-ray menu from that same remote while also adjusting the volume of your soundbar.

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Check your TV settings to see if it supports HDMI-CEC, where you may find it disabled by default. Electronics manufacturers like to come up with their own names for features they share with the competition, this is no different.

Check out the following list to see what the big names call their version of HDMI-CEC:

  • Hitachi (HDMI-CEC): Setup > HDMI-CEC > On
  • LG: (Simplink): Settings > All Settings > General > SIMPLINK (HDMI-CEC) > On
  • Panasonic (HDAVI Control, EZ-Sync or VIERA Link): Setup > HDMI CONTROL > CEC Function > ON
  • Philips (EasyLink): Setup > TV Settings > Installation > Preferences > EasyLink and set Master EasyLink, Auto TV and Rc key forwarding to On
  • Roku TV (CEC): Settings > System > Control other devices (CEC) > System audio control > 1 touch play
  • Samsung (Anynet+): Settings > System > Expert Settings > Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC) > On
  • Sharp (AQUOS Link): System Options > AQUOS Link Setup > On
  • Sony (BRAVIA Sync): Settings > Watching TV > External inputs > BRAVIA Sync Settings > Bravia Sync Control
  • Toshiba (CE Link or Regza Link): Options > HDMI CEC Control Setup and set HDMI CEC Control, TV Auto Power, Auto Standby and Amplifier Control to On
  • Vizio (CEC): System > CEC > CEC Function > Enable

Gaming

You can see if your device has this feature by checking the settings, where you may find it disabled by default. When it comes to gaming consoles, you can turn your TV on and off by doing the same with the console. This action can also set the TV to the proper input for the console so you can start gaming.

The Microsoft Xbox Series X and S support HDMI-CEC. Sony PlayStation 3, PS4 and PS5 also support HDMI-CEC. The Nintendo Switch is unique because it can turn on the TV when you dock its handheld component.

Streaming

Your streaming devices can not only be controlled via your TV remote, but you can connect your smart assistants to them to control your TV as well.

Chromecast – You can control your Chromecast via your TV remote, thanks to HDMI-CEC. You can even tell Google Assistant what you want to watch if it’s synced with your Chromecast.

Roku – Your Roku streaming device can be controlled with your TV remote, while your Roku remote controls your TV. Pressing any button on your Roku remote will also switch your TV to the input your Roku streaming device is connected to.

Amazon Fire TV – Your Amazon Fire TV remote can turn your TV on and switch to the correct input. If you connect your Echo device to your Fire TV device, you can use voice commands to control the TV and put on your favorite show.

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