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HDMI-CEC controls - use'm? kill'm? opinions?

 
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ElizabethD
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Joined: 09 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:28 pm    Post subject: HDMI-CEC controls - use'm? kill'm? opinions? Reply with quote

HDMI is cool. One wire instead of 4-5. But the bidirectional communication seems to be causing me problems in synchronization.

Here's a list of what these CEC controls are called:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI
Quote:
Trade names for CEC are Anynet+ (Samsung); Aquos Link (Sharp); BRAVIA Sync (Sony); HDMI-CEC (Hitachi); Kuro Link (Pioneer); CE-Link and Regza Link (Toshiba); RIHD (Remote Interactive over HDMI) (Onkyo); SimpLink (LG); HDAVI Control, EZ-Sync, VIERA Link (Panasonic); EasyLink (Philips); and NetCommand for HDMI (Mitsubishi)


When we use JP1 remotes that can easily, and reliably, control the power state and synchronize inputs and audio path of the devices, is it a good or bad idea to permit the CEC control to work or should it just be shut off in every HDMI device?

I'm slooowly beginning to come to the conclusion that I'm not in control. Often the macros that work one day don't synch inputs or don't even do VPT another day if certain sequence of powering up or switching from one to another device is different day to day. Kind of frustrating in the end.

Opinions?
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Liz
Tweeking 8910, HTPro/9811, C7-7800, 6131o, 6131n, AtlasOCAP-1056B01, RCA-RCRP05B and enjoying the ride Smile
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Capn Trips
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've disabled all of my various HDMI control link capabilities in all of my components. I suppose they work OK when all of your HDMI-connected components are from the same manufacturer, but for me, it was too much of a crap shoot. Panasonic TV, Onkyo Receiver, Sony Blu-Ray, Toshiba HD-DVD, Pioneer DVD, and Motorola CBL box-DVR. 6 HDMI components from 6 manufacturers. My Harmony ONE (in one case) and Atlas OCAP with Extender (in the other) keep them all in synch correctly and with no hassles.
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Remotes:Atlas OCAP URC 1056, Harmony One, OFA XSight Touch, AR XSight Touch
TVs: Panasonic TH-50PE700U; LG 65" Smart LED TV; RCVR: Pioneer VSX-D2016S;Onkyo TX-SR875
DVD/VCR: LG Blu-Ray player, Pioneer DV-400VK (multi-region DVD), Sony BDP-S350 (Blu-ray), Toshiba HD-A1 (HD-DVD), Panasonic AG-W1 (Multi-system VCR);
Laserdisc/CD changer: Pioneer CLD-704.
Streaming: Intel NUC PC
(But I still have to get up for my beer)
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mathdon
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a contrary view. I have a Toshiba TV, Onkyo AV Receiver and a Blu-Ray player and DVR that are both Panasonic. I had trouble getting HDMI-CEC to work between them, but once I did, it worked reliably and I would not want to be without it. There is other HDMI equipment connected that does not have HDMI-CEC so I won't list it but its presence doesn't cause any problems. I understand that Sony equipment, however, is deliberately crippled so that HDMI-CEC only works with other Sony equipment. Hence no Sony in my setup.
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underquark
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I couldn't even get my LG TV to talk to my LG DVD player although the latter subsequently broke so maybe it was faulty to begin with. I think I'll stick with controlling devices individually for as long as I can.
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mr_d_p_gumby
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure CEC works in general, but I've encountered too many anomalies for my liking, even with equipment of the same brand. Example: Wife is watching DVR, you hit eject on the Samsung Blu-Ray player to put away the disc you watched the night before, and like magic, the Samsung TV changes inputs to what it thinks should be the Blu-Ray player. (The player is actually going through an Onkyo receiver, which feeds the only HDMI input used on the TV.) Blank screen for "no reason" = -10 WAF points! Crying or Very sad
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Barf
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a fairly decent knowhow on IR protocols, serial (RS232 etc) protocols, IP-protocols (TCP, UDP, http etc) and how to program them using different hardware and different software (JP1 being one, but not the only option). How does one go about to program your own stuff using HDMI/CEC? Standards may or may not exist, but are being "extended" (in the Microsoft sense...) or plainly ignored. Programmable hardware (allowing you to send different messages/signals on the "bus") may possibly emerge during this century, but is hardly now available. When I have tried, things behaved not all like I wanted; and; more importantly, I did not find anything documented. And my (since then retired) Denon AVR-3808A got a standby power consumption hardly lower than the operating power consumption when I turned on CEC...

If someone can give some insight on why to "hack" HDMI/CEC I would gladly listen. Right now it seems as cool as DRM.

Bengt
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ElizabethD
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mr_d_p_gumby wrote:
...put away the disc you watched the night before, and like magic, the Samsung TV changes inputs to what it thinks should be the Blu-Ray player... Crying or Very sad

Precisely.

It also would drop sound from going to the amp from TV or DVR. I never figured out why. Resets sometimes restored it, at other times did not.

Anyway, soon after posting my solicitation for opinions, I shut all the CEC off in the 3 of 5-6 currently connected devices, and magically, everything works! Sound goes where it should. Video comes and goes where it should. All inputs switch correctly and I no longer get surprises of the kind Mike describes with his DVD. Also I do not get a surprise when one of the devices is being powered down, all HDMI ones come down, or two of three power off. I never figured that one out either.

Perhaps it depends on the equipment, and also what was programmed into our remotes for what we consider normal behavior.

HDMI devices: Toshiba TV, Toshiba DVR and Yamaha receiver. TV input is by HDMI from the receiver. DVR is hooked by HDMI to the receiver, (against the Toshiba directions as they say must be hooked to the TV), but that makes no difference and is simpler for in and out. Both TV and DVR have antenna inputs, so I can record one channel while watching another.

Keep your observations coming.
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Liz
Tweeking 8910, HTPro/9811, C7-7800, 6131o, 6131n, AtlasOCAP-1056B01, RCA-RCRP05B and enjoying the ride Smile
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jimdunn



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

underquark wrote:
I couldn't even get my LG TV to talk to my LG DVD player although the latter subsequently broke so maybe it was faulty to begin with. I think I'll stick with controlling devices individually for as long as I can.

Well my LG TV doesn't talk with my LG DVR either, so I don't think your experience is unique (the DVR is a lot older than the TV and the limited investigations I did led me to suspect they use different "dialects" of CEC).

They both caused enough undesired switching with my Yamaha receiver though, that I decided, like others, to just switch the feature off in all devices.

I have complete control with my 8910 (and other) remotes, so allowing an unpredictable protocol to override this was just too troublesome.

It's a nice idea, but whilst it is not implemented in a universal way, and has so many variants and vagaries, I'd rather not allow it to confuse the issue.

Quote:
When we use JP1 remotes that can easily, and reliably, control the power state and synchronize inputs and audio path of the devices, is it a good or bad idea to permit the CEC control to work or should it just be shut off in every HDMI device?

This seems to be the main point for me - we are already in control of this, so unless CEC adds anything else for us, it is at best redundant, and at worst an annoyance.

I can see the advantages of properly working CEC if you don't have a full Universal Remote setup, and if it were a truly universal protocol - but for me, at the moment, CEC has too many pratfalls and not enough benefit (and doesn't seem mature or cross-manufacturer reliable).
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kevjs1982



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
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Location: East Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mr_d_p_gumby wrote:
I'm sure CEC works in general, but I've encountered too many anomalies for my liking, even with equipment of the same brand. Example: Wife is watching DVR, you hit eject on the Samsung Blu-Ray player to put away the disc you watched the night before, and like magic, the Samsung TV changes inputs to what it thinks should be the Blu-Ray player. (The player is actually going through an Onkyo receiver, which feeds the only HDMI input used on the TV.) Blank screen for "no reason" = -10 WAF points! Crying or Very sad


That's nothing new - EuroSCART has had that party trick for years, you learn to live with it after a while. It drives me nuts that turning on my Media Centre PC (XBMC on Asus Revo) required me to change the input on the TV manually- the last time I had to do that was in the 1980s for my MegaDrive - Every VCR, digital tv box, DVD, and games console since then has been able to auto switch (once I bought the SCART cable). My last VCR handled this more gracefully, only switched if you had a menu on screen or were playing a video - so you could turn it on, press eject, remove the tape and turn it off again without interrupting what you were watching.

Fortunately my TV has an RS232 socket, so I found a PERL script to control it, my JP1 programming USB to RS232 adaptor and a Null Modem Cable - connecting them together and now my system is set to change to the correct input on the telly 10 seconds after boot (lets XBMC initialise first).

Alas my TV doesn't have CEC so can't take advantage of that, but when it works it works wonderfully (my mate has a combo of Sony and Samsung gear which plays happily together, alas the Virgin Media box doesn't support CEC - so he dropped his Virgin Media sub).
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MikeT



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bengt,

Barf wrote:
If someone can give some insight on why to "hack" HDMI/CEC I would gladly listen. Right now it seems as cool as DRM.


In the Arduino forum, you can find a hardware and software solution how to connect an AVR ATMega to a HDMI device an send/receive CEC commands.

The CEC protocol itself is documented in the HDMI 1.3a specification.

Unfortunately there are a lot of vendor specific commands which are not documented but can be easily captured.

Michael
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Barf
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael,

thanx for the linx. I knew it could not be just a black art... Obtaining the HDMi 1.3a specification was a tad harder than you described, had to register, (The HDMI 1.4 specification is secret though...) I also discovered a commerical Ethernet-to-HDMi-"bridge" that may be interesting for, lets call it home-automation purposes.

Bengt
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