Consumer Electronic Control (or CEC) could, in many ways, be considered to be at the heart of the HDMI infrastructure. The reason for this is that CEC, in combination with HDMI, offer the user the possibility to be able to set up a complete multimedia home entertainment system without the need to be an expert in electronics.
The key to making this possible was to make HD device control follow standards by using control protocols as defined in the CEC specifications. Having achieved compliance, the consumers can enjoy the benefits of CEC compliant boxes being able to manage many devices with a single remote control. Not only does this feature save space in terms of the number of required remote controls, but it also reduces the number of batteries that need to be used. Most importantly, the consumer needs to only become familiar with the functionality of a single remote control device.
The combination of CEC and HDMI offer a number of benefits thanks to their combination. CEC devices have intelligence on board as standard. This means that a user can point the remote control device at one box and issue commands to another box connected by the HDMI cable. For example, a consumer can point the remote control at the television and issue commands to the HDMI connected DVD player. This CEC compatibility added the additional advantage that the remote control no longer is limited to controlling a CEC box from the same manufacturer.
CEC offers a great range of automatic features. Without CEC, should you want to watch a DVD movie you would need to load the DVD, turn on the TV and also turn on the audio system. CEC boxes do all this for you intelligently. The DVD player will know that you need the television screen to be on to enjoy the movie, so it turns it on. It can detect if you have a CEC enabled sound system through the HDMI cable connection and it will activate this for you too. From your single remote you can control the sound volume and sound settings with ease.
In the same light, you decide that you want to record a TV program. You simply set your DVD recorder into record mode and the DVD player will automatically pick up the TV signal and record the program you want. One touch discovery is a key feature of CEC auto discovery when used in combination with HDMI.