Thursday, March 19, 2015

Use your TV remote to control Google's Chromecast

If you use Google's Chromecast, you'll be used to using your smartphone or tablet to control it. But now, you'll also be able to do so from your existing TV remote.

This seemingly "magical" capability was added by one of the latest firmware updates, and uses the HDMI-CEC protocol which allows devices to exchange data over HDMI. This means that a command received by your TV can reach a device connected via HDMI (like a media player - for instance a Raspeberry Pi running Raspbmc -  a game console, or Chromecast) even though it doesn't have an IR receiver.

Just keep in mind the remote control capabilities are, for now, rather limited: you'll only be able to do "play" or "pause" functions via the remote control. (Let's hope it gets expanded on the future - a fast forward/reverse, skip next/previous, would also be useful.)

Just make sure your TV supports HDMI-CEC, which shouldn't be a problem unless you have a really old set, and keep in mind that most brands decided to rename this standard protocol as a way to make it look "nicer" for their own devices. So, you'll get Bravia Sync on Sony, Anynet+ on Samsung, SimpLink on LG, etc. , etc. But they're all in fact HDMI-CEC. Also be sure to enable it in all your connected devices - for instance, the PS4 strangely comes with CEC disabled by default (you can enable it in Settings > System > HDMI Device Link.)


  1. I was wondering if you ever tried KODI (used to be xbmc) running on a raspberry Pi (31€) (search openelec) connected to your TV with HDMI.

    A year ago they introduced the native CEC support and I love it!

    1. Yes, I mentioned that on the portuguese version of this post. But somehow it got "lost in translation". :)


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