Confused about HDMI-CEC and the Apple TV

bunger

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Original poster
Mar 1, 2007
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Here is the setup:

ATV 4k HDR connects to Denon AVR-E300 receiver. The receiver acts as the "hub" for various devices and then it's "monitor output" is to a Samsung tv. Because the Denon handles the device switching, the tv always stays on HDMI 1.

Both the Denon and the Samsung support HDMI-CEC.

After reading up on the topic, it seems that clicking a button on the remote should power on the Denon and the TV... but I can't seem to get it to work.

If I leave both the Denon and the TV set to HDMI control on ( CEC ), the tv with go black. If it turn HDMI control on the TV off, but leave it enabled on the Denon, the Apple doesn't turn anything on... but it controls the volume on the denon.

At this point, I am just confused and am hoping someone can enlighten me on how it should all work.
 

westrock2000

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2013
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I have a Denon X-3400H and it's kinda weird. The volume control always works, even when the Apple TV 4K isn't the active source.

However, when it comes to turning on, it seems that the Apple TV has to turn off the receiver through the sleep function in settings or the receiver has to power off due to inactivity (like after the ATV turns off and the reciever is idle for a while). If either of those happen, the receiver will power back on when the ATV comes on. But if I just walk up and turn off the receiver, then the user has to turn it back on.

There may be better options in the menu, but with the idle power off, I don't bother with the turning off the receiver that much.
 
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techwarrior

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Jul 30, 2009
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Sorry, can't help other than to provide a vision of how it is supposed to work (mostly).

My setup is ATV4 <> Sony AV <> Toshiba TV. CEC is enabled on all, and had to tweak a few settings on the Sony AV to get things to work properly, more than just turn on CEC.

I can turn on, sleep, control Sony volume via Siri remote 99% of the time. Occasionally, the Toshiba TV turns to TV sound instead of receiver. When this happens, have to use the TV remote to change the audio output back to Sony.
 
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Michelasso

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Feb 20, 2012
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Treviso, Italy
I am not exactly sure how it works, but what I have done in my ATV 4K <-> Yamaha AVR <-> Sony Bravia TV setup has been to turn on HDMI-CEC and HDMI ARC in all devices. The only thing not always working is powering the ATV off when powering the TV off. The AVR instead always powers off.
 
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priitv8

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Jan 13, 2011
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Sad truth about HDMI-CEC is, that the interoperability seems to be not guaranteed at all.
In my setup the Sony devices behave the best between themselves, appleTV and Arris IPTV set-top-box have all sorts of weird things happening, randomly. I am unable to register any patterns.
Lately I even think half of the problem lies in the Android TV itself.
 
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techwarrior

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Sad truth abou HDMI-CEC is, that the interoperability seems to be not guaranteed at all.
CEC seems to be a loose standard. Not only do manufacturers confuse things by labeling their implementation as a special feature with a name that confuses folks, but they seem to implement with way that promote their own devices as the center of the universe.

The intent was to create a standard that simply allows control of power, volume control, etc at low level over the data channel on HDMI interfaces.

bunger Make sure your HDMI cables are up to the task. To be safe, cables that support 4K should take care of it (many cable manufacturers shy away form specifying the HDMi version, perhaps fearing confusion). The cables themselves have apparently not changed since earlier releases, as long as they support High Speed with Ethernet, they should support the latest HDMI standards. But if your cables are standard speed or without Ethernet, you my be missing some of the CE feature compatibility.
 
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ActionableMango

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Sep 21, 2010
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At this point, I am just confused and am hoping someone can enlighten me on how it should all work.
Make sure all devices in the HDMI chain have HDMI CEC enabled. Everyone uses different names, and in some cases multiple names.
  • In the Apple TV it is Control TVs and Receivers
  • In the Samsung TV it is AnyNet+ (HDMI CEC)
  • In the Denon AVR it is HDMI Control
Some types of power-saving, green features, ECO modes, etc., will set the device to such a low power state that it's not watching for CEC commands. Also, some HDMI switches/splitters might not pass through HDMI CEC. So while troubleshooting, turn off anything related to power saving, and wire up your devices without any HDMI switches/splitters (the Denon AVR itself is okay).

These are the correct settings so if it still doesn't work, it might be a crappy cable that isn't passing through CEC commands. If you can eliminate that as the cause by replacing all the cables with different brand/models, then you are simply out of luck and you've fallen victim to a loose standard that is well-known to have a multitude problems even when configured correctly.

At that point, if your goal is to avoid using multiple remotes, then as a workaround consider a SideClick:

upload_2018-2-26_16-17-45.png
 
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Anonymous Freak

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Sorry, can't help other than to provide a vision of how it is supposed to work (mostly).

My setup is ATV4 <> Sony AV <> Toshiba TV. CEC is enabled on all, and had to tweak a few settings on the Sony AV to get things to work properly, more than just turn on CEC.

I can turn on, sleep, control Sony volume via Siri remote 99% of the time. Occasionally, the Toshiba TV turns to TV sound instead of receiver. When this happens, have to use the TV remote to change the audio output back to Sony.
Sorry to threadjack, do you mind sharing what Sony AV and Toshiba TV you have, and what settings you have? I also have a Sony AV and Toshiba TV, and CEC works with the Sony AV, but not the Toshiba TV - I always have to manually turn on or off the TV. (Advantage: It never tries to change the TV's volume.)
 
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priitv8

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In the CEC network, TV is the hub (device #0). So the basic idea is to use TV remote to control all other devices.
Does it work for you this way?
 
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techwarrior

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Sorry to threadjack, do you mind sharing what Sony AV and Toshiba TV you have, and what settings you have? I also have a Sony AV and Toshiba TV, and CEC works with the Sony AV, but not the Toshiba TV - I always have to manually turn on or off the TV. (Advantage: It never tries to change the TV's volume.)
Sony STRDH770. Toshiba 55L310U.

On the TV, Menu > Options> HDMI CEC Control Setup > Enabled (on), TV Auto Power (on), Auto Standby (on), Amp Control (on), Initial Speaker (Receiver).

This last setting reverts to TV at times, the best I can determine is some sort of race condition, if I use Siri Remote to adjust volume as the ATV display shows on screen, it seems to be OK, but if I don't immediately adjust volume, it reverts to TV. So, it must be waiting for an audio signal during initialization and sending a Volume UP\DOWN signal seems to trick it into recognizing the receiver as the audio device.

On the Sony, AMP MENU > HDMI > CTRL HDMI > CTRL ON. Also, ...HDMI STBY LINK > ON.

I think that is it. Without the STBY LINK enabled, waking was slow or intermittent as I recall (did this a year or more back).

My connections are: ATV4 <> SONY <> TOSHIBA. The TV has ARC, as does the SONY, so it should also work with ATV <> TV <> SONY. I have been meaning to try this to see if the Initial Speaker thing works better with SONY Downstream instead of Upstream.
 
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Anonymous Freak

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Thanks for the info! It appears that my Toshiba TV is too old, doesn't have HDMI CEC in the menu. Shoot. Didn't have to do anything on the Sony receiver, it just worked. (It is funny, for a couple other devices I have connected to the receiver, I would try to use the AppleTV remote to change the volume, and *oops* it would switch inputs to the AppleTV.

Guess I'll have to keep that receiver remote handy, after all...
 
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OR bypass CEC by using a learning universal remote with macros and punch-through:
  • universal to work with all of your AV stuff
  • learning so that it can "learn" commands from remotes that come with any new stuff you buy (future proofing)
  • macros so you can push a single button and have it execute multiple commands
  • punch-through so that you can assign certain buttons- like volume & mute- to a single device
Then, leverage these 4 features to basically replicate the desired CEC functionality with CEC turned off on the devices. Most desired use of CEC is relatively simple:
  • turn everything on or off- a sequence of commands via macros assigned to the "on" and "off" buttons can do this (right)
  • use the right input for any given piece of AV equipment. I use a universal remote with an LCD screen so I can assign names to a few buttons. One nearly dedicated button is always "setup." Put the universal remote into whatever mode I want (whatever AV device I'm wanting to watch) and then click "setup" to execute a macro to activate the right (HDMI) input for that device. Training the fam to choose the right mode and then click "setup" is very easy and that will get even a complicated system working for anyone (without having to utilize other, dedicated remotes and home IT department troubleshooting calls).
  • adjust volume- the punch-through option assigns volume up & down and mute to the receiver, regardless of which device connected to that receiver is being used.
What happens here is that you are basically taking over for sometimes dumb and/or incompatible CEC code in- or not in- various devices, by replicating what you are hoping it will do in another way. A good universal remote will do this very effectively, and one that can "learn" and use "macros" will readily grow with the system as it evolves. It doesn't care about old or new AV tech, as it leans on a fundamental (stable) standard to control everything that is not in flux: infrared and sometimes RF too. And it will deliver another commonly-desired benefit: "one remote to rule them all."

Personally, I'm a big fan of Universal Remote Control, Inc remotes but there is good competition in this space from entities like Harmony and others too. Key is paying up for the big 4 features: universal, learning, macros and punch-through. A great universal, learning, macro-capable remote with punch-through is not going to cost $10 or $25 (in short: don't be a cheapskate with this tool if you want a good, whole solution). Do the work to find the best one for your situation, then spend the money (one time) and enjoy "one remote to rule them all" for the next decade+.
 
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scottlitch

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Oct 8, 2008
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Columbus, Ohio
Apple TV seems to have CEC issues with a lot of set ups from speaking with different people. I have a Sony Bravia TV, a Bose Lifestyle Surround system, and Apple TV 4K. The Apple TV instantly wakes the receiver after sleeping. Then, the Bose receiver wakes the TV back up. I have to grab the TV remote and press power to get the TV and receiver off. It's a nuisance.
 
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Anuba

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Feb 9, 2005
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Sad truth about HDMI-CEC is, that the interoperability seems to be not guaranteed at all.
In my setup the Sony devices behave the best between themselves, appleTV and Arris IPTV set-top-box have all sorts of weird things happening, randomly. I am unable to register any patterns.
Lately I even think half of the problem lies in the Android TV itself.
I don’t think it’s an Android issue. I have a 2015 Sony 65” with Android and a 2014 Sony 55” with some older proprietary Sony OS. HDMI-CEC volume via ATV doesn’t work on the non-Android Sony either. Wake/sleep works on both, though. I think it just comes down to Apple not willing to lift a finger to ensure compatibility because of their history of general hostility toward all products without an Apple logo on them.

Funny thing is, controlling the Sony TV’s volume with the physical buttons on an iPhone is perfectly possible via Spotify Connect (which is neither AirPlay nor ChromeCast). The TV’s own OSD volume bar pops up and everything. The same happens with some ChromeCast-enabled apps, for example SVT Play (Swedish public TV), but not with Netflix or Prime Video. When casting in YouTube, I could lower the volume with the iPhone buttons but not raise it.

So I think it all comes down to commitment. Were Apple to take the Spotify route and be hell bent on making everything talk to everything, HDMI-CEC volume would work on every TV out there. They just can’t be bothered.
 
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priitv8

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I don’t think it’s an Android issue. I have a 2015 Sony 65” with Android and a 2014 Sony 55” with some older proprietary Sony OS. HDMI-CEC volume via ATV doesn’t work on the non-Android Sony either. Wake/sleep works on both, though. I think it just comes down to Apple not willing to lift a finger to ensure compatibility because of their history of general hostility toward all products without an Apple logo on them.
Strange, for me the appleTV volume control works in both ways - the Siri remote and iPhone remote app.
Also, you can teach the Siri remote the IR volume control commands, if you wish.

So from my point of view, tvOS 12 performs CEC things quite well.
The specific troublemaker for me is the Arris (former Motorola) set-top-box.
By now it seems, that the major issue is, that both Arris and aTV register themselves as players.
Because the blu-ray player registers as player as well, the logical addresses get exhausted.
So I observe the address contention on the bus where Arris and aTV constantly try to re-negotiate their logical addresses.
See the explanation for Logical Address here: http://wiki.kwikwai.com/index.php?title=The_HDMI-CEC_bus
 
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Anuba

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Feb 9, 2005
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Strange, for me the appleTV volume control works in both ways - the Siri remote and iPhone remote app.
Well, not here. The LED on the ATV blinks when I press either volume button on the iPhone, but the command isn’t passed on to the Sony TV since the ATV refuses to acknowledge the existence of this functionality via HDMI-CEC. ”Auto via IR” is the only option. I can’t make the Sony TV advertise its HDMI-CEC compliance any more than it’s already doing by having Bravia Sync enabled on the relevant HDMI port, but it’s not good enough for the uppity ATV.

Also, you can teach the Siri remote the IR volume control commands, if you wish.
Not sure what that would accomplish. The Sony remote can already control the ATV just fine. Whenever the Sony TV is showing the ATV signal, the Sony remote doubles as a Siri Remote, minus the microphone. I can navigate the ATV from the TV remote, just with oldskool cursor buttons instead of touchpad. But that’s useless since what I really want is to put that big ugly chunk of plastic in a drawer, leave the Siri Remote on the table and only use the Remote app on iPhone or iPad. The only way to do that currently is to switch back and forth between the ATV Remote app and Sony’s ”Video and TV SideView” app where I can adjust the TV volume over WiFi. If the ATV Remote app could learn to do _that_, everything would be great, but I don’t see that happening on this side of the year 3000.

So from my point of view, tvOS 12 performs CEC things quite well.
The specific troublemaker for me is the Arris (former Motorola) set-top-box.
By now it seems, that the major issue is, that both Arris and aTV register themselves as players.
Because the blu-ray player registers as player as well, the logical addresses get exhausted.
So I observe the address contention on the bus where Arris and aTV constantly try to re-negotiate their logical addresses.
See the explanation for Logical Address here: http://wiki.kwikwai.com/index.php?title=The_HDMI-CEC_bus
OK. Unfortunately I’m not familiar with the Arris or any other set top boxes, as I only use streamed content since a few years back.
 
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Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
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Here is the setup:

ATV 4k HDR connects to Denon AVR-E300 receiver. The receiver acts as the "hub" for various devices and then it's "monitor output" is to a Samsung tv. Because the Denon handles the device switching, the tv always stays on HDMI 1.

Both the Denon and the Samsung support HDMI-CEC.

After reading up on the topic, it seems that clicking a button on the remote should power on the Denon and the TV... but I can't seem to get it to work.

If I leave both the Denon and the TV set to HDMI control on ( CEC ), the tv with go black. If it turn HDMI control on the TV off, but leave it enabled on the Denon, the Apple doesn't turn anything on... but it controls the volume on the denon.

At this point, I am just confused and am hoping someone can enlighten me on how it should all work.
HDMI-CEC reminds me of trying to make life easier,
 
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danieleilertsen

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Jun 1, 2016
188
55
Oslo, Norway
Apple TV seems to have CEC issues with a lot of set ups from speaking with different people. I have a Sony Bravia TV, a Bose Lifestyle Surround system, and Apple TV 4K. The Apple TV instantly wakes the receiver after sleeping. Then, the Bose receiver wakes the TV back up. I have to grab the TV remote and press power to get the TV and receiver off. It's a nuisance.
I thik you are right. I have heard so many people having issues with their tvs turned on right after being put to sleep, and its on when they wake up.

Its clearly an apple tv issue. I jsut wonder why? and why are they not fixing it?
 
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tmartine

macrumors newbie
Aug 12, 2015
5
4
HDMI-CEC reminds me of trying to make life easier,
I point finger at Apple TV!

This was all working perfectly and reliably for me for more than a year and then it stopped after an ApplTV update.

power on any device and the AVR and TV power on.. power off and everything turns off... volume on ATV remote controls AVR via IR (not through HDMI-CEC)

Setup:
ATV 4 + other devices <-multiple HDMI> Pioneer AVR <-single HDMI-> Samsung TV
(HDMI-CEC turned on for all devices)

What started happening for me was that the ATV would still turn on the AVR & Tv, but AVR would switch from ATV input to TV input..?? Now I have to use the TV remote go to Inputs to choose the ATV HDMI-CEC... then it switches back.

Looking at input on TV looks like this comedy of errors is happening

- everything off
- click ATV remote
- ATV via HDMI-CEC turns on AVR(AV Receiver) + TV
- AVR’s HDMI input on TV comes up 1st and set to AppleTV so ATV initially shows
- AVR sees TV so everything switches to TV
- eventually the HDM-CEC (anyNet) devices come up on on TV sources... ~10sec.. so if you bring up sources on TV can switch to ATV..

- PS4 when turned on turns everything on, switches input.. doesn’t flip back to TV
- Pre-update this same ATV also worked properly.. only needed to use the ATV remote... was great... this has to be Apple messing this up...
 
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Michelasso

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Feb 20, 2012
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Treviso, Italy
I point finger at Apple TV!
It's hard to point fingers when there are so many devices involved. In my case, when HDMI-CEC misbehave, my fix it to unplug and plug it back after few seconds my... Bravia TV. It always works. While a TV reboot never does the job. Nor unplugging the ATV or my Yamaha AVR (which usually switches to the right input).

Basically what often happens to me is that my TV doesn't recognise my ATV as a HDMI-CEC (Bravia sync) device anymore. It isn't present on the list of Bravia sync devices. The issue is that sometime it does the same with my PS4 Pro (and my previous PS4 base). Then I know from the Sony forum that other people have the same issues with other non ATV devices. So you may also check on the Samsung forums if you're not alone, and in case if anyone found a fix.
 
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priitv8

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HDMI CEC seems to work best if you have a limited number of devices in the setup (read the addressing scheme of CEC to understand) - ie one TV, one audio system, one player.
 
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adrianlondon

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Nov 28, 2013
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As mentioned above, the best way around this mess is to disable CEC on everything and use a universal remote such as the Harmony Companion. Their software isn't the best but the hardware is great and it's cheaper than the URC equivalent as far as I can tell. However, you may then have an issue that CEC doesn't fully disable on everything and fights with the remote to turn stuff on and off!

The other alternative is to power everything off (not standby - unplug stuff) then turn everything on. That might allow every device to fully understand what else is in the HDMI chain. On your TV, if you don't use any apps, turn off ARC. Otherwise, if you have a Denon AVR turn off "TV Audio Switching" - that stops your Apple TV telling the AVR that the audio comes from it only for the TV to then turn on and say the same thing a few seconds later.

It's trial and error. For geeky people it verges between great fun and really irritating. Walk the line!
 
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priitv8

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Jan 13, 2011
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Estonia
I think I need to file a bug report to Apple regarding the tvOS. They fail to return the CEC version on the bus, that may cause other devices to fail to comply.

Code:
device #4: Playback 1
address:       3.1.0.0
active source: no
vendor:        Unknown
osd string:    Apple TV
CEC version:   unknown
power status:  standby
language:      ???
 
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tmartine

macrumors newbie
Aug 12, 2015
5
4
It's hard to point fingers when there are so many devices involved.
Yeah, I know... I know.. just feels nice to put the blame somewhere... lol..

It was amazing though for about a year everything worked flawlessly and consistently... all I did was use the Apple TV remote... and on very odd time watched over the air broadcast I’d pull ou the TV remote.. then an Apple TV update ended everything

Who knows.. maybe it worked because the Apple TV was non-compliant.. then when the “fixed” that everything went to h***

For me it seems like it comes down to a timing thing.. the order the devices get discovered... AND I can’t select the AppleTV from the AVR any more.. if select ATV as douce on Receiver it will flip to TV... the only way to select ATV on Receiver is indirectly.., i.e. select ATV on TV souce list and HDMI CEC will send the message to Receiver the change source its source... then Receiver will stay on ATV..
[doublepost=1552258843][/doublepost]
I think I need to file a bug report to Apple regarding the tvOS. They fail to return the CEC version on the bus, that may cause other devices to fail to comply.

Do it... they worked with me quite a bit... think they stopped when they realized my TV was an older, plasma, Samsung 8 series... ugh!!
 
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