Wednesday, September 17, 2008

HDMI consortium to standardize CEC, FINALLY!

For those who don't know, the CEC, or Consumer Electronics Control protocol sends control commands over the HDMI interface's Pin 13 allowing every device that's connected via HDMI to be easily controlled, in theory.

The problem so far is that the members of the HDMI consortium have pretty much done their own thing with regard to CEC. As a result, it works great if you have an all-Sony setup: TV, Blu-ray, AV receiver. It also works great if you have an all-Panasonic setup: TV, Blu-ray, AV receiver. And so on. However, when you start mixing and matching components from different brands, then things haven't worked too well.

Apparently, all that is about to change.

HDMI is going to make its control protocol, called Consumer Electronics Control (CEC), really meaningful. And they mean it.That's the word from Steve Venuti, president of HDMI Licensing, LLC, who spoke to CE Produring the recent CEDIA Expo.HDMI-CEC is a communications protocol that enables devices to control each other via the same HDMI cable that delivers audio and video.
"We really mean it this time," says Venuti. "We've worked with the founders to unify CEC. We're hoping -- and they're pushing hard -- that in Q1 there will be products out there with a meaningful command set," he says. "The marketing requirements came from retailers."

It's good to see that the major CE brands in the consortium have realized that if everybody does their own thing, then it doesn't count as a standard.

One question I'd like to see answered is how well the CEC2.0 (or whatever they choose to call it) will work retroactively with existing gear that uses a vendor-specific variation of the protocol. Time will tell, I suppose.

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1 comment:

Flatland Pastor said...

File under "Stop Me If You've Heard This Before"

"We really mean it this time."

"The cheque is in the mail."

"Of course I'll respect you in the morning."

I'm betting the consumer frustration chat rooms will still be busy even after the new protocol comes out. I guess I'm pretty cynical about these things - but keep us tuned Lee.