There are many different ways of controlling your AV gear. From IR or RF frequencies, you can control your equipment virtually anywhere in your home whether it is in a closet, in the basement or in a small wall unit. RF doesn’t require much in terms of installation which makes it easy. But you might find some place in your home that doesn’t pick-up the RF signal quite well for many reasons. IR (hardwired solution) is another great way to be able to control all your equipment but this requires pre-wiring beforehand. IR is also subject to interference to sun light, interior lighting and more.
Going one step further, trying to centralize all your equipment in one room becomes a little more complex to wire and to zone all your IR commands using several different products. Well not anymore.
HydraConnect LLC claims it has patented a technology that actually makes the dreaded HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) work.
What is HDMI CEC?
With CEC, theoretically, a consumer should be able to use a single remote to turn on the entire system. For example, when the Blu-ray player turns on, it turns on the TV and tells the A/V receiver to connect to the correct input.
CEC has been built into consumer products for many years. It was designed to eliminate the usual coffee table of remotes that are required for a system with a TV, A/V receiver and maybe a Blu-ray player.
So how did HydraConnect get it to work for multiple rooms and sources?
"Simply put, our system isolates all of the CEC devices so they can’t talk to each other, and we use a sophisticated discovery software system that allows us to identify every connected device.”
With such discovery, says Schanin, the HydraConnect product would “have the knowledge on how to control every CEC device, and we use this capability to invisibly control nearly every device in the system - no IR blasters, wiring, any gear to drive the IR blasters, etc. Just one HDMI cable to each device which provides video, audio and control.”
This should work regardless of the brand of product and the number of displays. The patent notes the solution “can be manufacturer specific so that devices with different CEC implementations can be combined in a single system
Among the many implementations of CEC, we have:
Aquos Link (Sharp)
NetCommand for HDMI (Mitsubishi)
HydraConnect has already implemented this CEC technology in some of its switchers, including the 8x8 HSS-2 and HSS-3 (with HDBaseT).
With the growing amount of consumers trying to hide all their equipment into cabinets, closets or storing their whole house system in one room, HydraConnect helps eliminate wire clutter by using only an HDMI cable.
HDMI has never been a popular subject in the AV industry but having audio, video, Ethernet and now control all in one cable makes it an option worth considering.
What do you think about HDMI CEC? Would you give HDMI CEC a chance?Source