CEC – To Use or Not

CEC (Consumer Electronic Control) is a feature built for HDMI control which has been around now for several years and is still growing. It will soon be a system which will make using an IR sender on a system totally obsolete. However there is still some trouble with this system and it raises it head when you implement different manufacturers together. Samsung TV’s have been particularly troublesome when you turn on this feature as you will find that you can shut off a perfectly working system, i.e. DirecTV or cable running through a surround receiver and then to the TV as normal. However when you turn the system back on using the DirecTV remote or cable remote, the TV will instruct the surround receiver to go to a typically unused input like TV on the surround receiver. Apparently what is happening is the TV thinks it is in charge and is being used as a source unit (like watching Netflix) and every time the TV cycles on, even though it was shut off in a perfectly happy state, it will turn on the surround receiver as it should. You will see the picture you think you should see (cable or DirecTV). Then after a few seconds you lose the picture and you will find the receiver on the wrong input.
I have yet to find a switch or method to prevent this and I can only hope that Samsung has solved this issue by now.
You have, as I see it, one of two choices: Use the CEC function and every time you turn on the TV you reset the input of the surround receiver or in some cases you can instruct the surround receiver to simply stay on in idle waiting to be used. It uses very little power and produces very little heat in this idle situation- however it is not perfectly green to do so. Or you can shut off the CEC function and in many cases like the Cox remote which was a Scientific Atlanta remote and is now labeled as a Cisco remote you can program the volume lock to Aux which will control the surround receiver and by pressing and holding the power for 3 seconds (while pointing remote at system) power on and off the TV, cable box and the surround receiver. This can be done on the old style DirecTV remotes also. However the new smaller DirecTV remotes will not power on and off the surround receiver. Using the 3 second rule on the remote works perfectly until someone comes in and simply presses power on the remote. This will turn on the cable box and leave all other units off. Now when the next person correctly holds the power down for 3 seconds the units will flip on to off or vice versa. To correct this, ensure all units start either on or off. Good Luck!