Tech & More
Get Your TV To Do What You Want — Faster
Have you ever wanted to use your Fire TV, but when you turn on your TV it is on the wrong HDMI input? Even if it was on the correct input, have you ever felt your TV took too long to power up as you stare at a black screen? HDMI-CEC can help make this a better experience.
HDMI-CEC is a universal language that a bunch of your devices can use to talk to your TV and vice-versa. Because your Fire TV connects to your TV via HDMI, it can take advantage of this. So, what can it do? Every time you press the Home button on your Fire TV remote, your Fire TV will send a signal to your TV saying, “Hey, switch to me! I am being used!” More on that in a minute. First, let’s enable this awesomeness.
How to Enable HDMI-CEC
To enable CEC on your TV, look inside of your TV’s settings menu. I have a Vizio TV and found this option by pressing Menu on my TV remote and then going to System > CEC.
It is possible that your TV might not support CEC. It could be too old, or if it was a budget model the manufacturer may have removed it as a feature.
Unfortunately, many manufacturers have given an alternative name, or “trade name” to CEC, despite the fact that it can inter-operate between brands. When looking through your TV’s settings, make sure you are looking for the trade name that they gave it. Below you can find some popular brands and their trade names for CEC:
LG: SimpLinkPanasonic: Viera LinkSamsung: Anynet+Sharp: Aquos LinkSony: Bravia Link / Bravia SyncToshiba: CE-Link, Regza LinkVizio: CECDon’t see your brand on the list? Wikipedia has more.I enabled CEC on my TV — now what?
Now that you have CEC enabled on your TV, double check that it is enabled on the Fire TV. This is turned on by default. If you want to double check, navigate to Settings > Display & Sounds and you’ll see it in the list.
Navigate to Settings > Display & Sounds on the FireTV and you’ll see CEC in the list.
At this point, when you press the Home button on your Fire TV remote your TV should switch to the input that the Fire TV is connected to. This is a big time saver if you have multiple devices connected to your TV, like an Xbox, Playstation, or cable box and are constantly switching between them. Furthermore, if your TV is powered off entirely, your TV should turn on and switch to the correct input! This is where things really get magical.
If you control your Fire TV with your Echo device, even if your TV is off, it should turn on and obey your command. Picture this: you are in the kitchen, and your TV is off. You say to your Echo, “Alexa, watch Man in the High Castle” and your TV turns on, switches to the right input, and begins playing the episode where you last left off all while your hands are still covered in raw chicken. “Alexa, open Netflix” will also make sure your TV is powered up and Netflix will be launched. You will be surprised how nice it is not to wait those extra seconds for your TV to warm up before choosing your content.
The other way you can take advantage of this is by downloading the Fire TV Remote App. You can tap on an app to launch it, or use the virtual voice button to talk to Alexa. All of these events will cause your Fire TV to wake up and the TV will power itself on. I love using the Remote App to launch the app I want on my way to another room. By the time I get there, the TV is already on and the app is open — no waiting necessary.
24: Yes, this show is from 2002, but I only recently discovered it. My wife and I are getting so close to finishing — we are on season seven! If you have not seen this, I highly recommend it. Watch on Prime Video.
Re-arrange your apps on the Home screen by focusing on the app you want to move and pressing the “menu” button (with the three lines) and selecting “Move”.
Are you a sports fan? In the Alexa app, go to Settings > Sports Update and then add your favorite teams. Now you can say “Alexa, what’s my sports update?” and she will give you the latest scores and upcoming games.
Get Your TV To Do What You Want — Faster was originally published in Amazon Fire TV on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.