Better Controls For Your Chromecast Through CEC

Modern home cinema equipment is well-equipped with features for interoperability and convenience, but in practice, competing standards and arcana can make it fall over. Sometimes, you’ve gotta do a little work on your own to glue it all together, and that’s what led [Victor] to develop a little utility of his own.

ChromecastControls is a tool that makes controlling your home cinema easier by improving Chromecast’s integration with the CEC features of HDMI. CEC, or Consumer Electronics Control, is a bidirectional serial bus that is integrated as a part of the HDMI standard. It’s designed to help TVs, audio systems, and other AV hardware to communicate, and allow the user to control an entire home cinema setup with a single remote. Common use cases are TVs that send shutdown commands to attached soundbars when switched off, or Blu-Ray players that switch the TV on to the correct output when the play button is pressed.

[Victor]’s tool allows Chromecast to pass volume commands to surround sound processors, something that normally requires the user to manually adjust their settings with a separate remote. It also sends shutdown commands to the attached TV when Chromecast goes into its idle state, saving energy. It relies on the PyChromecast library to intercept traffic on the network, and thus send the appropriate commands to other hardware. Simply running the code on a Raspberry Pi that’s hooked up to any HDMI port on a relevant device should enable the CEC commands to get through.

It’s a project that you might find handy, particularly if you’re sick of leaving your television on 24 hours a day because Chromecast never bothered to implement a simple CEC command on an idle timeout. CEC hacks have a long history, too – we’ve been covering them as far back as 2010!

34 thoughts on “Better Controls For Your Chromecast Through CEC

  1. chromecast was just a flash in the pan and couldnt really compete with roku, even modern roku devices support screen casting to a degree. i had originally purchased chromecasts for my entire home, but since then have purchased new tvs with built in roku, honestly the best plex/netflix/amazon/hulu/experience you could ask for, so well integrated with streaming that we went and got a hd homerun on our network, its a real shame google hasnt really pushed for a more well rounded experience. wish this hack had been around 5 years ago!

    1. They are all god awful because of petty squabbling. Amazon wont let chromecast play it’s content, chromecast is a shitshow in terms of ease of use.

      Roku can’t play netflix…. Amazon wont let you cast youtube.

      It’s painful to watch good tech abused like that.

      We need a protocol to unite them all https://xkcd.com/927/

          1. Likely it’s UK only in hindsight most of our Roku (nearly all) are branded Now TV which is a subsidiary of Sky and handles streaming access to their content and channels.

            I suspect that’s why Now TV boxes don’t allow Netflix to be streamed to them which I assumed meant all Roku boxes don’t allow it.

      1. I stream Netflix, disney+ and amazon video to my chrome cast, as well as YouTube plex even will stream to a chromecast from the plex app. I also use an amazon fire stick 4k, which has everything on it, YouTube, Kodi, plex, Netflix, disney+, amazon video, plus a few games and utilities, you can install pretty much any android app on it as well as pair Bluetooth keyboards/controllers/and Bluetooth headsets.

        1. No, no please no. I am forever helping friends diagnose weird IR remote problems. From a tv that randomly gets turned on even when the remote has no batteries, to my Samsung smart TV that won’t work with any IR remote but Samsung’s (even the Logitech Harmony), to another stock remote that would only work if you were very precise with your aim.

          The tv that would turn itself on we found that if we covered a window that opened on to a field it wouldn’t turn on. Yeah.

    2. I bought a Roku a couple months back.
      It was plugged into a TV 20 feet from the wireless router.
      It wouldn’t connect, saying I either needed to move the router, or the TV, closer to each other.
      I took the Roku back to the store and got a refund.

        1. I use mine (i.e., HDHomeRun) so that I don’t have to connect an antenna to each TV. Also, I don’t need a Roku box to access it because the HDHR shows up as a DLNA media server and all my TV’s support it out of the box. For that matter, you don’t really need the HDHR app on a Roku to access it because you can use the default media player app just to play the channels. Of course, you don’t get the TV guide listings.

          FWIW.

    1. It’s important to tech kids how to respect parents personal space, you can do it in an healthy way, without make them feeling excluded, it’s important for them to have time to develop their own passions and interests. That’s how you get “free time”.

      You should usually alternate the make stuff time with the watching time, you can’t do both, but one thing you can do it’s planning during the day, so you need less time for making.

      You involve them, do things with them, if you are making, make some space on the table and ask them to take your small project with them.

  2. This sounds like a very useful utility. What I can’t understand is why Google won’t enable the chromecast to do this directly, without the use of a third-party app. Clearly they are capable of doing it. It constantly annoys me when I try and adjust my volume on something being casted only to learn that it is surround sound and therefore I can’t. Why not?

    1. I leave a Chromecast on in the kitchen all the time as a clock and recipe viewer, and it bugs me that it is on at 3 in the morning. Really wish the Google home could notice when there is absolutely no sound going on in the house and even just put out all black pixels, then wake up when activity is going on.

  3. I tell my chromecast to turn off the tv all the time using Google assistant, they definitely have CEC implemented, just not as efficient as it should be. However my cheap TCL tv with built in Roku is the pinnacle of a user friendly UI, absolutely flawless implementation.

  4. Nvidia shield, harmony hub, Google mini… endless possibilities…..I can control all… volume, power , etc. By phone or voice……. don’t get me started with adding smartthings.. endless possibilities.. TV goes of when I shut basement door after 9pm🤣🤣😂👌🏼👌🏼

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