Raspbmc – Control XBMC with your TV remote using HDMI-CEC

Edit: Raspbmc RC4 now has CEC enabled out of the box – No need to enable the XBMC web server. It uses the newer libCEC which has significantly better support for different manufacturer CEC-based implementations, so chances are it will work just fine with your CEC-enabled TV.

CEC is a specification that allows control of CEC-enabled devices that are attached through HDMI.

Raspbmc has included a basic implementation of CEC in version RC3, meaning you can now control your Raspberry Pi installation from your CEC-enabled TV remote (well in theory, anyway).

You’ll need a CEC-enabled TV or amplifier that is connectioned to your Raspberry Pi via the HDMI connector.  Not all CEC-enabled devices are created equally, though, and might support a different subset of the specification. This means that CEC on your device might not interface with XBMC at all, or some of the remote buttons won’t be mapped correctly. On the Samsung Anynet+ (Samsung’s version of CEC) TV I tested on, the arrow keys and enter was working, but pause, play, stop etc. wasn’t. Your mileage may vary.

Support for CEC was only included in Raspbmc from version RC3, but it is not present in the normal XBMC build. It is enabled by default, but in order for it to work, you need to activate XBMC’s web server:

  • Go to Settings -> Network -> Services
  • Set “Allow control of XBMC via HTTP” to on.
  • Set the username to “xbmc” and leave the password blank
  • Make sure the port is set to 8080

Enabling CEC control of XBMC on your TV should be simple – select the source input and select the XBMC CEC device input (The TV should automatically pick up XBMC as a CEC device).

9 thoughts on “Raspbmc – Control XBMC with your TV remote using HDMI-CEC

    • It generally supports only the most basic of operations, such as the arrow keys for navigating, enter and escape (go back).

      For operations where you need to enter text, you can still use the OSD keyboard using your TV remote, or plug in an additional keyboard just until the setup of Raspbmc is completed.

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