HDMI pass through in standby

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by challenger, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. challenger

    challenger
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    I am looking into my first surround sound system and one of the features i find desirable is HDMI pass through in standby, enabling me to watch and listen to the TV with the receiver in standby, thus saving power when watching basic TV programs.

    When reading a recent thread, I started to think that this is not as simple as I first thought.

    My equipment would be TV - Sony KDL-40d3000 (4 yrs old), Marantz NR1602 or Yamaha RXV671 receiver, Virgin V+ box, Sony Hard Drive DVD recorder, XBox and Blu Ray player (to be decided).

    I assumed that I would just connect up the equipment with HDMI leads, set up the receiver to enable pass through, then all would be good. maybe it would only pass through the signal from the last device used, but that wouldn't be a problem.

    Then I read about 'CEC' function on components to be connected and start to wonder what all this means, particularly on the V+ box, through which most of the TV viewing is done.

    Can someone please enlighten me as to how simple or difficult this can be.
     
  2. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    The HDMI specification mandates passthrough in standby mode as part of the CEC appendix for CEC enabled devices, and deprecates pass-through for non-CEC devices. However, it also defines the whole of CEC to be optional, presumably since implementation is complex and expensive and making it mandatory would hinder adoption of HDMI, just like SCART, which incorporated CEC's predecessor never took off where not mandated.

    Older receivers tended therefore not to be CEC-capable, so they either didn't support standby pass-through or did so using a fixed input or the last input. Current receivers (HDMI 1.4) incorporate ARC to support retrieving the audio signal from the internal tuner of the HDMI-attached TV, and ARC has CEC as a prerequisite, so the result is support for CEC. The HDMI 1.4 chipsets they use are also likely to support CEC-based automatic switching, since once CEC is supported at all, it has to be supported correctly. All this sounds great, so far.

    But although most TVs support CEC, having already had the functionality from SCART, most of the set-top boxes are built to be as cheap as absolutely possible, and therefore omit everything and anything the manufacturer can get away with. The result is that CEC is almost universally ignored, and being brain-dead, crippled and autistic, CEC switching furtherdown the chain is also incapacitated.

    Some receivers handle this situation by supporting configuration of standby pass-through to support CEC, but also to support the old modes of fixed input or last input. Other receivers do not support these deprecated legacy modes. For many people it doesn't matter, as they'd never dream of inflicting the TV's internal speakers on themselves or making their wives suffer such horrors.

    So if support for legacy pass-through modes is important, you should check the online manual for the receiver of interest to determine what it actually supports.
     
  3. challenger

    challenger
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    Is all this 'CEC' to do with each component in the system being able to talk to each other to switch each other on?

    The AV receivers being considered are Marantz NR1602 & Yamaha RXV671, both of which have passthrough in standby function.

    If I have a receiver with 'passthrough in standby' enabled, and a Virgin V+ box manually switched on, will the signal be passed through to a TV that is switched on?

    In other words, will signals be passed through the AV receiver from any components that are switched on?.... or am I still missing the point?
     
  4. dante01

    dante01
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    You may find this of interest:
    http://www.hdmi.org/pdf/whitepaper/DesigningCECintoYourNextHDMIProduct.pdf


    HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) is intended to control components that are connected via HDMI cables via just one remote. Turning components off and on and one-touch play and record are some of the basic features of CEC. You must set up the HDMI CEC in each component's settings, and controlling the components can be inconsistent from manufacturer to manufacturer. Each brand has its own way of naming menu and action items therefore making consistent use of CEC from brand to brand difficult.

    Inspired by Philips' use of A/V control via SCART, the HDMI CEC feature was defined in the original HDMI specification, and then updated for HDMI version 1.2a and HDMI version 1.3. As with most HDMI optional features, an HDMI 1.3 connection does not guarantee that the component has HDMI CEC.

    Each manufacturer uses their own trademarked name for its implementation of CEC: LG's is SimpLink, Panasonic's is EZ Sync, Sony BRAVIA's is Theatre Sync, Samsung's is Anynet, and Toshiba's is CE-Link.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  5. dante01

    dante01
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    You should be able to passthrough any HDMI signal while the amp is in standby. Pioneer may give you problems if the source device isn't CEC compliant, but Yamaha and Marantz AV amps with passthrough in standby work with non CEC compliant HDMI interfaces. The Virgin Media V+ has no CEC ability.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  6. challenger

    challenger
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    Thank you Dante01.

    So, it looks like I should be ok passing through from the Virgin V+ box from what you are saying.

    I would hate to spend the money, connect up the system, then find out it doesn't do what I thought.

    It's impossible to take the V+ box to the shop and audition with it connected, and once it's all connected up then there's no turning back, apart from some outlets that let you exchange for something else if you're not happy.
     
  7. jawilson59

    jawilson59
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    Some people say standby passthru isnt important but it is nice to have in my opinion. As has already been suggested read the manual and post very specific questions in the relevant owners threads to get confirmation from current owners. I returned a pioneer vsx2021 which ticked virtually every other box but wouldnt let skyhd pass thru.
     
  8. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    You have misunderstood Dante01; there is no guarantee that any specific receiver model will be able to pass Virgin V+ in standby mode, as that box is not CEC-enabled and therefore cannot signal its interest in being routed. All receivers will be able to pass the signal if turned on, since then you have the ability to manually select the input to be passed.

    Whether a specific receiver can pass the signal when in standby depends on whether it tries to do so automatically or not. Automatic pass-through of the currently sending source requires CEC support in that source. Manual pass-through of a specific source (and no other) in stand-by does not require source device support, at the cost of not supporting automatic stand-by source switching. It is a function of the individual receiver as to what it actually supports, and so you will need to check the receivers' manual for its level of support.

    BTW, Dante01 is overstating the "single remote control" feature. That is a consequence of the design, not the purpose. CEC offers a lot more than just single remote control (as you will recall from using SCART between your TV, VCR and satellite receiver). More interestingly, it's "single remote control" which is the most likely thing that doesn't work between different manufacturers' implementations!
     
  9. Berties

    Berties
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    I plan to ditch the HDMI switch I'm using for computers and connect upto the av amp, saves one box plus less faffing around with the remote/physically changing on the switcher and the amp

    As for single remote control feature, don't think it's gone so far you need a decent universal remote still.
     
  10. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    Even with the feature in HDMI, you still need a device with the right buttons when dealing with "unusual" commands. For example, my TV could control my SCART-connected VCR over AV.Link (CEC by an earlier name), but programming it with showview (rather than Teletext), or enabling/disabling VPS mode were not possible using the TV's remote control, for obvious reasons. CEC (the HDMI name for AV.Link) doesn't change this; you still need the suitable "universal" remote. But what you do gain is the ability to hide the connected device in an IR-inaccessible location and access it through the TV's IR receiver.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012

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