Help me to understand auto-on and what to look for

travisctk

Member
I recently replaced my soundbar with vintage speakers. They're being run by a Crown amp and a cheap Topping DAC to run audio from the TV. Both the soundbar and the Topping DAC are using Optical In. Both these devices will turn on automatically when the TV is turned on. I'm now looking to replace the amp/dac combo with a single receiver to power the speakers and I'd like something that also turns on automatically with the TV. I can't seem to find any specific information on whether optical inputs on receivers would typically power them on automatically. I understand this can also be done with ARC or CEC through HDMI.

I have two sources (apple tv and ps5) that will remain connected to the TV (Sony x900f). I can run audio out through either HDMI or Optical. Since I only need the receiver for the single audio input, I'm looking at older outdated flagship models that can be picked up for relatively cheap. So I guess here are my questions.

1. What's the oldest HDMI version that supports auto-on? I've read that 1.4 supports ARC while 1.2a supports CEC. Will either of these do what I want and is that universal on all receivers with the correct HDMI version?
2. Is optical auto-on even a thing with receivers? Is there something specific I can look for to identify if a receiver has this or not?

Thanks in advance!
 
Last edited:

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
Typically auto features with CEC suck. TV switching off when you switch off one source but want to use another is stupid, or you power up a source but don't quite want it to switch inputs yet and it does it anyway is stupid. Or when you switch TV off it switches amp and source off. Or you switch on amp just to adjust settings from front panel or listen to music it switches on TV. Stupid.

Just use macros on a remote control.
 

travisctk

Member
Typically auto features with CEC suck. TV switching off when you switch off one source but want to use another is stupid, or you power up a source but don't quite want it to switch inputs yet and it does it anyway is stupid. Or when you switch TV off it switches amp and source off. Or you switch on amp just to adjust settings from front panel or listen to music it switches on TV. Stupid.

Just use macros on a remote control.

I won't have any sources plugged into the receiver and won't be doing anything else that you've described. I actually only use two sources on this TV and that's an apple TV and a ps5, so outside of the occasional gaming, all of my usage is with just the Apple TV remote.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I'm unsure as to how your devices are powering themselves up of using S/PDIF optical? Optical has no ability to engage such action and this would ordinarilly be something you'd associate with CEC. CEC is more commonly something you's associate wth HDMI and is often called HDMI Control.

Optical has no abilirt to convey control command or use CEC.


Yes, you'd need at least an HDMI version 1.4 equipped AV receiver and TV if wanting both HDMI CEC and ARC. Note that conventional ARC is actually dependant upon HDMI CEC for its functionality so any model inclusive of ARC will also include HDMI CEC (Control).

Many people find CEC annoying and problematic, but I'd not expect this in all cases. THe fewer devices you have that are using it then the better and less chance of you experiencing issues. Bewarned though, some devices simply wont communicate with one another and will not allow each other to actually utilise the supposed functions associated with HDMI CEC and or ARC.

It should also be noted that the Apple TV and the PS5 primarilly output everything as PCM. THis would vcause some issues if wanting to pass multichannel audio through a TV and out via conventional ARC. Conventional ARC is not able to handle anything more than 2 channels of PCM data. This wouldn't be an issue if only wanting to access stereo audio though and ARC an if required still convey 5.1 SD quality DTS or Dolby Digital encoded audio. If ever wanting to convey multichannePCM or HD formatted audio then you'd need eARC and this is only an option onboard more recent devices with at least HDMI version 2.0b.
 

travisctk

Member
I'm unsure as to how your devices are powering themselves up of using S/PDIF optical? Optical has no ability to engage such action and this would ordinarilly be something you'd associate with CEC. CEC is more commonly something you's associate wth HDMI and is often called HDMI Control.

Optical has no abilirt to convey control command or use CEC.


Yes, you'd need at least an HDMI version 1.4 equipped AV receiver and TV if wanting both HDMI CEC and ARC. Note that conventional ARC is actually dependant upon HDMI CEC for its functionality so any model inclusive of ARC will also include HDMI CEC (Control).

Many people find CEC annoying and problematic, but I'd not expect this in all cases. THe fewer devices you have that are using it then the better and less chance of you experiencing issues. Bewarned though, some devices simply wont communicate with one another and will not allow each other to actually utilise the supposed functions associated with HDMI CEC and or ARC.

It should also be noted that the Apple TV and the PS5 primarilly output everything as PCM. THis would vcause some issues if wanting to pass multichannel audio through a TV and out via conventional ARC. Conventional ARC is not able to handle anything more than 2 channels of PCM data. This wouldn't be an issue if only wanting to access stereo audio though and ARC an if required still convey 5.1 SD quality DTS or Dolby Digital encoded audio. If ever wanting to convey multichannePCM or HD formatted audio then you'd need eARC and this is only an option onboard more recent devices with at least HDMI version 2.0b.

The manual for the Topping e30 DAC says that it's in standby when off. I assume the soundbar has the same function.

Fortunately it's just two channel audio, I have my Infinity Renaissance hooked up, so no need for the multichannel PCM.

So it sounds like I need to find a receiver with HDMI 1.4 at minimum. Thanks for the info though, that was all very helpful!
 

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