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A Failure to Communicate Part II

According to one industry source with whom I spoke recently, the odd communication problem reported on in Part 1, below, is an artifact of CEC. CEC is a new feature offered by many manufacturers that allows the user to control various components through their HDMI connections. Often, these operations are automated.

CEC is the generic name for this feature, but in the interests of enhanced consumer confusion manufacturers have elected to come up with their own trademarked names for it. Samsung calls it Anynet+. Toshiba's name is CE-Link. Sony goes with Theatre Sync. Pioneer likes HDMI Control.

According to my source, CEC is a work in progress (I'm being kind—those weren't his exact words) and prone to the sort of glitches I have described. He is no fan of the feature, even though his company uses it. Like many who work for the US branch of overseas manufacturers, he does not make final design decisions.

We're not in a position to pass judgment on CEC in general. It might work better with some products than others. It might be less reliable, do weird things, or not work at all when products from more than one company are involved. It might presume too much about your intentions, i.e., you want to keep using the disc player even with the TV off, and it can't figure out why you'd want to do that!

Sort of reminds me of the story of the man who had his house completely automated, only to find one day that it wouldn't let him in. Could have been worse. it might not have let him out.

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