One of the great things about the PlayStation 4 isn’t that it’s a great gaming console (Which it is!) but that it’s also an outstanding media player, in a number of areas including but not limited to Blu-Ray, DVD, Netflix, Etc.
This was also the case with the PS3 however Sony offered a Blu Ray Remote Control as an accessory which made the experience all the better, sadly they haven’t done the same with the PS4 but I have good news for you – Sony have gone one better and made the option extra redundant but don’t really advertise it. Let’s take a look at how we set this up!
First point to note is that this depends heavily on compatibility with your TV. I do know that it works almost perfectly with all Sony and Samsung TV’s but I had zero success making it work with my LG. We bought a new Hisense TV (Reviewed here) and it works perfectly with the Hisense too.
HDMI-CEC – What is it?
So to make this work we use technology called HDMI-CEC. Your brand of TV may have it’s own name for it, LG for example call it Simplink and Samsung call it Anynet+. The idea of HDMI-CEC (CEC = Consumer Electronics Control) is that you can control a number of devices connected to your TV’s HDMI ports with your TV’s remote control reducing the requirement for multiple remote controls and HDMI-CEC can also manage the powering on and off for connected devices.
Example – you can connect a Cable/Satellite box to one HDMI and a Blu-Ray to the other HDMI and utlizing HDMI-CEC your TV can power on the Cable/Satellite Box when you watch TV or the Blu-Ray player and you can control these boxes with your TV remote.
It sounds great, but it requires the manufacturer of the devices to enable support for HDMI-CEC which they rarely do, which is unfortunate. But luckily for us, Sony has enabled support for HDMI-CEC on the PS4.
Enabling HDMI-CEC on PS4
So for this to work we need to enable HDMI-CEC on both the PS4 and the TV. It is rarely enabled on the TV out of the box but right now we’ll focus on enabling this on the PS4.
- From the dashboard select Settings then System.
- Find the option for Enable HDMI Device Link and check the box.
At this point, the PS4 is ready to accept control commands via HDMI-CEC.
Enabling HDMI-CEC on TV
It is difficult for me to provide instruction here as these settings vary from one TV to the next. I recommend checking the manual for your TV or experinmenting with the option for your TV, if there is no option for HDMI-CEC check this Wikipedia article to see what your model of TV may call it.
When I enabled HDMI-CEC on my LG it done nothing with the PS4 whereas it was successful with my homebrew Raspberry Pi Media Player. I set up my Hisense TV and it worked straight away, really well too. On my Hisense, the menu buttons work just like the PS4 ones and are instant.
Additional Points to Note
There are some restrictions that are important to know. At this time the PS4 doesn’t allow power on via HDMI-CEC so you still have to power on the PS4 with the controller and once at the dashboard can power off the PS4 controller and use the remote from that point forward.
Some apps may not support this, at this time the ones I tried all work well but historically this wasn’t the case. Netflix, prior to 2014 didn’t accept commands via HDMI-CEC.
Did it work for you? Let me know below – it has been a real success for me and a bit of a win!