Introduction: Raspberry Pi Remote for Free!

Picture of Raspberry Pi Remote for Free!

For my first ible I just wanted to give everyone a quick tutorial on how to use the HDMI-CEC protocol to control your Pi with your Tv's remote control.

This is very useful because is saves you from having to buy a remote just for your Pi and also leaves you with an open usb that you would have needed for your wireless keyboard and mouse.

Step 1: Do You Have CEC?

Every manufacturer has a different trade name for CEC,

Samsung - Anynet+
Sony - BRAVIA Link or BRAVIA Sync
Sharp - Aquos Link
Hitachi - HDMI-CECAOC - E-link
Pioneer - Kuro Link
Toshiba - Regza Link or CE-Link
LG - SimpLink
Panasonic - VIERA Link or HDAVI Control or EZ-Sync
Philips - EasyLink

If your TV has a button, logo, or menu with one of these names or similar, congratulations you have CEC!

Step 2: Getting Set Up

Picture of Getting Set Up

I'm going to be using an LG - 42LD450 and a Panasonic TC - P50X2 as examples. My Raspberry Pi is a type B and is running Raspbmc. Most of the steps will be very similar in most Tv's. If your lucky you might only have to plug in your Pi without any additional steps!

Get your Raspberry Pi hooked up using HDMI (obviously to use HDMI -CEC you have to use and HDMI cable for video)

Step 3: LG TV

Picture of LG TV

For my LG tv these are the steps.
1. Turn on the tv and go to the Raspberry Pi input.

2. Boot up the Pi and wait for it to get to the Raspbmc home screen.

3. Press 'SimpLink' on your tv's remote.

4. Turn it on


The tv and the Pi are now 'paired' and the tv remote will control the basic functions in Raspbmc. Play, pause, directional arrows, ok etc.

Step 4: Panasonic TV

Picture of Panasonic TV

Same as before,

1. Turn on tv to the Pi's input, boot Pi.

2. On the tv, menu - > setup - > Viera link setting - > ON

3. Done!

This tv will even turn on and off when you boot and shutdown Raspbmc.

Step 5: Extra Tips for Home Theater Set Up

1. Use your tv's usb port to power your Pi. This will save you a power outlet and phone charger.

2. Use an Ethernet cable and save all your movies on a network drive. Now you don't need a powered hub or hard drives behind your TV.

3. Consider overclocking and using a simpler skin to give a quicker response.
Please Vote!


coralspringstony (author)2018-01-09

With so many Pi projects all over the net, I can't seem to find the one I am looking for.

I want to be able to point my tv remote to a sensor and get the ir code, then I can use that code to program any button on a universal remote.

for example, I point my remote to the device, press the play button, and the device reads 4678. I then use that code to program a play button on a universal remote.

Anyone Help???

DavyGuk (author)2018-01-04

great post, wish i 'd read this before buying a wireless keyboard! :-( now just need to sort out low power warnings when running my raspberry pi 3 from the usb socket/plus on my panasonic tx-l42e6b

LukeM120 (author)2016-12-22

Thanks! I have a Raspberry Pi 2 running Plex Media Player connected to a Dicksmith 40" TV. I turned on HDMI CEC and I am now able to use the TV remote to control Plex on the Raspberry Pi 2! Thanks very much for this guide.

GhostGuy72 (author)2016-06-13

did this yesterday , worked great, took me 5 minutes on a Toshiba TV

JonC80 (author)2016-04-07

Thanks a bunch pal! Saved me so much time and bother!

bionicdave (author)2015-07-15

A big thank you!

If you have a problem detecting you raspberry pi with your TV, swap the HDMI cable! This instructable worked for me in mere seconds after I swapped in a better quality HDMI cable than the one that came in the Vilros "Raspberry Pi 2 Model B (1GB) Complete Starter Kit" sold by Prestige Milano via

Somed1 (author)bionicdave2016-02-07

yup, seconded. swapped for a better hdmi cable and it works again!

wmada (author)2015-12-28

hey i have a starter kit with everything on sd so i try this and my controller doesnt work. do i have to hace everything installed before i do this?

AnjneyM (author)2015-11-28

In Sony its called "BRAVIA Sync" and is found at the top of the remote with all the control buttons inside a box

RengaR1 (author)2015-09-23

Excelled Article!!!

HendréW (author)2015-09-16

Tip of the month!!

tailslide (author)2015-06-17

This works amazing with a Samsung TV. I didn't even have to pick anything just pointed my remote at the TV and every single button worked. Number pad, playback controls, everything. Thank you!

michel.topsecret (author)2015-04-19

Thank you so much! It works like a charm.

Slimbots (author)2015-04-04

Recently I tried to use CEC with an RPI to check the status of a TV, Bluray player, and media player. I was hoping to make my home automation system smarter so that it would know if a device was on or off or set the the correct input when the user presses a button to send an IR code to the device. That way you could create IR macros that won't turn the TV off if it is already on. If anyone is interested, I created a board to make it really easy to turn the RPI into a universal remote. You can buy the kit here:

I ended up running into a dead end with CEC because the RPI could not control or poll all of the devices on the network. I could only get it to poll the TV which kind of defeated the purpose.

fabionnes (author)2015-03-25

This is genius! Worked perfectly on my LG! Thank you very much!

mstoetz1 (author)2015-03-12

Dang.. this rocks. you made my day!

jesterod. (author)2015-01-13

and alot of the buttons dont work on hdmi -cec. i prefer to use a first gen xbox dvdkit on my pi

Niafrond (author)jesterod.2015-01-15

On XBMC/Kodi, you can also use KeyMap Editor add-on to add actions on buttons that do not work !

sekitori (author)2014-12-28

works fine, except I cannot find a button to exit the xbmc's menu's.

Probably my remote, though......

kompot (author)2014-12-17

@3of5 All TVs do not have this option.

I have a philips and it works perfectly.

3of5 (author)2014-11-28

how's this down on a Samsung TV? can't find anything.

nerd7473 (author)2014-06-28

just did it and am now able to use anynet with my xbmc running on my raspberry pi model B

Robepper (author)2014-02-13

@craigw22 it may be possible that LG is using the same remote on lower end TV's that don't support it. Also when in xmbc you should see a notification indication that the HDMI-cec has been found.

Robepper (author)2014-02-13

@Ho Lee Shiet, when I turn off my TV it sends a shutdown command of the pi and when I shut down my pi it sends a shut down command to the TV. I haven't bricked the pi yet but I didn't even think of that thanks for the comment

craigw22 (author)2014-02-06


I have a LG 42LD450 Tv and my remote looks the same as yours except the Simplink button is in a different position. However when I turn Simplink on it does not allow me to control the Pi. Any ideas why this is?



Ho Lee Shiet (author)2014-02-02

1. Use your tv's usb port to power your Pi. This will save you a power outlet and phone charger.

When using TV usb power and turn off TV will that brick the pi?

tom004 (author)2014-01-18

This is awesome. Thanks. I set up XBMC on my Pi and had no idea. it works with my Sony smart TV remote.

finnr (author)2013-12-03

I have a Samsung series 5. No setup required. I found out when I by accident hit the arrow keys on my remote.

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