IR Blaster vs HDMI CEC vs IP Based Technology

Which Technology is best?

Every technology / device has its pros and cons to controlling your entertainment devices. Look at this table below and see which device or technology might work for you.

Comparison Table

Task IR Blaster * HDMI CEC IP Based Technology
Power On
Power Off
Switch Inputs
Can Switch HDMI Inputs Quickly
Button Presses
Requires additional hardware
Requires line of sight
Requires newer device (2006>)
Has known issues with others
Estimated Cost for hardware $50-150 $50 Free

* An IR Blaster is considered an IP Based Device but because it sends the final output as Infrared it is usually placed in its own category.

IR Blaster

Infrared (IR) technology has been around the longest and though it has been proven to work in many applications, it will require a line of sight and an additional hardware (IR Blaster). One issue to consider with an IR Blaster is that navigation will have a delay because you have to send each button command. For instance, if you want to switch to HDMI Inputs then you would send an IR signal to bring up the menu, another IR signal to go to input, then another IR signal to go to the correct input.

HDMI CEC

CEC uses an HDMI cable to send commands and it has been around since 2006. Because most manufactures have a variance of CEC, there are some issues with CEC not working as designed. This means that not all buttons will work with CEC and some features may not be available for all devices. On the plus side, CEC can easily switch HDMI inputs without having to navigate through menus, but it requires additional hardware to send HDMI-CEC Frames (commands). See Understanding HDMI-CEC Frame for more info.

IP Based Technology

IP Based Technology have been available for longer than HDMI CEC, but not as long as IR Blasters. Every manufacture has their own way of implementing which IP Based Technology they use to send and receive responses. The biggest drawback is that most implementations do not have the ability to Power On a device. On the plus side, the cost is free, if the manufacturer supports it.

Restful APi
Restful API

Conclusion

Each technology has its advantages and disadvantage, so you have to figure out which is the one that works best for your Home Automation needs.

What Next?

Now that you know about which technology is best for you, you need to figure out if Port Forwarding or Eddy Bridge is the best method to connect your devices to Eddy. This is part of a bigger scope to Setting up Eddy Voice Remote (see setup guide).

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