Eli5: I have a Google home, and a Chromecast plugged into a 2014 Samsung TV. How is the Google home able to shut off my TV on command?

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I couldn’t find my remote going to bed. So I asked Google to shut off the TV and it did. WTF? The Chromecast is just plugged into the HDMI and the TV is 5 years old. No way that functionality should link up.

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This is a feature of HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) which has been a standard for about 17 years. Not every device uses this feature but it certainly is something you might expect a 5 year old television to be able to do.

The HDMI cable is able to be used to send a signal to the TV, not just receive the data for the image. But also, that’s pretty awesome.

The HDMI standard allows for multiple data streams. In addition to the video and audio, it can also send/receive control signals. In addition to powering the TV on and off, you can probably do other things, such as control the volume, change channels, etc. Try it!