Pulse-Eight Bringing USB HDMI-CEC Adapter to PCs


For the most part, support for CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) in home theater PCs (HTPC) has been terribly lacking. What is CEC you ask? Quite simply, it is a communications channel and protocol utilized in HDMI that allows functionality such as controlling power and volume of a connected TV among other things. You may have heard of it in a manufacturer’s trade name such as Anynet+, Bravia Sync, SimpLink, VIERA Link, etc.

Pulse-Eight, the company who recently brought us the Motorola Nyxboard Hybrid XBMC remote, is now unleashing a USB to CEC bridge adapter for use in HTPCs. A USB port is used to supply power as well as inject and receive CEC commands on the HDMI link passing through the device. While we have seen similar devices before, Pulse-Eight is bringing with it an attractive sub-$50 price point along with support baked into XBMC and an open-source library called libCEC which is offered to bring the CEC functionality to other software platforms such as Windows Media Center or SageTV.

The USB-based CEC adapter can be pre-ordered now with scheduled shipments starting September 26th.

NOTE: This item is a pre-order we are shipping from the 26th of September 2011


What is CEC?

CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) is the control protocol found in HDMI. If you’ve not heard of CEC,  you may have heard of it in another form, Sony call it Bravialink, LG call it Simplink and Samsung call it Anynet+

These are all the same system essentially and our adaptor allows your HTPC to join that communication channel.


Why don’t I already have it?

Almost all graphics cards do not support CEC in any form, and others only in a limited form. This device allows XBMC and libCEC to access the CEC communications link and send and receive control messages. 


What does it give me that I don’t already have?

The USB – CEC Adapter allows XBMC to turn your TV and other attached equipment on and off (if they support HDMI CEC) adjust the volume or eject the disk from a drive. Start playback etc.

Likewise these same devices can tell XBMC what to do, for example, your TV remote can also control XBMC, or vice versa. With this device you can move that step closer to a clutter free living space while maintaining simple remote control for friends and family who may not be familiar with all of the features of a professional remote control.


  • Sold.  Would be great if they

    Sold.  Would be great if they built in some HDMI Detective logic into it as well 🙂

  • Agree this looks like it

    Agree this looks like it could be very promising and elimate the need for RF in allot of situations or using the IR recievers.

  • Very nice. I’d all but

    Very nice. I’d all but forgotten about the other one.

    < $50? Sold.

  • I finally had enough with

    I finally had enough with HDMI issues and contacted Pulse-Eight regarding this product and function with Win7 Media Center.  Based on their response, I went ahead and purchased this item.

    After 2 weeks shipping, I was finally able to try it.. However, I got only as far as installing their latest libCEC library which fails to run on Win7x64.  I even tried it on a clean format and still getting a .net error.

    Pulse Eight is working on the issue which should be resolved on their next release, but they have failed to let me know when that would take place.

    So so far I have a $50 platic paper weight with no idea when I will be able to use it.

    I hope to report back better news before the end of the year.