RedoXyde's CEC2Usb Brings Consumer Electronics Control, Interactive Bias Lighting to Any HTPC Build

Built around an ATmega32U2, the design turns HDMI-based CEC control into keyboard inputs suitable for any device.

Gareth Halfacree
2 months ago β€’ Displays
The compact CEC2Usb turns HDMI CEC signals into USB keyboard inputs. (πŸ“·: RedoXyde)

Pseudonymous engineer RedoXyde has launched the CEC2Usb adapter, a compact device designed to bring Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) support to any device that can accept a USB keyboard β€” and which even acts as a controller for interactive bias lighting.

"I recently moved from a Raspberry Pi to a full HTPC and lost the CEC feature I really liked," RedoXyde explains of the project. "I needed a replacement. There are few other available products on the market but I thought they were too expensive and/or too complex for my needs so I designed my own for cheap (apart from the PCB and HDMI headers, I had all the parts laying around).

"Instead of requiring a host software (like cec-client) it acts as a standard keyboard," RedoXyde continues. "[And it] provides Hyperion-compatible interface for Ambilight[-style] setups," the latter giving the board the ability to control RGB LED lighting strips to mimic Philips' Ambilight bias lighting functionality β€” a system whereby addressable LEDs can be used to make the image appear to be extending beyond the confines of the display.

The Microchip ATmega32U2-AU-based board's design includes the ability to run from USB or HDMI power, a ICSP header, broken-out SPI port which can be used to control WS2811 LED strips or for any other task, and TWI/I2C wired to the HDMI bus β€” the latter feature part of an in-development firmware upgrade which will allow the controller to read the physical address of the connected home theater PC, rather than relying on a hard-coded value.

More information on the CEC2Usb, including a schematic, can be found on RedoXyde's project page, or the board can be purchased as a kit for $7 or fully-assembled unit for $22 on Tindie.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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