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How to use your TV remote with a Google Chromecast (yes, it's possible)

It took Google forever to come out with its own Chromecast remote, so here's how to use your TV remote instead.
July 4, 2021
Chromecast TV remote featured image

Google launched its Chromecast back in 2013, and it’s become one of the best ways to binge Netflix, Disney PlusAmazon Prime Video, and other streaming services. But despite hardware updates and the release of the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra, it took until 2020 for Google to release a Chromecast with Google TV that included a remote.

Although you can’t buy Google’s Chromecast remote for your older devices, it is technically possible to use your standard TV remote to control your Chromecast, and it’s surprisingly easy. Here’s everything you need to know about how to get your Chromecast to work with your TV remote.

Read also: Google Chromecast with Google TV review

How to enable Chromecast remote support with HDMI-CEC

To start using your TV remote to control your Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra, you first need to enable something called HDMI-CEC (or HDMI Consumer Electronics Control). This allows your TV to send signals from your remote back into the Chromecast.

HDMI-CEC is available on most modern TVs, but older models may not support it. To further complicate matters, many manufacturers have their own names for the tech. Here’s a list of some of the most popular brands and their names for HDMI-CEC:

  • AOC: E-link
  • Hitachi: HDMI-CEC
  • Insignia: INlink
  • LG: SimpLink
  • Mitsubishi: NetCommand for HDMI, Realink for HDMI
  • Onkyo: RIHD (Remote Interactive for HDMI)
  • Panasonic: Viera Link, HDAVI Control, EZ-Sync
  • Philips: EasyLink, Fun-Link
  • Pioneer: Kuro Link
  • Samsung: Anynet+
  • Sharp: Aquos Link
  • Sony: Bravia Link, Bravia Sync, Control for HDMI
  • Toshiba: CE-Link, Regza Link
  • Vizio: CEC

To start using your TV remote, all you need to do is find the option to turn on HDMI-CEC in your TV’s settings. It’s generally off by default, but once enabled, your Chromecast will automatically accept specific commands from your TV’s remote.

See also: The best Chromecast apps for Android

What commands can my TV remote handle?

Fire Stick 2020 Edition remote in hand
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Before you run off to binge the latest Netflix Original series, you should know that Chromecast remote support has some serious limitations. It only supports two commands: pause and play.

Chromecasts only support the pause and play buttons on TV remotes.

Although the HDMI-CEC protocol allows for complete deck control (fast-forward, rewind, etc.), the Chromecast only allows the two most common commands. That said, there is a possibility that we’ll get more controls in the future.

If you absolutely must have full Chromecast remote support, consider buying an Android TV box. These devices are also capable of casting popular streaming services, but they come with dedicated remote control. Our favorite is the 2019 Nvidia Shield TV, which comes with a remote and can play games locally or via the cloud with GeForce Now. Another alternative is Xiaomi’s Mi Box S, which is significantly cheaper at just $69 and supports 4K output.

Read also: 2019 Nvidia Shield TV review: The best Android TV box, again

That’s it for our guide on how to control your Chromecast with a TV remote. We’ll keep an eye out for any news on expanded HDMI-CEC support to keep this article updated!