Google has quieted added a new feature to Chromecast, which will make a lot of people very happy.
One of the main complaints with the Chromecast is the lack of an easy way to control media playback. Everytime you have to pause the media playback or play the next or previous media, you have to get your smartphone, open the app you are running on Chromecast and then do the above stuff. With the latest Chromecast feature, Google is trying to help you with some of it by allowing you to control Chromecast with your TV’s remote control.
Yes, you can now pause/ play the media on Chromecast with the buttons on your TV remote control. At the time of writing this post, the feature was tested to be working with select applications like WatchESPN, HBO Go, Chrome HRML5 videos, YouTube, Allcast, BBC iPlayer, Google Play Music, and TuneIn Radio, but we expect the compatibility to expand in the coming weeks. It is important to note here that for all this to work, your HDTV needs to support HDMI-CEC aka HDMI Consumer Electronics Control. Essentially HDMI-CEC-enabled devices (like Chromecast and your TV), when connected by an HDMI cable (or directly to HDMI port), can be controlled through one remote without any programming or set-up. HDMI-CEC also sends back an acknowledgement signal that it received a command to the original controller (your phone in the case of Chromecast), so that everything is in sync.
HDMI-CEC has become quite common these days and most TV brands support it, but they don’t always market it as HDMI-CEC, like on Sony devices, it is known as BRAVIA Sync, on Panasonic as HDAVI Control, EZ-Sync, or VIERA Link and so on.
Chromecast has supported HDMI-CEC from day one, but the feature-set was limited to turning on your TV and switch inputs whenever you start to cast media.
Chromecast’s 27946 firmware update added support for Pause and Play via HDMI-CEC, but you still can not switch to next or previous media in the Chromecast queue using your TV remote.