How-To

Why Does My TV Turn On by Itself (Disable HDMI-CEC!)

When I was home alone one night, my bedroom TV turned on by itself. It completely freaked me out.

I checked to see if I was accidentally pressing on the remote control somehow – but I wasn’t.

So I started doing some research, reading various TV forums and support guides, and here’s what I found.

Your TV turns on by itself because of a feature called HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (HDMI-CEC). Some HDMI devices (like your Blu-ray player, for example) turn your TV on automatically when they turn on. To stop this from happening, you need to disable HDMI-CEC.

After I disabled HDMI-CEC, my TV never turned on by itself again!

Disable HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (HDMI-CEC)

HDMI-CEC stands for “HDMI Consumer Electronics Control“.

This technology was developed to allow your TV to communicate with all of your different HDMI connected devices, and vice versa.

When HDMI-CEC is enabled, permissions are granted to your HDMI connected devices, and to your TV to allow some control over one another.

Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC)

So for example, if you have a Chromecast device connected to your TV, you can enable HDMI-CEC and then turn off your TV using your Chromecast.

This can come in handy, especially if you also have a Google Home speaker. When set up correctly, you can use your voice to shut off your television, instead of needing a remote!

Another example involves using HDMI-CEC to control a connected device with your TV remote, instead of needing the remote that came with the device.

So if you have a Blu-ray player with HDMI-CEC, you can turn it on with your TV remote. And when you do, your TV will automatically recognize the Blu-ray player and it will switch over to the correct source/input.

Occasionally, this feature can configure your TV to turn on automatically when an HDMI connected device is turned on first.

Given that your TV turns on by itself, it’s worth disabling HDMI-CEC to make sure this isn’t what’s happening!

HDMI-CEC branded trade names

The exact steps you need to follow to disable HDMI-CEC will vary depending on the TV you have.

And to make things just a bit more challenging, almost all major TVs have their own branded trade name for the HDMI-CEC feature.

Here’s the list of branded HDMI-CEC names used by the major TV manufacturers:

Remember that once you disable this feature, you will no longer be able to use your TV remote to control your HDMI connected devices.

Turn off “On-timer”

If you disabled HDMI-CEC and your TV is still turning on by itself, it’s time to try disabling timers.

You’re probably quite familiar with the “sleep timer” on your TV. This feature is a life saver for those of us who fall asleep with the TV on every night. Just set a time, and your TV will automatically power off for you.

But that’s just one type of TV timer. A lot of TVs today also have “On-timers”. When set, on timers will automatically turn your TV at a previously specified time.

Some people like waking up to the news I guess.

In any case, you’ll want to check if your TV has an On-timer, and then make sure it is OFF!

Disable Eco-mode

Eco-mode is also referred to as Energy-savings mode, Low-power mode, Economy mode, etc.

eco mode

It’s a feature that occasionally takes control of your TV and tries to limit its power consumption.

Normally, this isn’t a problem. But every once-in-awhile Eco-mode can take on a life of its own.

Since you’re having issues with your TV turning on by itself, I think it’s saver to just disable Eco-mode for now (if it’s currently on).

Tighten power supply cable

This one feels obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve fixed a TV “turning on by itself” by simply making sure the power supply cable was firmly connected to the back of the TV.

So do me a favor, and just double check. It only takes a second.

Tighten power supply cable on tv

I usually disconnect the power supply cable from the TV and then reconnect it, ensuring it is firmly seated.

Update software

The great thing about smart TVs is that they can be improved even after you buy them. That’s because they are built with software, and software can be continuously iterated on.

When your television is running the latest software, you can be sure that you’re experiencing the best possible performance your TV has to offer. You also ensure that the latest glitches, bugs, etc are fixed!

The good news is that most smart TVs today get software updates automatically on their own.

tv software update

But some updates do occasionally get missed. So it’s worth confirming that your TV is on the latest OS. If it’s not, there are ways to force an update, or do the update manually.

Reset your TV

If you’re still having issues, you should go ahead and reset your TV.

There are two main ways to reset a television. The first is by power-cycling it.

To power-cycle your TV, unplug it from the wall for 60 seconds. While it is unplugged, press and hold the power button on your TV for 15 seconds. This helps drain any left over residual power in your TV!

Unplug TV from wall

After the full minute is up, plug your TV back in.

Look, I know this one sound sounds silly, but power-cycling your TV can fix a TON of different issues, so just do it!

The second way to reset your TV is to factory reset it.

A factory reset wipes your entire TV. When complete, your TV will be like the day you bought it. All your settings, data, apps, etc. will be gone and reset.

factory reset your smart tv

You can find the “factory reset” option in the settings menu of your TV.

Replace faulty PSB capacitors

Up until this point, all the fixes have been pretty straightforward and easy to try.

This final fix involves a hardware issue, and will require you to take off the back panelling of your television.

If you’re not comfortable doing that, I would hire a TV tech, or contact your TV manufacturers’ support team. Ok, let’s get into it.

Occasionally capacitors on your TV’s “Power Supply Board” (PSB) go bad, and can cause your TV to turn on by itself.

Replace faulty PSB capacitors

You can think of capacitors as little energy storage centers. Their main function is to smooth out voltage spikes (voltage spikes can be caused by things like lighting strikes).

When they’re working well, capacitors provide the circuits in your TV with steady, predictable electricity. When they’re not working, your TV can start acting sporadically.

You can usually tell if a capacitor is broken or not by looking at it. If the capacitors on your Power Supply Board appear like they are leaking, or they look swollen, then you know they’re bad.

If you find one or two bad capacitors you’ll need to replace them. In some rare cases, you might actually need to replace the entire PSB.

Conclusion

Here’s what to do if your TV turns on by itself:

  • Turn off the HDMI-CEC feature
  • Disable “on-timers”
  • Make sure Eco-mode is turned off
  • Tighten the power supply cable
  • Update your TV’s software
  • Power-cycle and factory reset your TV
  • Replace faulty PSB capacitors

If none of those steps fix your TV you should call your TV manufacturers’ support team and see if you can get a certified technician to take a look.

I’d also check to see if your TV is still covered by warranty!