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Hegel - Control amplifier with TV remote control

In order to be able to play back TV sound via amplifiers from the house of Hegel in the simplest way possible, the hi-fi manufacturer now offers a solution that allows central control solely via the remote control of the TV set.

Story Highlights
  • Controlling the volume of a Hegel amplifier via the TV's remote control is now to be made possible by a firmware update.

Many users want to be able to rely on an appealing sound quality not only for music, but also for television. It is therefore obvious to connect an already existing hi-fi system with the television, and thus at least to be able to enjoy special television moments, such as a series marathon or a relaxed film evening with the best sound. The Norwegian hi-fi manufacturer Hegel Music System also wants to make this possible for its customers, and in the simplest way possible.

However, since the stereo integrated amplifiers from Hegel Music System do not have an HDMI port, a work-around is required, which the company has now made available via a firmware update.

No HDMI port, but an S/PDIF interface

Of course, an HDMI port would be the first choice, but, and this is where we have to backtrack a little, HDMI is by no means unproblematic. It is a standard that is subject to constant further development, a circumstance that poses great challenges even to proven specialists in the AV segment. It is all the more difficult for a company that has actually dedicated itself solely to the hi-fi world, so it is quite understandable that manufacturers such as Hegel Music Systems deliberately give HDMI a wide berth in their solutions, after all, they are supposed to always be state-of-the-art for many, many years. With HDMI on board, manufacturers are always lagging behind the rapidly progressing development…

But in order to offer users the possibility of connecting their TVs to the amplifiers from Hegel Music System and using them comfortably, they have come up with something special, relying on the existing S/PDIF interfaces that can be used to connect the TV.

Unlike HDMI, however, S/PDIF does not transmit any control codes, at least not in the complex form that HDMI CEC allows. So we had to “trick” a little.

IR Remote Codes for TV remote controls

With the help of a new firmware, all current stereo integrated amplifiers from Hegel Music Systems can be enabled to react to control codes of current TV sets, so that an interaction between TV set and amplifier is guaranteed if desired.

Pressing the Volume Up button on the TV remote control switches the amplifier on and automatically switches to the digital input to which the TV set is connected.

The volume is automatically set to the level last used when watching television. However, the switch-on volume, as well as the maximum volume, can be set in the menu of the amplifier and thus optimally adapted to one’s own requirements.

Of course, you can now control the volume on the amplifier via the TV remote control while watching TV, and according to the manufacturer, most of the newer Samsung, Sony, LG and Philips remote controls are supported. It should also be mentioned that the Apple TV remote control is also supported, so this set-top box would be a solution for controlling unsupported TVs as well.

Simple set-up

The configuration of this functionality is said to be very simple. One simply has to go to the “Remote” option in the “Device Menu” and select “detect”. To make this possible, press a few buttons on the remote control of the TV set and the connection should be established. The default input for connecting the TV is “Optical 1”. However, you can also change this via the “Advanced Settings”. When all settings have been made, save them and exit the settings menu.

Detailed instructions can of course be found on the support page of Hegel Music System, as well as a few hints on how to use the new functions for various other tasks. The manufacturer also offers a corresponding YouTube video.

New firmware as a basis

What is absolutely necessary, however, is the installation of the latest firmware, which is now available with the firmware p5123.32 for all stereo integrated amplifiers from Hegel Music System.

Getting to the point

Hegel Music System has come up with a very clever way to enable users of the manufacturer’s current stereo integrated amplifiers to easily use them in combination with TV sets, even if they do not have an HDMI interface. Thanks to the latest firmware, the amplifier systems can still be controlled via the TV’s remote control, guaranteeing comfortable use with the best sound.

Pricefree firmware update
ManufacturerHegel Music Systems
Distribution AustriaGP Acoustics GmbH
Distribution GermanyGP Acoustics GmbH
Distribution SwitzerlandSoundrevolution Sàrl
More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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