So I've been beginning to play with my Raspberry Pi, and have decided to make my "dumb" TV into a smart TV. I'm looking into setting the PI up to do this, but one feature I would like to use is to turn the TV on using the Raspberry Pi. Unfortunately my TV does not seem to have CEC capabilities.

Is there anyway to cause the Pi to turn on a TV without CEC capabilities? Ideally this would not involve taking apart the TV, but I'd be open to creating some sort of switch between the TV and the power source.

  • 1
  • If you're not into electronics (aka driving the IR LED on a low level with the Pi itself), this is probably the best shot: raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/a/22434/19949
    – Ghanima
    Feb 1, 2016 at 15:48
  • Does the TV have a serial or Ethernet port with the ability for control? Just because it's not a "smart" tv doesn't mean it lacks either of those. However, if it's a consumer TV, it probably is lacking other control ports. Your only option will probably be IR; but you may luck out and find something else. Apr 5, 2016 at 3:23
  • @allanonmage I don't think it has any of those. Cloest thing is the USB port I believe. There is a serial port I need to look into.
    – DonyorM
    Apr 5, 2016 at 3:31
  • Look on the manufacturer's site for a protocol/control document. You'll have to do some programming to make it work, but it's simple stuff. Apr 5, 2016 at 3:33

2 Answers 2


Since your TV does not have CEC capabilities, and you do not wish to take your TV apart, your options are rather limited. Because, often, your "dumb TV" only has USB ports for debugging and for media such as images on a flash drive and commonly will not be capable of turning on the TV. As the microcontroller that controls the USB interface will often power down to reduce power consumption and reduce the amount of ghost power used by the TV when off. Your alternative solutions are listed below.

  1. My personal recommendation, also recommended by @Ghanima, is to use a USB infrared blaster. I have also seen this done by dissassembling a TV remote and soldering the GPIO pins of the Pi to the remote to simulate a button press.
  2. Depending on your TV model, you may be able to turn it on by using a controlled outlet, as some TVs will always turn on automatically when power is applied. This involves temporarily cutting, and then restoring, the mains power to your TV. I do not personally recommend this as it may dramatically reduce the lifespan of your tv - the internal power supply would be facing extended stress because its capacitors would always be drained just before the television is turned on. I have personally seen this done with an infrared remote and a controlled outlet when someone I know had their TV IR receiver fail on them and it was out of warranty. It's been running solid like that for over 2 years now. If this is something that you are considering you may go about this using a controlled outlet such as https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10747? which will reduce your exposure to dangerous voltages and allow your Raspberry Pi to control the flow of power by sending a signal to the "power switch". An added side benefit of this method is that you may save power by preventing your tv from consuming ghost power (electricity that is used on idle searching for an IR signal and keeping the power supply capacitors topped up).
  • I'd just add to this that the Energenie sockets are another means of controlling mains-connected devices safely from a Pi. They are a bit pricey but we recently added support for them to GPIO Zero so they are ludicrously easy to use.
    – Dave Jones
    May 7, 2016 at 21:37

I made a script to turn my TV on.

check it out:


  • The poster mentioned that his to was "dumb" which kind of implies that his tv is not even modern enough to connect to the Internet May 7, 2016 at 21:41

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