I've currently been experimenting a little with the embedded linux OS openelec (kodi). I tried to turn it into a full fledged media center which includes emulators and streaming etc. As you all know this is a very power hungry task.

What I've actually been trying to do is look for a way to power the raspberry (which is now connected to the USB port of my TV, this allows me to power on/off the raspberry with just one press on the TV remote).

The USB port only delivers me upto 500mA of power on 5V.

IN SHORT:I was just wondering if it would be possible for me to turn on/off the raspberry pi whenever i turn on/off my tv, and this with a sepperate power adapter. Basically just using the HDMI signal as a power switch for the raspberry.

I hope someone could illuminate me on this topic

Thx in regards

  • HDMI offers a "Hot Plug Detect" on pin 19, I'm not sure what type of signal this produces but the use of the pin is specifically for what you are asking about. See ni.com/product-documentation/12680/en for some more information. The schematic on the Pi calls it out, but I can't see where or if it is used. It may require a go-between board that acts as a power-switch and HDMI pass-through.
    – Ron Beyer
    Aug 29, 2016 at 21:45
  • The HPD status is available through tvservice, which is really useful if you're trying to turn a pi off at the same time as the display, but it's not helpful for turning it back on again. In order to process the signal the pi needs to be on. There might be something to be done with an arduino to monitor HPD and something like a pisupply power switch to gracefully run the Pi's on/off cycle. It's going to be very difficult to coordinate the power cycle times of the TV and pi, however. It takes an awful lot longer to start/stop a pi than it does a TV.
    – goobering
    Aug 30, 2016 at 7:10

1 Answer 1


There's no way to do this with the Raspberry Pi as it's currently designed. If the device is plugged in, it's on. If you shut the device off through software, you need to physically power cycle the device, or hit the reset pin.

I would recommend that you just not worry about it and let the RPi run continuously. It uses about the same amount of power as a cell phone, which is estimated to run at a cost of about $0.25 per year.

  • 2
    If you pair Kodi with a decent remote app such as Yatse, and just leave the pi running, you get the added benefit of being able to turn the display on at the right channel for the pi via the app.
    – goobering
    Aug 30, 2016 at 7:14

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