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Ever heard of HDMI CEC? Consumer Electronic Control, or CEC, allows multiple enabled devices to be controlled with one remote, via the the HDMI connection. In other words, HDMI CEC enabled devices can pass commands back and forth through their HDMI interface.

Just last week, Dish announced that they have added HDMI CEC to their Hopper DVR. So what's the advantage of HDMI CEC? In the case of the Hopper, powering on the DVR can automatically select the correct input on your display and AVR, if they too are HDMI CEC enabled.

This may not be a big deal to those who use a programmable remote to control their systems, but it could be a "selling point" for the Hopper.

The HDMI CEC update comes via a firmware update, as Dish says the hardware is already in place. Other firmware updated features include:

• On Demand Shelves—Hopper’s On Demand section now displays rows, or shelves, organized with movie and show tiles displayed horizontally across the screen. As part of this new design, DISH includes a “free for kids” shelf that features On Demand content filtered by content ratings appropriate for children.

• Dish Explorer: —To aid in content search and discover, the Dish Explorer app can now control all televisions in a Hopper ecosystem, which includes the smaller “Joey” boxes. To further enhance the program discovery capability within Dish Explorer, the app now includes a new “see also” recommendation feature. This allows users to find similar programming options. Dish Explorer is a second-screen iPad app that finds programming, enables social media and serves as a remote control.

• Search— Hopper’s search function now produces results from all possible sources, including the programming guide, recorded content and VOD. This is also presented in the shelf-based format, making it easier to view and select from the displayed options, according to Dish.

• Programming guide— When users visit HBO, Starz, Encore, Epix and History in the programming guide, an option to select that channel’s on demand page will appear with additional content options.

• Help app—A new “help” app provides customers with information to better maximize Hopper features and settings. The app is accessible from the “menu” or by pressing the blue button on the Dish remote.

Anyone here using the Hopper? Have you noticed this update?