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What is Anynet

By B. Turner
Updated May 16, 2024
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Anynet is Samsung's innovative audio-visual control system. According to Samsung, Anynet allows seamless operation of multiple connected devices through a single remote control, streamlining user interaction. 

A report by Statista highlights that Smart TVs are becoming a staple, with over 80% of house holds possessing one, and over 47% having more than three devices connected to their TV. By accessing a central menu on a compatible Samsung TV, users can effortlessly manage all Anynet-enabled devices, demonstrating Samsung's commitment to convenience and advanced technology in home entertainment solutions.

How It Works

Anynet® relies on a menu built into most models of Samsung® televisions. Using a proprietary universal remote control, the user accesses the menu through the television and chooses the device he wishes to control. From here, he can adjust the audio-visual control functions, like power, volume control and playback, of each device. Types of hardware that can be controlled by this system include audio-video receivers, DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) players and Blu-ray™ players, as well as VCRs (Video Cassette Recorders), music players and some types of cameras.

Anynet vs. Anynet+

Newer models of this system, called Anynet+™, are generally of better quality and have more features than older models. In addition, the updated connecting cables transport higher-quality audio and video than the old ones. The original Anynet®, made in 2005 and 2006, was designed to work with only a television and two connected devices, and it used audio-visual, optical and communication cables to connect the two peripheral devices. The newer, more advanced system works with up to 12 different devices, and it uses HDMI-CEC (High-Definition Multimedia Interface-Consumer Electronics Control) cables to connect the devices to the TV. Anynet+™ devices do not connect to devices equipped with the original, non-HDMI-based system.

Advantages

The difference between a universal remote and this network system lies in its automatic functions. The advantage to this system is that the user has to press far fewer buttons in order to switch from one device to another. It also ensures that he will not have to keep, maintain battery power, and hunt for multiple remote controls in order to fully operate his home entertainment hardware.

While switching to a DVD player on a non-networked system requires that the user also manually switch the video and volume input, Anynet® performs these functions automatically. Once a device is powered on, the menu automatically selects it for use. Turning the power off through this system turns off all devices at once. The system also detects newly connected devices automatically, making installation and setup simple.

Disadvantages

One thing to remember when using this system is that it only works with Anynet®-equipped Samsung® products. Not all Samsung® products come with this technology. Though other electronics manufacturers also offer similar HDMI-CEC-based home entertainment networking functions, they generally do not work interchangeably. Some incompatible HDMI-CEC-based devices can disrupt Anynet+™ devices unless the function is disabled.

Though installing individual devices to this system can be simple, users with certain types of hardware may experience some problems. This device uses only wired connections to communicate with the external devices, so all connected devices need to be within a cable's reach. Connecting and installing an audio-video receiver to this system is somewhat more involved than just connecting external devices.

FAQ on Anynet®

What is Anynet® and how does it work?

Anynet® is a feature developed by Samsung that allows different digital devices to be controlled through one remote, typically the television's. It utilizes the HDMI-CEC (High-Definition Multimedia Interface - Consumer Electronics Control) protocol, which enables control commands to be sent through the HDMI cable connecting the devices. This means you can use your TV remote to control other HDMI-CEC compatible devices like Blu-ray players, home theater systems, and even some gaming consoles.

Can Anynet® be used with non-Samsung devices?

Yes, Anynet® can be used with non-Samsung devices as long as they are HDMI-CEC enabled. The HDMI-CEC functionality is not exclusive to Samsung and is available in many modern electronic devices across different brands. However, the feature might be named differently by other manufacturers, so it's important to check if your device supports HDMI-CEC and to enable the feature in the settings for it to work with Anynet®.

How do I enable Anynet® on my Samsung TV?

To enable Anynet® on your Samsung TV, you need to access the TV's settings menu. Look for the 'System' or 'External Device Manager' section, where you'll find the Anynet® (HDMI-CEC) option. Turn it on, and make sure that your connected devices are also HDMI-CEC enabled. This will allow you to control those devices with your Samsung TV remote. Consult your TV's user manual for detailed instructions as menu options may vary by model.

What are the benefits of using Anynet®?

Using Anynet® simplifies the management of your home entertainment system by reducing the number of remotes needed to control your devices. It enhances the user experience by offering seamless integration and control of compatible devices through a single remote. Additionally, Anynet® can automatically turn on and switch inputs on your Samsung TV when you start a connected device, making it more convenient to access your content.

Are there any limitations to Anynet®?

While Anynet® offers convenience, there are some limitations. Compatibility issues may arise with devices from different manufacturers, even if they support HDMI-CEC. The range of control functions may be limited compared to using the device's dedicated remote. Additionally, some users may experience occasional glitches or the need to re-enable the feature after firmware updates. It's important to keep your devices updated and check compatibility for the smoothest experience.

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Discussion Comments

By anon977817 — On Nov 13, 2014

I just discovered this while switching between sources on my Samsung TV after having just connected my Raspberry Pi model B+ running Raspbmc (all of which are awesome, by the way -- full HD video over WiFi, smooth as silk) and boy was I surprised! Now, I can easily get around in XBMC just using my TV remote (although typing text is a bit of a pain). This rPi just keeps on giving!

By FelimDoyle — On Mar 21, 2014

Samsung's Anynet+ is simply a trade name for the Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) feature of HDMI and should be compatible with a wide variety of equipment from numerous manufacturers.

By anon304089 — On Nov 18, 2012

The anynet+ through my Samsung surround sound system has stopped working overnight. Now I can't change volume on my Samsung TV remote and when trying to restore it it tells it is disabled. Is there any way to re-enable it.

By anon295414 — On Oct 06, 2012

With Anynet I can control my attached PS3 with the TV Remote. It doesn't only work with Samsung devices.

By anon294274 — On Oct 01, 2012

I have Anynet on my TV. Now I just bought the PS3 and I've just noticed that, with Anynet+, I can access my movies from the computer running from the PS3 which is connected through HDMI on the Samsung TV. I love accessing the movies from my computer, using the PS3. I love Samsung's direction.

By anon201470 — On Jul 30, 2011

I just found this on my TV and DVD by accident. It's really not that great and anyone with some serious setup would buy a multi-function remote, but I love the philosophical comments above!

By fitness234 — On Oct 06, 2010

@FrogFriend is right about proprietary systems sometimes being the best option. Even with the example they give about Apple there is still a very strong proprietary presence in that companies technology offerings.

Like Anynet from Samsung, Apple offers connection types that work only with their devices. The use of an iPod or iPhone cable will only be needed with those Apple products but at the same time, the company allows the use of the dock design in third party hardware. That is why you can purchase a dock music system for your iPod that isn't made by Apple.

It is this mix of proprietary technology and open use of the system that must be made into a good balance for the technology to be successful.

If Samsung were to open up the licensing of Anynet to other manufacturers then they might see an increase in its use and purchase on the consumer market. It might not mean a guaranteed sale of one of Samsung's devices but it means that the presence of Anynet will prevail and Samsung will be the preferred brand since they created the technology.

By FrogFriend — On Oct 06, 2010

@Burlap, I appreciate your understanding of the constraints that a proprietary system can put on a consumer or business that is purchasing technology but the truth is that sometimes an all encompassing system like Anynet is exactly what is needed.

Some consumers don't mind buying into a system like Anynet as it means less headaches down the road as they add to or modify the entertainment technology they use.

I think one thing that consumers should note is that they must do research before making a decision to purchase a proprietary system like Anynet. This analysis of available products will ensure that you have a system that doesn't become defunct in a matter of a year or two.

There are many famous examples of these proprietary use of hardware that has severely limited the growth of both a company and the use of the technology by consumers.

Apple computer was stuck in position like this before they converted to using Intel microprocessors in their systems.

By switching away from the company specific PowerPC chips manufactured by IBM and Motorolla meant that Apple could join the competitive ranks of the PC market that had developed.

This transition to a more universal type of CPU meant that the entire computer market felt a shift in resources. No longer were software companies designing code around the PowerPC chips and were not free to develop applications that worked universally on x86 based systems.

I am not sure if the fate of Anynet will be good or bad but I strongly suggest that you do your due diligence when spending money on pricey electronic equipment.

By Burlap — On Oct 06, 2010

As the author states in the last paragraph of this article, the problem with Anynet is it's proprietary nature of only working with Samsung's devices.

When companies decide to design and invest in a system that will only work with their devices it has a couple of intentions.

The first one is that they will hopefully convince consumers that they should only buy Samsung devices so that it will integrate with the system that they bought into. This will ultimately limit the user's experience as Samsung may have very good products in one type of consumer electronic category and may be behind the market status in others.

This limiting effect will eventually lead to the overspending on products that may not be desired but since an original investment was made, the consumer has no choice but to loose money or keep investing.

While Anynet may have many advantages there are many systems available to consumers that will function with similar benefits and allow for flexibility in the brands purchased.

Today with the use of computer automation and universal types of media connectors the need for a proprietary system like Anynet is less and less relevant.

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