Amazon Echo Shows are appearing as Casting Receivers for YouTube on mobile phones

Amazon Echo Show devices are appearing as casting receivers in the YouTube app for Android, as pointed out to me by an AFTVnews reader. Sure enough, when tapping the cast icon on my phone, both my 1st-gen and 2nd-gen Echo Shows are listed as cast points, alongside my Fire TV devices. Apart from a bit of a loophole, that has since been closed, YouTube apps and Echo Shows have not had any casting interaction in the past. Unfortunately, even though Echo Shows are listed as valid casting receivers, selecting one does not actually work.

Selecting an Echo Show from the “cast to” list in the YouTube app on an Android phone results in a message telling you that “YouTube is not installed on TV.” Video does not actually cast or begin playing on the Echo Show. Further, the Echo Show only appears on the casting list within the YouTube app and not in other apps, like Netflix, Prime Video, or Android’s screen mirroring options. Echo Shows are also not listed in the casting menu of the YouTube app on iOS devices.

Due to Echo Shows only appearing as casting receivers in only one app (YouTube) and on only one OS (Android), this is, in all likelihood, just a bug. It is extremely unlikely that Amazon and Google have reached an agreement to make the Echo Show a “Chromecast built-in” device. What is likely happening is that the Silk browser on Echo Shows is incorrectly broadcasting itself as a Discovery and Launch (DIAL) receiver for YouTube.

Back before Google and Amazon reached an agreement to bring an official YouTube app to Fire TV devices, Amazon used their Silk Browser as the main way to access YouTube on Fire TV devices. Recently after switching from a standalone app to the Silk Browser for YouTube access on Fire TVs, Silk was updated with casting support. This allowed casting from the YouTube app on a mobile device directly into Youtube.com in the Silk Browser, via the open DIAL protocol.

My guess is that a bug in Silk for the Echo Show has resulted in that same DIAL receiver capability for YouTube to get flipped on, resulting in Echo Shows appearing as casting destinations. Echo Shows do run a variant of Android and we’ve seen in the past that Silk on the Fire TV does share code with Silk on the Echo Show, so it’s quite plausible that Fire TV casting functionality inadvertently made its way into the Echo Show. Time will tell if Amazon is planning to pull the same casting workaround for YouTube on the Echo Show as they did for YouTube on the Fire TV, by using Silk as a DIAL receiver, or if this is all just a mistake.

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One comment
  1. Rik Emmett says:

    I would think that this is generating numerous support calls from customers trying to stream youtube and failing.

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