Amazon is pushing a new Universal Casting Standard to work across Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and more

Matter is a new connectivity standard, with support from Amazon, Apple, Google, and others, to make smart home interoperability possible across devices from different manufacturers. One aspect of Matter is a TV and streaming standard that has the potential to replace proprietary casting protocols, like Apple’s AirPlay and Google’s Cast, so that any streaming device can receive playback instructions from any other device, regardless of who makes it. Amazon, without a popular casting standard of its own, has the most to gain from the widespread adoption of Matter’s TV capabilities and is leading the effort behind the new standard.

Chris DeCenzo, Principal Software Development Engineer at Amazon, told The Verge that Amazon is working with streaming industry leaders, including both device manufacturers and content providers, to help them adopt Matter. In an ideal world, an Apple iPhone should be able to cast content playback to an Amazon Fire TV and that content should be controllable by voice through a Google Assistant smart speaker, or any combination of devices from those tech manufacturers. Matter’s specification of one protocol for all device communication can make that a reality.

Amazon is expected to integrate Matter into its Fire TVs and Echo smart speakers next year when the standard is set to officially launch. TV manufacturers like LG, Samsung, TCL, and Panasonic are expected to do the same for their smart TVs, as they are all part of the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) that is creating Matter, along with Amazon, Apple, and Google. That should provide widespread coverage for Matter receiving devices, but that leaves Matter senders, like streaming app makers, to also get behind the new standard. Amazon’s Prime Video and Google’s YouTube are expected to be ready with support for Matter at launch, but support from other streaming services is foggy.

While Google and Apple are on board with Matter and have approved the TV aspects of Matter, neither of them, nor any other company, is obligated to adopt all Matter protocols as a whole. This means Apple and Google can play nice with the smart speaker and smart home aspects of Matter, while completely ignoring the TV and streaming aspects. Considering both Google and Apple have put so much effort into keeping and controlling their own proprietary casting protocols, Google Cast and Apple AirPlay, it’s unlikely they’ll adopt Matter casting out of the gate, like Amazon is expected to. We can only hope that Matter lives up to its hype and that support for it grows to the point that Google and Apple will be left on the sidelines if they don’t play along.

14 comments
  1. Jim Carter says:

    Excellent idea! The standard is what’s most important, but I cannot fail to say the name choice is strange.

  2. Craig says:

    Meh… They just…need to team up with Roku and use their marketshare and clout to force developers to implement the Matter cast API’s. I could see Google and even Microsoft eventually supporting it on XBOX, but not Apple. At least this would give Amazon (and hopefully Roku/Microsoft) their own industry standard casting protocol, which they BOTH desperately need…but alas? It still does no good until Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, Peacock, Paramount+, Pandora, Tidal and Spotify are forced to support it via the app/channel store review process. No Matter cast API’s found in the codebase? Then no entrance into the store or app updates. Roku and Amazon unifying on this and standing strong with their combined marketshare is the only way it’s gonna happen. Fingers crossed, but shant hold bated breath either. Appreciate it, Elias. Thank you.

  3. Nicholas Cannon says:

    So this will allow anyone on the same wifi network to cast? That’s my biggest issue as we have multiple Amazon accounts in the house.

    • Craig says:

      In theory… and yeah, Alexa-cast was a disaster by binding it to the same Amazon account… (and only Amazon themselves ever supported the API’s for it in the Amazon Music app)…especially when households have spouses and kids on different accounts with their Fire Tablets and phones that may also wanna cast to Echo’s and Fire TV’s too. Not sure what the logic ever was there???

    • Matter is supposed to be 100% local, between the sending device and the receiving device, so, theoretically, accounts shouldn’t come into play because the casting protocal never goes to the cloud or a server.

      • TechyChris says:

        Is Matter “backwards compatible” (Presumably via software updates) with existing devices or are we talking about only new devices having it built in? And if it will work with older/existing devices, what benchmarks would they need for it to function efficiently?

        • I don’t see why it can’t be added to older devices, but who knows if that will happen or not. As for benchmarks, it wouldn’t be any different than any other media playback, like checking for dropped frames and making sure video starts up quickly without any lag or long buffer.

          • Craig says:

            I wish you had an inside contact at Amazon who had a bit of info that could be shared regarding the plans for all this, Elias? Sorry…just? Chomping at the bit for a decent Fire TV focused casting protocol that isn’t Mira-cast, DIAL, AirPlay, Alexa Cast and Google Cast, as you can tell. This entire situation has been neglected and half-baked for far too long…something’s gotta give, here? But short of Amazon throwing briefcases filled with cash at devs to support the Matter casting API’s? I just can’t help but feel like it’s gonna be an uphill battle to make this work. Ya know? Any news on Homekit/AirPlay 2 coming to Cubes and Sticks?

    • metz2000 says:

      How do accounts matter with casting? Casting is about playing content on an external screen instead of built in screen, all account management is on the device that initiates the cast. Think of it like wireless hdmi, although is usually not screen sharing, just playing the selected content like a YouTube video or a Netflix movie.

      • Craig says:

        Other casting protocols search your local network looking for devices to send content to without restrictions. Alexa Cast (meant for music only) was different in that it was bound to Amazon accounts from the Amazon Music app to your Echo. It doesn’t work using your local network the way you’re thinking. It was developed in such a way that your Amazon Music app account had to be registered on the same account as your Echo…it worked over the internet from afar, but that was pretty much a pointless feature. So if you had multiple users with different Amazon Music accounts on a home network using the Amazon Music app? Only the primary Amazon account that the Echo was logged into, matching the Amazon music app? Would be seen as a casting device in the Amazon Music app…and to everyone else? The Echo simply wouldn’t exist as a casting option. It was a joke and I’m not sure what the logic was???

  4. Darren Newman says:

    I thought it was a shame Fling never got better support.

    • Craig says:

      I don’t think Amazon ever really tried with Fling. They just whipped up a half-baked casting protocol in the back room and tossed it out there…and then forgot about its existence the very next day, as far as public and developer perception was concerned. They never even implemented it into Amazon Prime Video (sticking with DIAL) or Amazon Music (going with Alexa-cast) so that pretty much sums up their corporate confidence in it. Zip!

  5. Keith says:

    Long overdue.
    I remember a few years back someone made an app and posted it on xda.
    It didn’t last long. Think Google made them pull it.

  6. John Smith says:

    “In an ideal world, an Apple iPhone should be able to cast content playback to an Amazon Fire TV and that content should be controllable by voice through a Google Assistant smart speaker,”

    LOL yeah good luck with that , Garbage Assistant doesn’t even work on Google’s own devices and ecosystem AT ALL, and it is even more broken with newer devices , since I updated my 2nd gen chromecast to the new chromecast with google TV I have lost all ability to control it with my google home mini speaker , yes I have linked the devices in the google home app and half the commands work and with the other half it tries to control a different TV, it’s an absolute dumpster fire ,it worked better with my old
    2nd gen CC ,
    and as for casting on fire TV it has NEVER worked on ANY of my 6 fire TV sticks and 4k sticks, it is broken on all 6 of them does not work on any fire TV OS version I have ever tried including the latest one , and not with ANY of my android devices either pixel and nexus devices fire tablets running fire OS or Android ROMS ,motorolla phones , screen mirror and casting is not detected EVER on ANY Android device, it is a ghost feature it says it has it but it does not work and never has and likely never will
    there is no way to mirror or cast any device o any fire TV device either Apple Android or windows , nothing works and it never will either

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