Matter Casting is coming to Fire TVs and the Echo Show 15 — An industry-first by Amazon

Amazon announced today at the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that Matter Casting is coming to both Fire TV devices and the Fire TV-enabled Echo Show 15. Much like Apple’s AirPlay, Google’s Chromecast, and Amazon’s own defunct Fling casting protocols, Matter Casting allows video content from one device, like a mobile phone, to be sent to another device, like a TV or streaming media player. Amazon, as the biggest player without a popular casting protocol of its own, is the largest proponent of Matter Casting, but it might be too little too late.

Matter, as a whole, is an open smart home interoperability standard that is backed by Amazon, Google, Apple, and several other major consumer electronic companies. While most smart home devices today rely on communication with a cloud server, Matter is out to simplify things by working over a local network, like WiFi or Ethernet, and the low-power mesh networking protocol Thread. Matter Casting is just one component of the Matter standard.

Unlike Apple’s AirPlay and Google’s Chromecast, which are generally tied to a device’s operating system, Matter Casting works using app-to-app communication. As such, Amazon has now added Matter Casting to the Prime Video app on both Android and iOS devices and is working with Plex, Pluto TV, Sling TV, STARZ, and ZDF to add Matter Casting support to those apps as well.

On the receiving end, Amazon says you can already use Matter Casting to send content from its Prime Video app to the Echo Show 15. However, it seems like that update is still rolling out as my own Echo Show 15 is not appearing as a casting destination yet. Amazon says Matter casting will also “be coming to compatible Fire TV devices in the coming months” but has not specified which Fire TV models will be compatible.

While I’m hopeful that Matter Casting will gain widespread adoption, it has a long uphill road ahead. Even though Google and Apple are both backing Matter as a whole, there’s no requirement to integrate all Matter components. Given that Google already has Chromecast and Apple already has Airplay, it seems highly unlikely that we’ll see Matter Casting added to either Android or iOS operating systems. That leaves Samsung, LG, and Roku as the remaining major TV operating system stakeholders and all three have already added support for either Chromecast or Airplay or both. LG just this week announced that Chromecast support is coming to its new TVs with no mention of Matter Casting.

It’s certainly too early to call Matter Casting dead in the water, but without more than just Amazon devices as Matter Cast receivers, there’s little incentive for apps to support sending the protocol. Without a large number of apps supporting Matter Casting, there’s little incentive for hardware manufacturers to support receiving the protocol. For now, that seems to leave Amazon as the only major player with an incentive to push Matter Casting, which isn’t great for the protocol’s future.

13 comments
  1. Craig says:

    Freaking finally!!! Dear God?! It’s not that to create a casting spec and force devs to support it with dump trucks of cash in their driveways! And Roku really really needs this badly!!! They both best be implementing this pronto!

    • Kawshik Ahmed says:

      Chromecast/Googlecast protocol is not tied to it’s OS. Chromecast is OS neutral, an iOS dev can add Chromecast Casting in their app and most iOS streaming apps already do. It’s also available to web devs.
      Have see Matter Cast spec sheet to know it’s advantage.

      • Kawshik Ahmed says:

        Accidentally went as a reply. It was supposed to be a full comment.

      • Craig says:

        Chromecast sending on Android phones and tablets is tied to Google Play Services. Yes, the API is available for other operating systems like iOS and I think even Windows and in the Chrome browser…but as far as Android is concerned? It’s Google Play Services. That does Amazon no good with their Fire TV’s and Tablets because they refuse to license Play Services from Google. Because they couldn’t show the ads and use their own UI from the home screen if they did. They would have to ship vanilla Android tablets and vanilla Google TV and they refuse to. So Matter casting is their only answer. Google and Amazon don’t exactly like each other and it’s a miracle they even have YouTube on Fire TVs.

        • Kawshik Ahmed says:

          Completely not accurate. Vizio makes Android based TV’s which are not Android TV/Google TV and Google licensed Chromecast protocol to them without any Play Services binding.

          • Craig says:

            Vizio uses Linux on their TV’s. Not Android. Google owns Android and Amazon has modified Android outside of what Google would prefer. Sure! It’s AOSP and Amazon can freely and legally do it…but that doesn’t mean that Google doesn’t have resentful heartburn about it. Because Amazon is commercially getting ahead on their hard work and making money with ads that Google doesn’t get a cut of.

  2. Patrick Power says:

    Miracast is useless unless from a laptop.
    Mattercast is just going to be another waste.

    Why can’t Amazon pull up those big boy pants and just support the two bigger protocols(Chromecast & airplay)?

    This child mentality is like Apple refusing for years to conform to USBC. Where did that get them?

    • c says:

      Yes. I second this.

    • Adam says:

      Apple refusing for years to conform to USBC. Where did that get them?

      I mean, it got them years of people buying expensive exclusively licensed Lightning cables and accessories.

      At the bank with wheelbarrows full of iPhones user’s money is where it got them.

      • Patrick Power says:

        My point was they fought it because they wanted to be the sole proprietary device with lightening because of the reason you mention. They fought it and refused to switch. But in the end…. They conformed.

    • tech3475 says:

      Apple only switched because the EU forced them to support the common standard (USB-C), left alone they’d probably be glad to stick with Lightning.

      If you really want to use this comparison then really it should be Matter Casting which is supported by everyone since that’s open source from what I’ve read.

  3. Gabriel Leontine says:

    And there goes my dream of having multiple AirPlay 2-enabled Echo and Fire TV devices

  4. No casting? What year is it? says:

    First 2 things that come to mind when i think of what is most annoying about fire tv
    1. Storage. 8gb was a joke in 2014 now it’s just offensive especially since Amazon wants you to install a ton of subscription apps that they profit off of that did not exist years ago
    2. Casting.
    Its 2024. Bezos is about to once again become the richest man in the world. Mainly because Elon is a moron and the grift he was running about being a smart business man is debunk (by BILLIONS AND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS) but also because Amazon continues to be a phenomenon.
    They had AMPLE resources to create a casting method and ample time.
    Another option would be to license Chromecast from Google but they won’t. Why?
    They don’t have to. There’s no serious competition. Amazon won the streaming box wars. People want a simple to use device at a low price that often gets so low it makes no sense to pass on it. I don’t want that necessarily. But Im the type who will pay hundreds on an htpc. It’s usually overkill but it’ll do everything I want and more

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