What is Matter Casting?

The Matter standard not only unites devices from different brands in one smart home. It also has the potential to become a universal solution for media streaming. The commands are already included in the specifications. There are software clusters for playback control (play/pause), channel and input selection, choosing target devices, audio tracks, subtitles and so on. Manufacturers can thus implement functions that are reminiscent of Apple AirPlay or Google Chromecast. Only based on an open, manufacturer-independent protocol that does not require any special hardware. Software such as an app simply needs to be installed on the devices in order to send and receive data in the correct format.

Matter Casting is available on some Amazon players such as the 3rd generation Fire TV Cube. Image: Amazon

Amazon uses Matter Casting in its devices

So far, only Amazon has made use of these options in the standard. The US company also coined a name for it: Matter Casting. Amazon uses the technology in its Prime Video app, for example. The Echo Show 15 was the first client to support Matter Casting in spring 2024. It was followed by Fire TV devices such as the Fire TV Stick and the 3rd generation Fire TV Cube. The Panasonic TVs with FireOS operating system announced at CES 2024 are likely to be among the next candidates.

As Amazon is rolling out the necessary update in stages, it is possible that the function is not yet available on all potential end devices. In any case, FireOS version 7 or higher must be installed on the media player. The previous version FireOS 6 is not supported.

How Matter Casting works on Amazon

The function can be accessed via the familiar casting icon in the Prime Video app, which was also used to stream to Chromecast devices in the past. The Google technology is still supported, but in addition to Chromecast players, Matter Casting players now also appear in the selection. After tapping the target device, the app establishes a connection. The smartphone becomes an on-screen remote control that can be used to select content in the Prime Video app and start it on the media player. During playback, controls are available for navigation and the Amazon app provides information on the cast and individual actors.

Matter Casting turns the Prime Video app into a remote control for compatible players. Image: matter-smarthome

Because the target device receives its stream directly from the internet, the app can be closed or ended after playback has started without interrupting the video. When the app is reopened, the smartphone screen updates automatically. For Fire TVs with their own remote control, it is also possible to switch between the app and this physical remote at any time.

Who else is taking part in Matter Casting?

According to Amazon, smaller streaming providers such as Pluto TV, Sling TV, Starz and Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) want to integrate the technology into their apps. Industry giants such as Disney+ or Netflix have not yet made any statements in this regard. Further TV sets or media players that support Matter Casting have also yet to be announced. However, these would be necessary to position Matter Casting on the market as an alternative to well-established solutions such as Apple AirPlay and Google Chromecast.

Plenty of potential for the future

However, as part of the manufacturer-independent smart home standard – and thanks to its software architecture – Matter Casting offers an advantage: the player screens can display more than just videos. With Matter 1.3, the range of functions has been expanded to include push notifications. This makes it possible for Matter devices to send messages that appear on the TV, for example. A washing machine with Matter integration could notify you when its program has finished. Smoke detectors would be able to display a warning on the screen, which is not only helpful for the elderly and the hearing impaired, who may miss the audible alarm.

Push notifications on Clients with Matter Casting could look something like this in the future. Image: matter-smarthome

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