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Amazon is trying to prove that AirPlay and Chromecast don’t matter

Amazon Echo Show 15 showing Fire TV experience, with an Amazon Fire TV voice remote in the foreground.
Amazon’s Echo Show 15 is now Matter Casting compatible. Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Casting content from your phone to a smart TV, streaming device, or other connected gadgets is super convenient — when it works. Because of incompatible and proprietary casting technologies, plus a wide variety of apps, devices, and platforms, getting to work in the first place can be a royal pain. But that might be about to change.

At CES 2024, Amazon announced that it’s the first hardware manufacturer to support an open-source casting technology called Matter Casting.  It’s a feature built into the larger, open-source Matter smart home protocol.

Amazon’s Echo Show 15 is the first of its devices to become Matter Casting enabled, but the plan is to add it to compatible Fire TV devices in the coming months, including the recently announced smart TVs from Panasonic with Fire TV built in. If you own an Echo Show 15, you can Matter Cast to it right now from the Amazon Prime Video app on iOS or Android.

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In addition to Amazon’s full-throated support, the Matter smart home protocol has the backing of Google and Apple as well. That’s a little ironic since Matter Casting effectively creates an open, non-proprietary alternative to both Apple AirPlay and Google Chromecast, the two dominant casting technologies.

Unsurprisingly, and despite some pretty enthusiastic support for Matter as a whole, neither Apple nor Google has made any moves to adopt Matter Casting in their devices or services (at the moment, they have little incentive to do so.) But Amazon isn’t in this alone: it says that additional apps like Plex, Pluto TV, Sling TV, and Starz will be adding Matter Casting support later this year.

If you’re a Fire TV owner, you may already be familiar with some of the hassles of casting to that device. If you have a smart TV with Fire TV built-in, like the Fire TV Omni, it supports AirPlay — great if you also own an iPhone. But Fire TV streaming devices like the Fire TV Stick 4K don’t support AirPlay. Currently, no Fire TV devices work with Chromecast. This leaves a mishmash of apps that may or may not let you cast directly from your phone or tablet to your Fire TV device.

The wider adoption of Matter Casting will, ideally, solve these problems and not just for Fire TV devices. Any app developer can add Matter Casting support for free. The same goes for device manufacturers.

So, if you don’t have AirPlay or your device doesn’t work with Chromecast? Soon, it might not matter.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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