Matter could free your TV from the grips of Chromecast and AirPlay
What you need to know
- The Matter specification includes interoperability with TVs for basic controls.
- Amazon is apparently at the forefront of implementing a universal casting on Matter-enabled TVs.
- This new method will face some hurdles but could rival Apple Airplay and Google's Chromecast.
While the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) continues to build out and complete the Matter specification, work is underway for the new standard to extend its interoperability to arguably the most important smart devices in our homes — the TV. According to The Verge, this could enable a universal casting system to rival the likes of Google's Chromecast and Apple Airplay.
At the forefront of the specification for TVs is Amazon, which doesn't have its own cast system despite its massive presence in the smart home industry.
Speaking to The Verge, Chris DeCenzo, Principal Software Development Engineer at Amazon Lab126, notes how there are several disparate and proprietary protocols, calling it "a complete opportunity loss for everyone."
Just as Matter will bring interoperability between smart home devices and the various ecosystems that control them, the TV specification aims to do the same. This would allow users to control their TVs using any device, regardless of the type of smartphone, remote, or even voice assistant.
Of course, there are hurdles to implementing this. Until TV makers build Matter support into their products, it will be up to app developers to support Matter in their apps for it to work. Additionally, there's no guarantee that big TV makers will add support, with big players like Vizio, Sony, and Roku, who aren't part of the Matter Working Group.
The Verge notes that even Google and Apple, some of the biggest companies in the group, aren't required to use the TV specification. A spokesperson told The Verge that Google Assistant "will support Matter (eg. on/off, play/pause, app launch etc.) at parity with our current Works With Assistant offering," but that Chromecast will remain the preferred method for casting between its products, including the best Android TVs.
The Matter SDK is set to be finalized sometime in the first half of 2022, along with the first device certifications. While many current smart home devices will be updated to support the new standard, the first Matter certified products likely won't hit the market until later in 2022.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.