A few weeks before the publication of its first SDK, the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) continues to develop its Matter specification and would work on a new connectivity protocol for televisions and video streaming players. Competitor of the proprietary Apple AirPlay and Google Cast distribution systems, the project MatterTV would notably be carried by Amazon who would like to integrate it into their Fire TV system.
Matter TV: a new streaming protocol
according to The Verge, which reveals the information, Amazon would be particularly involved in a Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) working group tasked with working on a new streaming protocol for video players and connected televisions. Competitor of proprietary systems Apple AirPlay and Google Cast, its integration into the Matter specification would free our televisions from the grip of the two giants of Silicon Valley.
Already nicknamed MatterTV by the American media, the new streaming protocol would control all the basic functions of a connected TV such as volume, channels, HDMI ports and other inputs / outputs. "But above all, you can also do the casting" tells The Verge Chris DeCenzo, senior software development engineer at the famous Amazon Lab126 which notes that, like home automation, "It is a domain with at least five proprietary protocols today".
"The result is a complete loss of opportunity for everyone" explains the engineerAmazon which specifies that “Media control is one of the most popular use cases for Alexa ». A point that the e-commerce giant had already made clear earlier this year during the presentation of its first televisions Fire TV Omni and 4-Series U.S..
An opportunity for Fire TV and Alexa
The interest of such a specification is obvious for Amazon which does not have a proprietary streaming protocol and relies, somehow, on the use of Miracast. Introduced in 2012 by the Wi-Fi Alliance, this standard makes it possible to cast content on Fire TV, but unfortunately still does not work on Echo Show connected screens.
Specification Matter TV will support streaming from a Matter client such as a remote control, a connected speaker or an application, to an application present on a connected TV or Matter compatible video player. Chris DeCenzo wishes that in the future "Customers can use voice control consistently and launch their favorite content on all screens".
It will also be possible to broadcast from a url, without an application, thanks to the dynamic adaptive streaming standard DASH or to the HLS DRM protocol developed by Apple and also widely used on Android devices.
Better still, Matter TV will be able to go beyond simple entertainment and be used in a more global way as part of the connected home by allowing the display of notifications from any connected doorbell or the broadcasting of video streams from IP cameras. "It can be streaming anything, smart home notifications, a local video - all it needs is a URL to pull content from.", explains Chris LaPré to The Verge.
Google and Apple have no objection
If for Amazon the interest is obvious, we could still fear that Google and Apple do not follow, depriving users of YouTube or Apple TV. But, according to Chris LaPré who oversees the standard, the two companies have instead "blessed it" and even promised basic control of the functionality of their systems.
Google's Kevin Po has confirmed this by email to The Verge and clarified that “Google Assistant will support Matter (eg, start / stop, play / pause, launch app, etc.) on par with the current Works With Assistant offering. " It remains to be seen whether they will fully embrace it, but Amazon being particularly invested in the subject, the chances of seeing them follow are great.
Concretely, it would then be possible to use Matter TV to broadcast Prime Video from an iPhone to a Google Chromecast, or even to use an Android phone to cast YouTube on Apple TV. As for Fire TV, there is no doubt that after the imminent arrival of Matter on Amazon Echo, the streaming devices from the smiling brand will be the first to benefit from an update.