Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Matter standard will include TV control and a casting feature

Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, writing at The Verge, details an interesting component of the upcoming Matter connectivity standard:

Matter TV, as we’ll call it for wont of an official name, will allow control of a television’s core functions — volume up / down, changing the channel, controlling inputs and outputs, and switching between HDMI ports. “But importantly, you can also do casting,” Chris DeCenzo, Principal Software Development Engineer at Amazon Lab126, told The Verge.

Firstly, unifying control of TV functions is a great idea. While HDMI-CEC has been around for several years and gotten increasingly prevalent, it’s yet another standard that has to be supported by TV makers, set-top box makers, game consoles, and so on. Will Matter TV help standardize that further? It’s unclear, but the big name support—Apple, Amazon, Google—behind Matter could certainly help sway things.

But the casting development is an even bigger question. Right now, as DeCenzo points out later in the piece, there are at least five major standards for casting content (of which Apple’s AirPlay and Google’s Chromecast are the biggest). Over the past few years, Apple has opened AirPlay up to more and more partners, making it more and more common on smart TVs and set-top boxes, but there’s still confusion and frustration when one device can’t talk to another. Having one standard could simplify that.

That said, no doubt both Apple and Google see their own systems as competitive advantages and neither will probably be in any hurry to chuck them for a different standard. And Matter doesn’t require that its members embrace all parts of the standard, meaning that Apple and Google will be able to keep on doing what they’re doing.

—Linked by Dan Moren

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