Amazon debuts video-streaming feature that rivals Apple AirPlay


The new system – unveiled Tuesday at the CES conference in Las Vegas – will initially just send content from Amazon’s Prime Video app to Echo Show devices. — AP

Amazon.com Inc introduced a new feature that mimics Apple Inc’s AirPlay while working across different platforms, setting the stage for iPhone and Android users to wirelessly stream video to its TV hardware.

The feature, called Matter Casting, is part of a push by Amazon to create interoperable services – an alternative to the propriety technology developed by Apple and Google. It will make it easier for iOS and Android phones to send video to Amazon devices, such as its Fire TV boxes and sticks, as well as the Echo Show 15 smart display.

For years, Apple’s AirPlay and Google’s Cast have offered this capability, letting users enjoy video from their phones on a large TV screen. But those systems don’t always work smoothly across platforms. Amazon also was at a disadvantage because it doesn’t have its own smartphone.

The new system – unveiled Tuesday at the CES conference in Las Vegas – will initially just send content from Amazon’s Prime Video app to Echo Show devices. Matter Casting will begin supporting Fire TV technology within “months”, the company said.

By later this year, the feature will work with a range of other video services, including Plex, Pluto TV, Sling TV, Starz and ZDF, Amazon said.

Apple and Google weren’t part of the Matter Casting announcement, but the three technology giants worked together on supporting the Matter standard for smart home appliances. That system allows an Apple user to, say, tap into smart home hardware designed for Amazon’s ecosystem.

The hope is to do the same for TV technology. Though Amazon previously allowed streaming from its video app to its hardware, it didn’t use the Matter system. With the new approach, Amazon sees the potential to make video-streaming apps and TV devices work seamlessly across the whole Apple, Google and Amazon lineups. – Bloomberg

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