Can Matter Work With Your Smart Television?

Smart homes technology has been surprisingly slow to build integrations with TVs. Aside from support for smart assistants, there is little to shout about. It’s hardly smart, is it? But with increased support for Matter, that might be about to change.

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Smart TVs are just about everywhere these days. While some still prefer a dumb TV, integrating all of the satellite functions into a single device makes sense. The word "smart" implies that smart TVs will work with a typical smart home. However, smart homes technology has been surprisingly slow to build integrations with TVs. Aside from support for smart assistants (Google Assistant or Alexa, for example), there is little to shout about. It’s hardly smart, is it?

But with increased support for Matter, that might be about to change. Matter 1.3 features the first iteration of Matter Casting, and a handful of smart TVs already have Matter support.

What is Matter?

Matter smart home in violet

If you haven’t already come across Matter, it is a new smart home standard from the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA). The CSA was previously known as the Zigbee Alliance, and features many of the same members. These include Google, Apple, Amazon, IKEA, and Samsung SmartThings.

While Matter is essentially an evolution of Zigbee, it has the same aim – improved compatibility and interoperability between smart home devices. It achieves this by supporting Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Thread, and Zigbee, and using a mesh network for smaller devices. Matter is also more secure. For example, your Wi-Fi password is not replicated across all devices on the smart home network. 

At the time of writing (summer 2024), Matter 1.3 has been released and is rolling out. Each iteration brings improvements and an increased selection of hardware. For example, Matter 1.3 introduced better support for robot cleaners, smart EV chargers, and a new feature, Matter Casting.

Can Matter Work with Smart TVs?

Incredibly, Matter already works with some smart TVs, although the level of integration varies. On the one hand, you have Samsung TVs with Samsung SmartThings built in. On the other, there is the arrival of Matter Casting on some of Amazon’s Fire TV devices. 

In the middle, you’ve got LG TVs, which promise some Matter support during 2024. Release of these devices has yet to be confirmed, however.

Matter Casting with Fire TV

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You’ve probably used wireless casting like Google Cast, or mirroring (the technology that displays your mobile screen on a TV). Panasonic’s Fire TV-enabled devices are set to include the newest take on this, Matter Casting. 

As announced by Amazon for CES 2024

"Customers can begin watching a movie or browse for their next favorite show from Prime Video on their phone, and cast it to their compatible Fire TV device or Echo Show 15." 

Matter Casting isn’t just about seamless entertainment. While it supports video and audio casting, the protocol is also intended for use as a pop-up alert system.

Our Matter Casting explainer goes into this in more detail, but it’s basically designed to send alerts from Matter-compatible smart home devices to your TV. Think device connectivity alerts, or even images from a home security camera. Panasonic’s 2024 range of Fire TV displays are model number W80A and above.

Samsung TVs as Matter-Compatible Hubs

Samsung SmartThings has been built into Samsung TVs since 2023. SmartThings is a Matter-compatible smart home platform that lets you connect and control a range of devices. You’re not limited to Samsung devices, either. For example, we connected an IKEA DIRIGERA as a Matter bridge, enabling the control of IKEA devices through SmartThings, via Matter.

Various enhancements could be added to the Matter smart TV. Smart speaker integration is already happening, increasingly accompanied by voice control remotes. Samsung TVs also have a built in microphone, which – privacy concerns aside – is intended to allow voice control.

What are the Challenges of the Matter Smart TV?

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While the potential for Matter compatibility and Matter Casting remain fascinating, the lack of adoption is a concern. Samsung, LG, and Panasonic are the only brands to embrace Matter, and of these, Samsung is ahead of the pack.

If we consider brands such as Sony, Hisense, and Bush, it is clear that Matter isn’t being adopted by all of the big names. There may be technical reasons for this – after all, smart home integration relies on robust TV hardware and operating system.

Support (or lack of) for modern Wi-Fi standards is also an issue slowing take-up of Matter in smart TVs. As of mid 2024, if you want a Matter-compatible smart TV, consider Samsung devices for SmartThings, or Panasonic for Fire TV and Matter Casting.

Will Matter Revolutionize Smart TVs?

Matter has already found a way into the smart TV market, thanks to Samsung SmartThings. But Matter has more to offer than support from a smart home platform. Matter Casting is potentially a game changer when it comes to casting audio and video from one device to another.

Aside from the potential this has for continual entertainment across multiple devices, Matter Casting also supports notifications from devices on a Matter network. While some of the big names are apparently steering clear of Matter, Samsung, LG, and Panasonic are not. But at this stage, Matter in smart TVs appears to be two different things. The sooner Matter Casting finds its way onto Samsung devices, and Matter-compatible smart home integration appears on Panasonic’s Fire TVs, the better.