Amazon drops Matter Casting capabilities, Panasonic and Fire TV OS partnership at CES

Amazon made moves at the start of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas with two fresh developments: A partnership with Panasonic to use the Fire TV operating system in new smart TVs starting in 2024 and long-awaited Matter Casting capabilities between mobile apps and nearby Fire TV or Echo Show 15 devices.

On the Panasonic side, the smart TV maker kicked off the collaboration with two new flagship models that have Fire TV OS built-in. The Z95A, measuring 65 inches and 55 inches, and the Z93A model, 77 inches, will both debut with Fire TV integrations this year. Both models also come with their own upgrades, like Dolby Vision IQ Precision Detail, which tweaks the lighting of shows and movies to enhance imagery without simply cranking the brightness up or down and washing the screen out. The models are also the first OLED TVs on the market to provide a 144Hz refresh rate, a perk especially impactful for gamers who need to deliver on quick reaction times.

The Fire TV integration brings three key features to the new Panasonic models.  

Panasonic customers who purchase these models can now enjoy an automatically personalized and centralized home screen that incorporates their preferred streaming platforms, live TV channels, apps, and recommendations. The goal is for Fire TV OS content discovery capabilities to guide users to the content they will enjoy instead of viewers needing to hunt down what to watch next out of a wide assortment of apps.

Another new feature Fire TV brings to Panasonic smart TVs is that when no one is streaming content but the TV remains on, the Fire TV Ambient Experience kicks in. Consumers can set their TV to show artistic, calming imagery, or personalize the display with family photos, or household calendars and reminders through Alexa widgets. Personalization in this vein can go a step further by allowing consumers to link their smart home devices, like cameras, to the TV in order to manage apps from a centralized portal.

A third perk of the Fire TV integration is that consumers can launch preferred apps, search for shows, control and monitor smart home devices and more through voice via Alexa. Instead of family members fighting over the remote, they can instead battle over who calls to Alexa first to launch an app of choice.

“We’re incredibly excited to announce with Panasonic that their new smart TVs will include Fire TV starting in 2024,” said Daniel Rausch, vice president for Alexa and Fire TV, in a statement.  “This means customers around the world will get to experience all the benefits of Fire TV’s personalized streaming experience and access to Alexa, combined with Panasonic’s best-in-class smart TVs.”

Matter Casting

On the Matter Casting side, consumers can now cast content from supported streaming apps on iOS or Android devices to Fire TV and Echo Show 15 smart displays, starting with Prime Video.

Matter Casting is currently available to consumers who want to cast Prime Video to Echo Show 15 devices. Roll outs for Matter Casting support on compatible Fire TV and smart TVs from the Panasonic partnership s are poised for the coming months. Matter Casting is slated to go beyond Prime Video later this year with support planned for Pluto TV, Sling TV, Plex, and Starz.

“We are excited to work with Amazon to bring Matter Casting to the STARZ app. Matter has been easy to integrate and will provide even more options for customers to enjoy our extensive collection of original series and popular films on their device of choice,” said Alison Hoffman, Starz president of Domestic Networks, in a statement.