Microsoft officially launches at an event in San Francisco on Friday. But why wait until then to find out the latest and greatest? Ben Waggoner, Microsoft’s principal video strategist for Silverlight, sat down with our Troy Dreier to talk about some of the leading features—including out-of-browser playback—in the new Silverlight 3. Check it out here.
Tag Archives | Silverlight
One of the biggest roadblocks to wider adoption of Microsoft Silverlight is that so many video and interactive ads are created in Flash. Contentinople is reporting that Panache has released technology that lets publishers serve Flash ads in Silverlight video streams. Check out the full post here. Microsoft believes this should make Silverlight more appealing, and they’re right.
The six gold medals won by Dutch competitors (so far) isn’t the only big Olympics-related news coming out of the Netherlands. According to Egon Verharen from Netherlands Public Broadcasting (Nederlandse Publieke Omroep, or NPO), the broadcaster delivered 17 million streams of Olympics video during the first week of the games. Not bad for a country with a population of just over 16.5 million, and terrific when compared to the 30 million claimed by NBC for the same time period in the U.S. (population 301 million — you do the math.)
Also, unlike NBC, NPO is streaming almost everything it is broadcasting on television, from 12 SD satellite feeds and 2 HD satellite feeds, Verharen says. The 12 SD feeds are delivered at 800Kbps Windows Media Video 9 in both Silverlight and the standard Windows Media Player, along with a feed from Netherlands-1, so viewers can choose between 13 streams in the player. On Netherlands-1, Verharen says, “we use the HD feed as much as possible. Only if Dutch sporters are active in a sport that is not available on the HD sat feed do we use the SD feed.” The HD stream is 7.1Mbps VC-1. “The demand for the HD stream is low, but purposely kept that way,” says Verharen. “We see this as an experiment and in no way can it interfere with the regular internet streaming.”
To provide enough capacity for all that streaming, NPO is using private peers and is peering at the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (IX) with Dutch providers to deliver its traffic. That approach is something of a test run for NPO’s plans for the future to use the Dutch Open CDN Project via the Amsterdam IX, which sees about 450Gbps of traffic at peak, according to Stef van der Ziel of Jet Stream; Jet Stream originally initiated the idea for the Dutch Open CDN Project, which is a non-profit consortium of ISPs and broadcasters including NPO, RTL, KPN, Jet Stream, Crossmedia Ventures, and SURFnet. According to van der Ziel, the ISPs involved agree to help offload traffic when it goes over the peak that the Amsterdam IX can handle. For the Olympics, Jet Stream is supporting some of the ISPs and is offering overflow capacity.
NPO’s offloading approach is part of a project Verharen calls the “sports summer” pilot, since it was used for not only the Olympics but also the UEFA Champions League and Tour de France. “The ultimate goal of the Dutch Open CDN Project is to lower costs, increase volume and quality of service, and to let ISPs offer better management of the traffic. In the future, there needs to be discussion about covering the costs that the ISPs make to handle the traffic,” says van der Ziel.
The HD streams are “a pilot within the pilot,” van der Ziel say, since some of them are multicast within the SURFnet network. “If a wi-fi staton or router at any point near an end user isn’t multicast-enabled, it rolls over to SD,” he says. According to him, about 5% of broadband subscribers are capable of viewing HD streams over ADSL or fiber optic.
Other NPO partners, according to Verharen, are Digital Rapids (for the HD encoding), Technicolor (for hosting the HD encoding and encoding the regular satellite feeds), SURFnet (for distributing the HD stream in unicast and multicast within their network), and Crossmedia Ventures (for serving the HD stream and Silverlight app to the general internet).
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