Silverlight 2 enables the highest quality video on the web,
and delivers it with the lowest TCO of any media platform.
One of the capabilities built-into Silverlight 2 is its support for "adaptive streaming" - which enables video to be delivered at multiple
bitrates (for example: 400Kbits, 800Kbits, 1.5Mbits, 2Mbits) with Silverlight
dynamically choosing the optimal bitrate to use depending on the network
bandwidth and CPU capability of the client (it can also automatically switch
bitrates seamlessly if conditions change later).
Silverlight's adaptive streaming support is
extensible. Move Networks (who helped pioneer the concept of adaptive
streaming) have already integrated their adaptive streaming solution with
Silverlight. Silverlight 2 and Move were used to stream the Democratic
National Convention live on the web this summer.
Last month we announced that Microsoft will be adding
adaptive streaming support as a free feature of our IIS7 web-server. IIS
Smooth Streaming will provide an integrated way to deliver HD quality adaptive
video over the web. Visit Akamai's www.smoothhd.com site to see some awesome examples of
Silverlight 2 and IIS Smooth Streaming in action (with adaptive streaming up to
The NBC Olympics site used Silverlight 2 to serve more than
3,500 hours of live and on-demand Olympic coverage to over 60 million unique
visitors this summer. Visitors to the site watched an average of 27
minutes of video - which is stunningly high for online video. The site
used the new Silverlight adaptive streaming capability to support 1.5Mbit bitrates - which helped deliver an awesome video experience:
In addition to powering the Olympics
experience in the US, Silverlight was also used in France (by FranceTV), the Netherlands (by NOS), Russia (by Sportbox.ru) and Italy (by RAI). In addition to video
quality, a big reason behind these broadcasters decision to use Silverlight was
the TCO and streaming cost difference Silverlight provided. In the August
2008 edition of Web Designer Magazine (a Dutch publication) a NOS
representative reported that they were able to serve 100,000 concurrent users
using Silverlight and 40 Windows Media Servers, whereas it would have required
270 servers if they had used Flash Media Servers.
Over the last month we've seen several major
new deployments of Silverlight for media scenarios. For example: CBS
College Sports is now using Silverlight to stream NCAA events from its 170
partner colleges and university. Blockbuster is replacing Flash with
Silverlight for its MovieLink application. And Netflix two weeks ago rolled out
its new Instant Watch service using Silverlight.