Microsoft End-to-End Platform Powers Next-Generation Silverlight and IIS Media Experiences Across Multiple Screens
April 08, 2010
Announces plans to deliver Silverlight experiences to the living room via support on Broadcom-and Intel-powered set-top boxes and connected TVs; provides first look at IIS Media Services 4.

REDMOND, Wash. — April 8, 2010 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that at the 2010 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show next week, it will showcase new products and initiatives that make it easier for content owners and broadcasters to reach consumers across multiple screens with the highest quality Microsoft Silverlight media experiences, using a single runtime platform, server infrastructure and free programming frameworks. The company announced it is working with system-on-chip (SOC) partners Intel Corporation and Broadcom Corp. to deliver support for reference designs that will provide the complete Silverlight platform to set-top boxes, connected TVs, Blu-ray Disc players and other consumer devices. Microsoft also unveiled details about Internet Information Services (IIS) Media Services 4 and announced the upcoming release of Silverlight Media Framework 2.0.

At NAB, Microsoft will demonstrate how Silverlight for SOCs will enable consumer electronics manufacturers to deliver native Silverlight support in future products. This means that content owners can deliver high-definition programming to the living room with all the benefits of Silverlight and IIS Smooth Streaming, such as adaptive bitrate streaming over standard Internet connections, DVR-like capabilities, and support for Microsoft PlayReady digital rights management, on Broadcom BCM7420- and Intel CE4100-based devices for the connected home. A single Silverlight platform means that developers and content owners can develop one experience that can be consumed across a multitude of devices.

“Our vision is to bring Silverlight to every screen, and as we continue to expand the capabilities and resources for Silverlight and IIS Media Services, it’s exciting to see the amazing ways our customers use these technologies to deliver outstanding media experiences for their end users,” said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Platform at Microsoft. “We’ve brought together great tools and a great platform to provide content owners and broadcasters a great business opportunity.”

Cost-Effectively Deliver, Monetize and Protect Media

Microsoft also unveiled plans for the next version of IIS Media Services, an integrated HTTP-based media delivery platform built on Microsoft Windows Server that enables customers to cost-effectively deliver, monitor and monetize live and on-demand media content across enterprise, consumer and broadcast scenarios. New features in IIS Media Services 4 include the following:

  • Multiplatform delivery with content protection offers content providers and broadcasters the ability to encode once and deliver protected live and on-demand encoded content across multiple screens, to Silverlight- as well as non-Silverlight-capable devices.

  • Smooth multicast support allows enterprises, telcos and cable companies to efficiently deliver adaptive media streams to multiple recipients over their internal networks with the benefits of IIS Smooth Streaming. The use of multicast technology dramatically reduces the demands on private networks for delivering such content.

  • Integrated encoding support enables third-party encoding products and Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 to be integrated into IIS Media Services 4, which allows customers to benefit from an integrated encoding and delivery platform.

In addition, Microsoft will deliver the IIS Smooth Streaming Client 1.0, which provides advanced playback functionality; and the IIS Smooth Streaming Format Software Development Kit 1.0 and IIS Smooth Streaming Porting Kit 1.0, which enable third parties to add Smooth Streaming support to their products.

In conjunction with Inlet Technologies, Level 3 Communications, THX Ltd. and TVN, Microsoft will also feature one of the first demonstrations of live high-definition content in 3-D using IIS Smooth Streaming and Silverlight at NAB. More information will be available at the Microsoft booth, SL220.

Create Compelling Media Experiences Fast; Full Integration With Analytics Providers

At NAB, Microsoft will also showcase how Silverlight Media Framework 2.0 can simplify and speed the creation of rich media experiences with Silverlight. Based on the Silverlight player used for the 2010 Winter Olympics by NBCOlympics.com, Canada’s CTV and Norway’s NRK, the Silverlight Media Framework will enable content providers to rapidly create compelling media experiences with almost no coding. Released under a Microsoft open source license, the Silverlight Media Framework can be used and extended by third-party developers without royalties or fees.

Microsoft also announced partner support for Silverlight Analytics Framework, a framework for integrating business intelligence analytics into Silverlight applications. A growing list of partners includes AT Internet; comScore Inc.; Conviva; Eqatec Analytics; GlanceGuide Inc.; Google Analytics; Location3 Media Inc.; Nedstat; The Nielsen Company; Omniture, an Adobe company; PreEmptive Solutions LLC; Quantcast Corp.; Telerik; Unica Corp.; and Webtrends Inc.

In addition, online video platform providers Kaltura Inc. and Ooyala Inc. announced plans to include full Silverlight and IIS Media Services support in their products using the Silverlight Media Framework. This will provide their customers with the ability to easily create Silverlight-based experiences to meet the demands of end users.

Silverlight and IIS Media Services Continue Strong Market Momentum

As highlighted at MIX10 last month, Silverlight adoption has continued at a rapid pace and is now approaching 60 percent installation on all Internet devices worldwide. Microsoft has also seen continued industry adoption and commitment to Silverlight and IIS Smooth Streaming from customers in a variety of industries. Media customers that used Silverlight and IIS Media Services to deliver online broadcasts of the 2010 Winter Olympics include CTV, Czech Television, Eurosport, France Télévisions, NBC, NOS, NRK, RAI, SBS and TVP. Other new customers include telcos such as Portugal Telecom and Swisscom; digital marketing partnerships such as Red Bull for its Red Bull Stratos: Mission to the Edge of Space challenge; and customers with new Silverlight applications on mobile devices including OWL.tv/Billboardlive.com, multichannel retailer HSN and Major League Soccer.

“Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium made a significant bet on Silverlight and IIS Smooth Streaming for our broadcast of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and we are thrilled with the results,” said Alon Marcovici, vice president of Digital Media and Research for Canada’s Olympics Broadcast Media Consortium. “We delivered millions of hours of live and on-demand video, with online viewers watching an average of 54 minutes of video daily during the Games. With extraordinarily high-quality video and a superior player experience, our viewers enjoyed an outstanding online experience that kept them more engaged and helped us deliver results for our advertisers.”

Product Information and Availability

Silverlight for SOCs beta is planned to be available for hardware and device manufacturers to evaluate by the end of 2010.

More information about Silverlight 4 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight or at the Microsoft Silverlight virtual pressroom at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/silverlight/default.mspx. Silverlight 4 will be available later this month.

More information on IIS Media Services and related IIS Smooth Streaming technologies can be found at http://iis.net/media. These will be available as a beta by the second quarter of 2010.

More information on Expression Encoder 4 can be found at http://expression.microsoft.com and will be available in the middle of 2010.

More information about the Silverlight Media Framework 2.0 can be found at http://smf.codeplex.com; it will be available by the end of the second quarter of 2010. More information about the Silverlight Analytics Framework can be found at http://msaf.codeplex.com. The Silverlight Analytics Framework will be available when Silverlight 4 is released.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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