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Microsoft updates Smooth Streaming

Microsoft updates Smooth Streaming

The Smooth Streaming technology - which was first used in anger in the 2008 Summer Olympics - offers 1080p streaming video via Silverlight.

Microsoft is promising streamable 1080p high-definition video via its updated Smooth Streaming technology in its latest assault on Adobe's Flash.

As reported over on BetaNews, the company is hoping that its Smooth Streaming technology will offer usable 1080p streaming video from servers running its IIS web server and IIS Media Services.

Originally developed to stream footage from the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing, the technology is capable of streaming both 720p and 1080p on-demand content to browsers running Microsoft's Silverlight – the company's answer to the ubiquitous Flash Player from rival Adobe. Smooth Streaming is also capable of making live feeds available via a rate adaptive method to ensure maximum quality.

The latest updates to the technology bring support from a range of commercial organisations: as well as the contract to stream the 2010 Winter Olympics via NBC in both live and on-demand 720p flavours, a range of content providers have signed up to IIS and Silverlight in order to get their videos to the masses.

Smooth Streaming isn't alone in the high-definition market, however: Adobe's Flash Media Server 3.5 has already proven that it can stream 1080p content in tests with CBS Interactive, and YouTube has been offering 720p streaming via Flash since the end of last year. With Flash proving the de facto standard in streaming video, Microsoft is going to have its work cut out in making Silverlight anything but a bit player.

Do you think that Smooth Streaming – and the promise of watchable 1080p content at normal broadband speeds – could be Silverlight's saviour, or should Microsoft concede this battle to Adobe's far more popular Flash? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

12 Comments

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p3n 23rd April 2009, 15:06 Quote
The european courts are going to love the IIS dependancy...
Buzzons 23rd April 2009, 15:23 Quote
Flash requires the Adobe backend server to be installed as well - it's not like it can be run standalone. Afterall it IS a MS application running on an MS base install. oh no.

Also - Say what you will about MS products but they install less bloatware than adobe ones do and silverlight is very nice to code in etc.
p3n 23rd April 2009, 15:59 Quote
I don't know any specifics but IIS only works on windows, is adobe's solution any better? (I wasn't talking about needing the backend, just the OS)
perplekks45 23rd April 2009, 16:42 Quote
Agreed. Adobe sucks balls... big ones, when it comes to bloatware. And YT's videos are far away from being lag free and, of course, high quality.
Everything that makes it better... I'll give it a try. Although I haven't found that any page I frequently visit uses Silverlight instead of Flash.
[USRF]Obiwan 23rd April 2009, 17:33 Quote
I don't know witch software they use but I like the quality of Vimeo.
Redbeaver 23rd April 2009, 20:57 Quote
i'll b worrying more on the broadband speed and monthly cap here in Canada............... :(

$60 for top of the line cable gives u 10Mb, but cap it at 90Gb per month :( i can destroy it in less than a week......
Jordan Wise 23rd April 2009, 23:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbeaver
i'll b worrying more on the broadband speed and monthly cap here in Canada............... :(

$60 for top of the line cable gives u 10Mb, but cap it at 90Gb per month :( i can destroy it in less than a week......

How? How on Earth can a you go through ~12GB of data in a week? I don't see how anyone could go through that, or how they have the time to go through that much content
M4RTIN 23rd April 2009, 23:25 Quote
thats only like 2 questionably legal 1080p films a week tho
Psy-UK 24th April 2009, 01:41 Quote
90GB? Pfff. Try 30GB. Most people in the UK are majorly capped.
Goty 24th April 2009, 04:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbeaver
i'll b worrying more on the broadband speed and monthly cap here in Canada............... :(

$60 for top of the line cable gives u 10Mb, but cap it at 90Gb per month :( i can destroy it in less than a week......

Ouch, you guys must be getting shafted when it comes to prices!
nitrous9200 24th April 2009, 06:13 Quote
It must be Flash, my aspire one netbook struggles to play YouTube HD in the browser, but download the MP4 version and playing it back is smooth as butter. I have found Silverlight to feel much more "natural" than Flash anyway, and I think the performance is better too.
p-dawg86 26th April 2009, 18:22 Quote
Monthly caps? Never heard of such a thing...
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