Obama's Inauguration Streams Live With Silverlight
Friday Microsoft reported that its Silverlight technology will be used to stream Barack Obama's inauguration live on the Presidential Inaugural Committee's Web site.
Tomorrow history will be made as President-elect Barack Obama swears into office, and Microsoft will be right there holding his digital hand, streaming the ceremony live on the Presidential Inaugural Committee's website via its Silverlight cross-browser technology. IStreamPlanet, an online content-delivery company based out of Las Vegas, Nevada, has also stepped in to help Microsoft out in the streaming process.
“We welcome the opportunity to work with Microsoft again to demonstrate our expertise and ability to meet the challenges involved in such a watershed event in the history of webcasting,” said Mio Babic, CEO of iStreamPlanet.
Initially released back in April 2007, the Silverlight software is Microsoft's rival to Adobe's flash, posing as a plug-in that brings rich animation, vector graphics, and audio-video playback to desktop browsers. The current version, v2.0, builds upon the original version by incorporating support for .NET languages and development tools as well as additional interactivity features.
“Microsoft Silverlight was built to enable people to consume online content in unique and engaging ways,” said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Division at Microsoft. “This will be a truly historic event, and we are honored to enable online viewers to participate and create really meaningful experiences.”
This is not the first use of Silverlight technology in government-themed events. In August, the Democratic National Convention Committee used the then-beta software to stream convention events as well as Obama's acceptance speech. Additionally, NBC signed on to use Siverlight to stream live and on-demand coverage of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Microsoft's Silverlight software was also once used to power the Major League Baseball Advanced Media's MLB.com site, however the organization dumped the software for Adobe's much-loved Flash.
Microsoft said that the next version of Silverlight (v3.0) will support H.264 video and AAC audio decoding.