This past month has been whirl wind to say the least! I’m so excited and amazed to see the support of our customers and partners on the blogoshere congratulating us on the advancements we’ve made within Silverlight 3 at MIX last month. We’ve made big leaps in video support by raising the bar for high-def consumer media experiences.

Highlights include: live and on-demand adaptive streaming (with IIS Smooth Streaming) including PVR-like functionality for pausing and seeking live feeds, better format support (including native H.264), a media pipeline that lets you plug in other third-party codecs, and GPU acceleration which improves full-screen “true” HD (1080p) playback. For a recap of all the goodness in media from MIX09, see Alex Zambelli’s blog post and Ben Waggoner’s blog post. Both provide great summaries with pointers to other resources and third-party press releases, including those from Akamai, Inlet HD and others.

At NAB this week in Las Vegas, we continue to make rapid advancements in media. With over 100k attendees expected, NAB is the 2nd largest trade show in the country, and the biggest gathering for media and video professionals in the world.

Today at NAB, Microsoft is announcing the availability of IIS Smooth Streaming. Smooth Streaming is a feature of Internet Information Services (IIS) Media Services, our HTTP–based Web server platform for delivering, monetizing and caching media. You can check out the amazing quality you get today from Smooth Streaming by visiting the IIS MS site. You can get started today with on-demand Smooth Streaming, and expect our final release for Live Smooth Streaming in the very near future.

We also have broad industry adoption for Smooth Streaming, with both top customers and media ecosystem partners. Key early adopter customers for Smooth Streaming include online retailers and broadcasters such as HSN, NBCOlympics.com, RAI, TV2, CTV and others. They will be able to deliver true 1080p experiences – early testing has shown that engagement times far exceed those using other non-adaptive streaming platforms, so the upside for content monetization is very encouraging. Stay tuned for more info here on our findings!

In addition to customer adoption, we have been working hard with the third-party ecosystem, across encoding ISVs, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) and DRM ASPs to ensure seamless work flow for protected and advertising-based content. Here are the partners announcing their support for Smooth Streaming today at NAB:

  • CDNs- Akamai, AT&T, CDNetworks, Internap, Level3, and Limelight
  • Encoding ISVs- Digital Rapids, Envivio, Grab Networks (Anystream), Rhozet, Telestream, Vbrick, ViewCast, Winnov
  • DRM ASPs- BuyDRM, CDNetworks, Entriq, ExtendMedia, Ipercast, iStreamPlanet

See our NAB press release for all the details.

In addition to all the great customer showcases we now have with Silverlight, here are two very cool demos to check out at NAB in our booth:

  1. Live Smooth Streaming Encoding demo featuring Akamai’s AdaptiveEdge for Silverlight together with the Inlet HD encoding platform.
  2. Protected Live Smooth Streaming using Silverlight DRM, Powered by PlayReady. Envivio worked with BuyDRM to make this happen.

Look forward to meeting you at NAB. Booth SL 720!

Steve