Silverlight Streaming is a free service that Microsoft offers to the public. With the service users receive 10 GB free space that they can use to host video contents. Unlike the service provided by youtube.com, Silverlight Streaming does not add Microsoft logo or attach any commercial information to your video contents, and your contents can only be made available/visible to the public in your web applications. This service is great for individual users and developers, or even small businesses. Visit http://silverlight.live.com/ to find more information on the service.

There are two ways of using the service:

  • Uploading a video (in wmv format)directly to your Silverlight Streaming account. This option is a good choice if you want to host videos on a third party web server rather than on your own web server.
  • Packaging a video (in wmv format)into a zip file along with some supporting documents and uploading the zip file (aka application)to your account. This option is often selected by users and developers who want to add videos to their web applications using Silverlight web technology.

You can preview an uploaded video or application and use it in your web applications by cutting and pasting generate html and javascript code.

While you have 10 GB space, there is a limit to each application and video as stated below.

While the service is in beta, storage is free up to 10 GB and streaming is free up to 5 TB of aggregated bandwidth per user account per month. Videos should not exceed 10 minutes and have a maximum bit rate of 1.4 Mbps. As we move out of beta, unlimited streaming will also be available for free with advertising, or with payment of a nominal fee for use of the service without advertising.

If you follow the instructions step by step, it is relatively straightforward to use the service. Uploading video is a one-step task, whereas uploading applications involve a few more steps. However, you can use tools such as Expression Encoder to upload an application along with your video in one step.

With video uploading, sometimes you may run into an issue that several users have reported, "The video could not be processed."  This error is most likely related to your video encoding. If you try to encode it with Expression Encoder, you may get the same error. (If you upload an application, you can Expression Encoder and it will not cause issue. I'm pretty sure this issue will be addressed.) If you import the video to Windows Movie Maker and then publish it, chances you'll not see the error. At least this worked for me. I noticed though that the video size changed a little bit, depending the encoding speed you select in Encoder or Windows Movie Maker.