Microsoft’s Silverlight Player Not Required To Watch Olympics

While news sites have been reporting for weeks about video offering, most have stated that NBC is forcing users to download the Silverlight player in order to see live and on-demand video. This is not the case. While Microsoft is pushing users to download the Silverlight player in order to take advantage of the enhanced video options and control room that gives you access to switch between multiple live streams, those who don’t have the Silverlight player or choose not to use it will still be able to get stand alone video streams if they have the Windows Media player. When the Olympics start, users will be given an option to choose the Windows Media Player if they don’t use Silverlight. Updated: Read this post oh how to use Windows Media instead of Silverlight.

This is good news for users at work who don’t have admin rights to their desktop and can’t upgrade to the latest Silverlight player. With much of the Olympics content taking place during working hours, those inside an enterprise corporation will still be able to get the streams and tune in to the action. While NBC has not yet decided on the bitrates the video will be encoded in, I have confirmed that multi bitrate encoding will take place and should provide viewers with some really good quality.

Many have been asking me today, how Limelight and Akamai could both be streaming the Olympics. They aren’t. Limelight is delivering all of the live and on-demand video and Akamai will be caching and delivering a lot of the static content.