Max Bloom has written a good article about NBC Universal''s upcoming Olympics broadcasts in Silverlight.
Read the article yourself, but here's a few choice quotes from it:
- "NBCU plans to offer 3,600 hours of live programming from Beijing. That’s 212 live hours for each of the 17 days of the Olympics... In addition to the sheer volume of live content to be delivered—three times what was offered in 2004— what’s notable is that most of NBCU’s live programming—2,200 hours—will be delivered online at NBCOlympics.com."
- "The 2008 Summer Games in Beijing will mark the arrival of streaming as a viable alternative to the Olympics’ television broadcast. This summer, NBCOlympics.com will offer 4,400 hours of on-demand streaming in addition to its 2,200 hours of live programming, making the Beijing Olympics the most ambitious streaming media project in history."
- "To help meet that challenge, the NBCOlympics.com player offers a “metadata overlay” feature, which allows the player to display transparent data and navigation tools over the video window. This enables users to access statistics and other data without covering up, pausing, or leaving the primary video display. For example, play-by-play announcers’ dialogue can be keyed into an XML data stream, then rendered as a timecoded, scrolling text caption that transparently overlays the bottom of the video display. The player also enables the TiVo-like experience of pausing, rewinding, and replaying content, and these two features together allow viewers to use either the timecode or the play-by-play captioning to rewind to a specific point in the on-screen action and replay it."
- "A slew of DRC-Stream software and encoder boards from Canada-based Digital Rapids are being deployed in Beijing to populate NBCOlympics.com’s encoding farm, but other than committing to VC-1, NBCOlympics.com has yet to confirm encoding bitrates, frame rates, or frame sizes. (Without offering more specifics, Miller says NBCOlympics.com will be streaming through a managed bitrate solution to optimize the user’s connection, with a target maximum bitrate of 650KB/sec.) Digital Rapids is also supplying software to enable transcoding from other digital media formats into VC-1.Miller promises hundreds of hours of online HD video..."
Note that there's already a bunch of content up at NBCOlympics.com if you want to get an early taste of what's in store on 8/8/08.