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How does 2000+ machines sound?  Transforming a Saturday Night Live recording area into a live commentator section full of workstations and bloggers?  Scoble had a chance to sit down with Eric Schmidt from Microsoft to talk about some of the behind-the-scenes information about the NBCOlympics.com Silverlight experience.  Despite the video quality not being great, the information is very good.  I recently saw a few other partners involved in the NBCOlympics.com project talk about things and kept feeling like they were really missing a great opportunity to talk about one of the key aspects in the implementation.  Eric covers the basics as well as that key aspect…it’s a good video.  Take the 35 minutes to watch it.

I’ve seen a lot of comments on the interwebs both positive and negative about the NBCOlympics.com experience and decisions to choose Silverlight.  I’d like to applaud the NBC team myself as I think this is no small feat regardless of whatever technology was to be decided.  Thousands of hours of live and on-demand Olympic coverage streamed live and encoded for later on-demand instantly, then pushed to the US across the Pacific…add to that all the normal television and data being sent as well.  It’s a technological feat that all partners involved were brave to try.  And for Olympic fans in the US, it’s paying off. 

Angry that it isn’t available in non-US areas?  Well, welcome to media licensing :-).  This isn’t Microsoft’s fault or NBC’s fault or anyone’s ‘fault’ really – it’s economics of business…whether you think it is right or wrong…that’s what it is.  Blackouts happen all the time in sports…all major sports do it.  I hate it too, but it is a reality.  The IOC basically sells the rights to broadcast the Olympics.  Several companies have purchased these rights…NBC was one of them who did it for the US.

Because of the time difference in Beijing, I’ve been able to see some of the amazing finishes some of the teams have been having in medal rounds, not having to worry about setting up TiVo or anything.  Great work to NBC and their partners.


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8/13/2008 9:06 PM | # re: Behind the Scenes of NBCOlympics.com
Anyone see the irony in this video?

The talk is all about silverlight, but they still present the 35 minute video with FLASH! If your gonna talk about silverlight, be total silverlight. UGH.

Awesome Video though!! Thanks for the background.
8/13/2008 9:09 PM | # re: Behind the Scenes of NBCOlympics.com
scott: In this case "they" is Robert Scoble and he chooses to use Qik as his on-the-spot camera phone interview tool. That part has nothing to do with NBC, Microsoft or Silverlight, just Scoble's favorite tool.
8/14/2008 12:21 AM | # re: Behind the Scenes of NBCOlympics.com
US is only ~10% of the world- 90 % can see nothing- that is nothing which satisfy
8/14/2008 3:01 AM | # re: Behind the Scenes of NBCOlympics.com
hey tim,

I am so glad that you enjoy the Beijing Olympics games:) since I am in China, I could see it real time;)

but one thing I am really angry with the BOB at the opening, the broadcasting director is not good enough to catch many of the best scenes. the NBC has done a great job in fine-tuning its own version(angle of cam view) with 12 hours delay(am I right?) many Chinese really love the NBC version, it tells us whqat the real beauty that the opening is.

again, great thanks to NBC, and thank you for you good blog:)

8/16/2008 2:59 PM | # re: Behind the Scenes of NBCOlympics.com
I am a new user (If it ever works) to Silverlight. I have been trying to reach Microsoft or NBC to find out how to use my "successfully installed" Silverlight 1 to watch the olympics. Yes I own a MAC G5 powerbook. Yes it is said by Silverlight to be compatible. Unfortunately I have not had any success to Olympic viewing as you describe it.Actually I can only view photos, no videos. Maybe you can get the word to NBC as none of my attempts seem to have reached them.
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8/19/2008 5:42 PM | # re: Behind the Scenes of NBCOlympics.com
@duke

the olympics site requires silverlight 2 beta 2.. it says so pretty much everywhere on the site and you also get prompted to install it if you dont havit..

 
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