Created using Microsoft Silverlight 2, the video player is expected to deliver 2,200 hours of live streaming coverage from NBC to millions of U.S. viewers with a high-level picture quality, interactive features and user control.
Likewise, the player is designed to help NBCOlympics.com visitors to access roughly 3,000 hours of on-demand video, including full-event replays, highlights and interviews.
All of the content will be available free of charge, and the video player will feature more than a dozen live video streams at peak times to ensure that fans will be able to watch favorite athletes across 25 Olympic sports.
In early 2007, Microsoft launched Silverlight--a plug-in for playing media files and displaying interactive Web applications--as part of a full suite of cross-platform Web development tools for both Windows and Mac operating systems.
"Silverlight's powerful and distinctive capabilities were critical in enabling us to build such a fluid and satisfying user experience," said Schematic CEO Trevor Kaufman.
Fans can watch up to four live streams from the same event at once. The picture-in-picture feature lets fans watch a program displayed in inset windows while another program is displayed on the full screen.
In addition, fans can view and navigate via and expert commentary displayed over the video. They can also access rich meta data such as results and athlete information while they are watching, and they can receive alerts to ensure they catch their favorite events live.
What's more, the player features multiple bit rate, which automatically matches the quality of the video to the user's connection speed.
At the beginning of the year, NBC Universal, the official U.S. media company of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, named Microsoft its exclusive technology partner for the games.
Later in March, Schematic was selected by Microsoft as part of its group of 20 agency partners--a group of interactive agencies the company recommends to customers who are looking to implement the latest Microsoft technology solutions.