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We wrote earlier this week about the fact that NBC is planning to require would-be Vancouver Olympics watchers to authenticate in the U.S. Once users have proved they are paying TV customers in good standing, they’ll also have to download the latest version of Microsoft Silverlight […]

We wrote earlier this week about the fact that NBC is planning to require would-be Vancouver Olympics watchers to authenticate in the U.S. Once users have proved they are paying TV customers in good standing, they’ll also have to download the latest version of Microsoft Silverlight if they don’t have it already. But once you get past the setup, the 2009 Olympics is going to be a state-of-the-art high quality video experience, and you know the content won’t be too shabby either.

nbcolympicsToday, the U.S. Olympic video tech team is being formally named (though we’ve written quite a bit about some of their participation already). Here’s the full roster:

iStreamPlanet is taking the live video feeds from NBC in New York and feeding them through the stream preparation process. Inlet Technologies‘ Spinnaker will encode each stream into six different bitrates for Microsoft’s IIS Live Smooth Streaming and send them to Microsoft’s Windows Servers. Akamai will deliver and cache the content around its network. Viewers will tune into a version of the Silverlight player customized by Vertigo, which brings in a data feed from Deltatre for play-by-play and stats. Conviva contributes monitoring software to immediately report any issues with the streams to NBC and Microsoft.

While Akamai and Microsoft are established giants, that’s mostly a list of startups, which seems fitting given the Olympic spirit of amateur competition. From what we’ve seen, these companies are the best of the best in live streaming.

What does that mean for viewers? In addition to a more stable platform, higher quality video (full 720p) and a better experience provided by adaptive bitrate streaming that adjusts to fluctuating bandwidth conditions, streaming improvements over the last Olympic Games in Beijing include features such as fast-forward, rewind and slow motion capabilities and the ability to jump to key moments within an (on-demand) stream. There will be 23 different video feeds: nine venue feeds, four broadcast feeds, one Olympic News Channel, six “Beauty Cams,” two victory ceremonies and one press conference.

  1. [...] New Conviva CEO Comes From Big Media How about this for jumping straight from the frying pan into the fire? After working with Conviva on a number of live-streaming events at his old employer, former NBC CTO Darren Feher has joined the startup as its new president and chief executive. NBC Sports has leveraged Conviva’s technology for a number of its live-streaming events over the past year, including the broadcaster’s online coverage of the 2009 Masters Tournament, Wimbledon, and NFL Sunday Night Football. And it’s already announced that Conviva will be part of its 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics “Dream Team.” [...]

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  2. [...] least, this is WAY less appealing than it should be. Despite the fact that live video technology is leaps and bounds ahead of where it was a few years ago (meaning people would watch for longer and be more satisfied, so [...]

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  3. [...] rewind prior to the point when I entered the match. But on a very basic player level, Vertigo and Silverlight’s development here really paid off. And clicking the Boss button was fun, though I don’t think any employer would have been [...]

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  4. [...] The announcement comes just a few months after Conviva named former NBC CTO Darren Feher as its new chief executive. Feher had extensive experience with Conviva during his time at NBC, as the broadcaster used Conviva’s media delivery platform to enhance live and on-demand streaming for a number of sporting events, including the 2009 Masters Tournament, Wimbledon, NFL Sunday Night Football and most recently, the 2010 Vancouver Olympic games. [...]

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  5. [...] 3Crowd isn’t the only startup promising improved video delivery and lower costs by balancing video delivery across multiple CDNs. Conviva provides similar multisource video technology, and has been used by NBC Sports for delivery of a number of live events, including the 2009 Masters Tournament, Wimbledon, NFL Sunday Night Football and the 2010 Vancouver Olympic games. [...]

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  6. [...] live events; it was part of the infrastructure for NBC’s online coverage of the 2008 and 2010 Olympic Games, and was used by numerous broadcasters delivering video from the 2010 World Cup. According to the [...]

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