Move Networks -- which supplies high-quality video-streaming technology for the Web sites of ABC, ESPN, Discovery and Fox -- said its Move Media Player will soon be incorporated into Microsoft Silverlight, Microsoft’s cross-browser, cross-platform software plug-in that is designed to bring new video and graphics capabilities to the Web.
The partnership between Move and Microsoft is being formally announced Wednesday at the MIX08 Conference in Las Vegas.
It means that Silverlight -- which is already being used by the National Basketball Association and CBS to improve the look of their Web sites and offer new advertising opportunities through graphical overlays -- will now be able to integrate Move’s encoding technology into both the publishing tools Microsoft sells to content companies and the Silverlight software that resides on consumers’ PCs.
“The era of static Web pages is well behind us,” said John Case, general manager in the developer division at Microsoft, in a statement. “Media companies are intent on delivering video-rich, interactive experiences for users. Working together enables us to offer those media companies Move Networks’ video-streaming technology within the flexible Silverlight development platform.”
American Fork, Utah-based Move developed an innovative encoding scheme called “simulcoding” that creates multiple profiles of a program at different compression rates.
When network traffic lowers a consumer's effective bandwidth, the Move client software will communicate that to the server and automatically switch to a more compressed version with a lower bit rate, thus avoiding picture errors or interruption due to buffering. When the network traffic eases and a user's broadband speed returns to normal, the Move software then switches back to a higher-quality profile.
While the resolution being delivered to the PC screen varies with Move, the viewing experience stays seamless to the user. Move’s technology is currently being used to support the streaming of HD primetime content for ABC.com, and it is also the video player used by ESPN360.com and Fox.com.
The partnership with Microsoft should dramatically expand the number of Move software clients and, thus, raise the overall quality of Web video, Move CEO John Edwards said. So far, there are about 30 million unique Move plug-ins deployed in the marketplace today.
“Every time a user downloads Silverlight, they will also download the Move plug-in,” Edwards added. “Our main focus with media companies is really taking quality to the next level. We think that really stimulates viewing and, thus, stimulates better metrics, and better metrics stimulate more relevant advertising and better, more intelligent programming.”