Silverlight heads to set-top boxes, TVs, Blu-ray players

Microsoft Silverlight logoMicrosoft is readying new products that make it easier for broadcasters to reach consumers with Silverlight-encoded content. The software giant wants to bring Silverlight to consumer electronics via system-on-chip (SOC) support, through Internet Information Services (IIS) Media Services 4, and the upcoming release of Silverlight Media Framework 2.0.

Two Microsoft partners, Intel and Broadcom, will use Silverlight for SOCs to bring the complete Silverlight platform to set-top boxes, connected TVs, Blu-ray players, and other consumer devices. SOC support means that content owners will be able to deliver high-definition programming to the living room with Silverlight and IIS Smooth Streaming (bringing benefits such as adaptive bitrate streaming over standard Internet connections, DVR-like capabilities, and support for Microsoft PlayReady digital rights management).

Silverlight for SOCs beta is planned to be available for hardware and device manufacturers to evaluate by the end of 2010.

Microsoft also unveiled plans for the next version of IIS Media Services, an integrated HTTP-based media delivery platform built on Windows Server that enables customers to monetize live and on-demand media content.

Microsoft is including three new features in IIS Media Services 4: multiplatform delivery with content protection (encode once and deliver protected live and on-demand content to Silverlight- and non-Silverlight-capable devices), smooth multicast support (enterprises, telcos, and cable companies can efficiently deliver adaptive media streams to multiple recipients over their internal networks), and integrated encoding support (third-party encoding products and Expression Encoder 4 will be included with IIS Media Services 4).

Finally, Microsoft claimed Silverlight Media Framework 2.0 will be able to simplify and speed the creation of rich media experiences with almost no coding. The Silverlight Media Framework is released under a Microsoft open source license, so it can be used and extended by third-party developers without royalties or fees.

At MIX10 last month, the software giant said Silverlight penetration was at 60 percent of Internet devices. It seems the company believes that since it has gained decent traction in the PC and mobile space, now is a good time to aim for the embedded market. We'll be watching this space closely to see how quickly Silverlight makes its mark.

Source: ars technica

Tags: Microsoft

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