Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Really impressive live Internet-delivered Olympics video

I just watched the most impressive (quality-wise) Internet-delivered video I've yet seen -- and live video, at that! It's the coverage of the 2008 Olympics over at nbcolympics.com. To watch, follow that link and pick one of the events on the left column of the homepage with a red "live" tag next to it. (Video on the site might be available to USA-based visitors only -- I'm not sure.) The video is very high-quality for browser-delivered video -- both large size and high resolution. Much nicer than the typical YouTube fare (small size, grainy quality) that I would normally associate with watching video on the Web. There was no audio commentary for the event I was watching (Judo), but there was a text-based commentary, plus a live scoring summary. The video also included instant replay of the action, just like you'd expect in the coverage of any sporting event. Really impressive overall presentation. Kudos to the NBC team for pulling this together, and to Microsoft for providing the Silverlight technology that the video is running on. If you haven't seen it yet, I would suggest making it a point to head over to the NBC site and watching for at least a few minutes at some point before the Olympics are over!