PARIS and LES ULIS, France, May 28 /PRNewswire/ --
- The French International tennis tournament, held at Roland Garros from 24 May to 7 June 2009, will be the scene of the first ever application of Microsoft's IIS7 Live Smooth Streaming technology (beta version), encoded on Inlet Technologies' Spinnaker(TM) 7000 live streaming platform and distributed on Level 3 Communications' Content Delivery Network (CDN), for high-quality, streamed live broadcasts on the Web.
Broadcast host of Roland Garros tournament, France Télévisions in partnership with Microsoft, Inlet Technologies and Level 3 Communications, offers in exclusivity on france2.fr, france3.fr and france4.fr free live Web broadcasting in HD quality (720p) of the Roland Garros tennis tournament shown on the France 2, France 3 and France 4 TV channels.
For the fifth year, France Télévisions is broadcasting games from Roland Garros on the Internet using Microsoft's Windows Media Player. This year marks the first time the video streams of seven simultaneous games will be available in Silverlight technologies free of charge.
For the 2009 edition of Roland Garros, France Télévisions is setting a worldwide precedent by offering the high-definition streams broadcast on TV to Web users on the France Télévisions Web sites with high definition quality, thanks to the IIS7 Live Smooth Streaming and Silverlight technologies. Smooth Streaming is a media delivery method that improves the quality of distribution and is designed to avoid any breaks in the streaming flow by varying the quality in real-time according to factors such as the available bandwidth or the usage rate of the CPU on the client computer.
A genuine digital video player
Thanks to Inlet Technologies' live streaming Spinnaker(TM) 7000 encoders and its Armada(TM) on-demand video management system, which supports Smooth Streaming, Web users will be able to enjoy the live HD streams and benefit from DVR capabilities (pause, rewind a few hours back, etc.), with no stuttering, buffering or other interruptions to their viewing experience. The format HD 720p corresponds to 720 lines displayed progressively 25 times per second, for a resulting resolution of 1280x720 pixels.
Unmatched ease of access
Smooth Streaming uses the standard downloading of HTTP files for easy connection to video streams, even through firewalls, as if they were just another Web page. Video streams can also be cached in existing servers on Level 3's global Content Delivery Network to allow a massive diffusion of the service on the Internet. This is all monitored from the Level 3 Broadcast Operations Centre. Thanks to the successful technological collaboration between Level 3, Inlet Technologies and Microsoft this live streaming broadcast has been made possible.
The Silverlight application developed to read the flows is capable of dynamically detecting that CDN Level 3 flows are available and can switch between them without any breaks. Silverlight can also modulate the quality of the flow according to the condition of the client computer. This means Web users who have broadband connections can enjoy 720p HD images, while users with low-rate connections or less powerful computers receive a flow that is better suited to the quality of their connection.
Experienced event management ensures smooth running
By setting up the delivery environment and through ongoing monitoring of the broadcast video signals, encoders, and Internet delivery, France Televisions and Level 3 are able to proactively respond to any issues that arise. This ensures that the online experience is maintained as close to the broadcast experience as possible.
Two years ago, France Télévisions was the first French TV channel to broadcast a sporting event in high-definition on DTT with the 'Tour de France 2007'. France Télévisions is now very pleased to stream on the Web the live TV broadcast of Roland Garros in high-definition quality for the first time in the history of the French International tennis tournament, said Laurent Souloumiac, director of France Télévisions Interactive. Thanks to its HD broadcasts of Roland Garros shown on the Web sites france2.fr, france3.fr and france4.fr, France Télévisions is again innovating and setting a new quality viewing experience for major sporting events.
Thomas Serval, director of the Microsoft France Platforms and Ecosystems Division, stated, We are delighted to have another opportunity to work with France Télévisions Interactive and to offer this unique multimedia experience to French Web users. During the 2008 Olympic Games, they already set the standard by offering, with Silverlight, Web access to 15 video channels that were broadcast simultaneously from Beijing, with advanced functions, such as Picture in Picture that displayed two video flows at the same time. Today, the france2.fr Web site dedicated to Roland Garros is again innovating and setting new standards with its HD quality Web streaming that is made possible by Silverlight and IIS7 Live Smooth Streaming technologies.
We continue to develop our range of online video distribution solutions to make sure we deliver the quality and scale that our customers demand, and it is important that we offer our customers a broad range of media player solutions. Microsoft's development of Smooth Streaming is another great addition to the industry and supports the growth of the high-definition online video experience, said Rob Houghton, vice president, European Content Services at Level 3 Communications. With a long standing reputation for being a leader and early adopter of new technology, Level 3 is delighted to support this important event and technical demonstration.
We're honored to be an integral part of the very first live Smooth Streaming event, which certainly marks a significant technological milestone in the streaming media industry, said Neal Page, Inlet Technologies' CEO. This is a great example of how Inlet Technologies, in cooperation with strategic partners like Level 3 and Microsoft, can deliver the best possible quality viewing experience to sports fans around the globe.
About Silverlight 2
Silverlight is a multi-browser and multi-platform software plug-in that provides web users with rich and new multimedia experiences. Silverlight 2 features a range of new functions and tools made for better collaboration between designers and developers and allows them to offer a new, more interactive, more secure and more visually comfortable experience to users. Microsoft also supports the Open Source communities by funding a software plug-in for Silverlight in the Eclipse development environment. Microsoft will also provide developers with new controls in the Silverlight Control Pack (SCP), which is part of the Microsoft Permissive License (Ms-PL).
Silverlight 2.0 is free of charge, measures 4.68 MB, installs in 10 seconds and runs on PCs and MACs with Windows Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 6, Firefox 1.5, 2, 3, Safari and on Linux, FreeBSD and Solaris platforms in the Open Source version, called Moonlight.
To check whether you can install Silverlight on your computer, go to: http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/resources/install.aspx#sysreq
For other examples of applications of Silverlight, go to: http://silverlight.net/Showcase/
About France Télévisions Interactive
France Télévisions Interactive (FTVI) leads all activities on the Internet of France Télévisions, the French public TV broadcaster. FTVI develops its websites, teletext and interactive TV applications. FTVI also delivers mobile Internet services and manages various TV projects via IPTV and to mobile. FTVI is also the editor of its VOD / TVOD services.
About Inlet Technologies
Inlet Technologies is the leading provider of advanced encoding solutions, enabling new media for new networks. Inlet's solutions produce the highest quality video, faster and more efficiently than any other, allowing content creators, programmers and distributors to increase efficiency, reduce costs and deliver superior quality video over any IP network. Inlet solutions are ideal for applications such as real-time professional streaming, Blu-ray encoding, Video-on-Demand, Web-based video, digital archiving and dailies. Inlet customers, such as MLB.com, Modern Video and Microsoft, are able to expand their audiences and create new revenue from their valuable content. For more information, visit www.inlethd.com.
About Level 3 Communications
Level 3 Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT) is a leading international provider of fiber-based communications services. Enterprise, content, wholesale and government customers rely on Level 3 to deliver services with an industry-leading combination of scalability and value over an end-to-end fiber network. Level 3 offers a portfolio of metro and long-haul services, including transport, data, Internet, content delivery and voice. For more information, visit www.Level3.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (listed on the NASDAQ, MSFT) is the world's leading software publisher. Microsoft develops and sells a broad range of software, accessories and services for professional and domestic uses. Microsoft's mission is to use its expertise, capacity to innovate and its driving passion to help customers and partners achieve their ambitions and express their creativity, in a way that makes technology their best ally in the realization of their potential. Created in 1983, Microsoft France employs more than 1,200 people. Eric Boustouller became President on February 1, 2005.
Emmanuelle Dang of FTVI, +33-(0)1-56-22-60-76, email@example.com; or Jennifer Faircloth of Inlet Technologies, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Shawn Ramsey of Crossroads Public Relations, +1-919-621-0737, email@example.com; or Hannah Britt of Level 3 Communications, Inc., +44-207-954-2128, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Christophe Bonnot of Microsoft France, +33-(0)1-69-86-47-39, email@example.com; or Ghislain Garesse, +33-(0)1-56-03-12-22, or Pely Mendy, +33-(0)1-56-03-12-29, both of IE Consultants, firstname.lastname@example.org; Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19990721/LVLTLOGO, Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090528/LA23645