My final report from the UK Mix07 “Sneak peeks.” We were shown LiveStation, a Silverlight application which uses peer-to-peer technology developed by Microsoft Research to show live TV in a desktop application. Desktop and Silverlight? Yes, the app we say uses browser hosting to transform Silverlight into a desktop runtime. This is not too good for the cross-platform aspect, though it would seem possible to do the same thing with say WebKit (Safari as a component) on the Mac.
The broadcast quality was adequate for casual viewing but not great. However the player does look hassle-free to operate. Unlike the BBC’s troublesome iPlayer, this is for live TV rather than playback of previous broadcasts. Still, with both Silverlight and Flash supporting high quality video codecs, running cross-platform, and offering smooth installation with plenty of scope for interactivity, it looks like the BBC has some good options if it decides to re-examine its iPlayer technology.
The company behind LiveStation is Skinkers, which acquired peer-to-peer technology from Microsoft in exchange for a minority equity stake.