NBC Olympics Silverlight – site preview review
PC World published a great article on the Olympics website last Friday which, before going into feature and technical details, begins with this:
How would you like to be handed this IT project: create a website that will present 2,200 hours of live, interactive video, plus integrated broadcast coverage. The site will have huge spikes of traffic, and operate under worldwide scrutiny, so it has to be designed for performance. It has to be done in the next 150 days; no schedule extensions are possible. And it must deliver a brilliant user experience.
If you look at the content, the scalability needs, the experience and the feature set the NBC Olympics application really looks like one to keep an eye on. Instead of pointing you to the demo (1:17:25 – 1:26:30) given during the first keynote at MIX08 again, I thought I’d show a few screenshots.
This is the default view when you choose a video to watch. Big high-quality video showing commentary, stats and player information. A nice clean look with plenty of other videos to choose form on the side.
This is the large view of the video which provides that 10ft experience (well maybe 3ft if you’re still at your desk). Includes overlaying interactive menu and stats display.
If you compare this screenshot and the previous one you may notice that they are showing off the same LeBron dunk. As part of the demo, after the dunk happened in the detail view, they flipped to full screen and then rewound the live video to watch the dunk again in a larger view. We used to just have VCR-like controls on the web, very happy to now see DVR-like controls is becoming the new standard.
Share with a Friend
After an alert pops on his screen he switches from basketball to gymnastics. Knowing his wife wouldn’t want to miss it he clicks the Share button and away an email goes, likely with link to the live video so they can watch together. Olympics and the social web meet and become friends.
With 34 different sports going on at the same time this results in 2200 different hours of video and many many choices of what to watch. That’s what the Sports browser is for. Although I’m not quite sure what data points are used to construct the graph it looks interesting.
Large View with Picture in Picture
Much better than toggling between the “Last” button on your remote to monitor to channels is the Picture in Picture feature. I’m guessing along with DVR-like controls this will become another future standard feature, because sometimes you just need to watch more than one video stream to be happy.
The Control Room
And finally the ultimate screen for the arm-chair director, the Control Room. Choose your sport, choose your view and enjoy the bliss of being able to watch more Olympic coverage than ever before.
17 days of 34 sports which results in 2200 hours of video, shown live and then made available as video on-demand, it will be even harder than catching up with the 50 hours of MIX content I downloaded.