IBC 2007 sees the start of the first large‑scale technical trial of the LiveStation platform, designed to distribute broadcast channels over the Internet to a freely downloadable player, based on a Microsoft Silverlight user experience.

LiveStation is a revolutionary new global network that will enable broadcasters to deliver live audio and video to a potential audience of hundreds of millions of broadband connected consumers.

Developed by Skinkers, a Microsoft participated company, LiveStation uses unique peer network distribution that is far more scaleable and economic than conventional streaming.

LiveStation is based on real-time peer-to-peer distribution technology exclusively acquired from Microsoft, explained Matteo Berlucchi, CEO of Skinkers. This allows broadcasters to take advantage of a managed peer network to reach large online audiences with live radio and television and reduce their distribution costs dramatically.

The LiveStation player is also one of the first available applications to use the latest Silverlight technology to deliver a dynamic and distinctive user experience. Silverlight allows high-quality video to be mixed with rich animated vector graphics and text overlays. Future releases of LiveStation will use the capabilities of Silverlight to deliver VC-1 encoded video on both Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OSX operating systems.

LiveStation is a great example of the power of Silverlight, created using familiar tools and technologies, and enabling even lower delivery costs, said Gabriele di Piazza, director of the Media & Entertainment Group at Microsoft. Silverlight enables rich interactive applications such as LiveStation to enhance the end-user experience by seamlessly combining video with interactive graphics.

Following a successful pilot, LiveStation will initially be available as a technical trial with services from selected broadcasters. Based on the extremely positive feedback so far received from broadcasters, many additional channels are expected to join before the full launch of the LiveStation platform in 2008.

So if you’re heading to IBC2007 (Amsterdam) then be sure to head over to the Microsoft exhibition stand to catch LiveStation being demonstrated for the first time in Europe.