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Inlet, Microsoft and Level 3 help stream Italian FIFA Confederations Cup

Inlet Technologies, Microsoft and Level 3 Communications joined forces to stream live coverage of Italian FIFA Confederation Cup football matches to online viewers in June.

RAI.IT, the Internet company of Italian broadcaster, Radio Televisione Italiana (RAI), offered the free, live HD-quality streaming broadcasts. Played at the tournament in South Africa, the matches were encoded live on Inlet Technologies’ Spinnaker 7000 encoding platform and distributed on Level 3 Communications’ global CDN using Microsoft IIS7 Live Smooth Streaming technology and Silverlight technologies.

The same partnership recently deployed this technology to stream France Télévisions’ live HD webcast of the 2009 French Open tennis tournament.

The joint technology offered HD video quality online with DVR-like capabilities, including instant replay, multiple game views, no stuttering, buffering, or other interruptions. Optimized quality was automatically modulated according to bandwidth limitations of individual users.

Microsoft’s IIS7 Smooth Streaming uses the standard HTTP protocol for connection to video streams, even through firewalls, as if they were just part of a 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 was all monitored from the Level 3 Broadcast Operations Centre.