Rainet leverages Silverlight and IIS Smooth Streaming for FIFA World Cup

During the last FIFA World Cup 2010 Rainet, the internet company of RAI, the Italian public broadcaster, leveraged Silverlight and IIS Smooth Streaming to delivering live and on-demand HD streaming from this event on their Rai Sport and Rai.tv portals.

Below are some pictures from the Rai Sport website dedicated to this event:


During the events, Live Streaming reached a peak of more than 1 million unique users and up to 560.000 concurrent users.

The Rai player is based on the Silverlight Media Framework and permits users to select different camera views of the match during live events. The player also offers a “Highlights” menu where the editors from Rainet can immediately publish highlight video clips during the match, leveraging the Silverlight Rough Cut Editor and Composite Stream Manifest (.csm) and using an architecture similar to the one implemented for the Vancouver Olympics .

Leveraging the digital video recorder (DVR) capabilities of Smooth Streaming, Rainet republished the content as video on-demand (VOD) immediately at the end of the live event, together with the highlights created during the event. In this way Rainet gave the users the opportunity to re-play the whole event in VOD streaming, and to navigate immediately to the most important parts of the match.

When the Smooth Streaming Media Element, part of the IIS Smooth Streaming Client used in the Silverlight Media Framework, uses a composite manifest as its source, it plays the video/audio content as a single stream. The user can fast forward or rewind across all the segments and seek to any points in the stream. Timeline markers can be added to include other information in the stream.

During the FIFA World Cup 2010, Rainet leveraged IIS Media Services 4 Beta 1 (IISMS4) integrated media platform features in order to also stream the live event to iPad users. The forthcoming version of IIS Media Services will permit you to use a single backend infrastructure in order to stream to PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Windows Phone 7 devices . In fact, starting with the H.264 video content received from encoders in the fragmented MP4 format used for Smooth Streaming, IISMS4 is able to trans-mux (repackage from one file format to another) on the fly to the Apple HTTP Live Adaptive Streaming (m3u8) format compatible with iPhone and iPad . In order to distribute the content, Rainet leveraged an HTTP edge CDN that pulled from IISMS4 origin servers and distributed the content to both Silverlight and iPad users :