This afternoon I decided to check and see if I could catch a Cubs spring training game on MLB.TV.
Once I navigated to the day’s viewing schedule and clicked to watch the live contest vs. SF. I was surprised that I was given the option to download Microsoft’s Silverlight software so that I could use a media player built with Silverlight. One of the advertised features was that it was Mac compatible.
While MLB.TV has always been mac compatible to some degree, it’s been woefully lacking versus what the windows version felt like.
I was pleasantly surprised by the speed and features available in the player. The line score and box score have been added as widgets next to the video player. Mousing over the video gives you options to resize the video. Overall the speed and responsiveness of the video are strong.
The video itself still appears to be using Microsoft’s WMVcodec. At 400k it’s pixel-y and choppy.
The plug-in installation was relatively painless. I wasn’t prompted to select which browsers will use the plug-in. I simply installed the Silverlight application, then restarted by Flock 1.1 beta and right away it was able to play the silverlight application in Flock.
In the end, it’s unfortunate that there isn’t a true standards-based platform (coming out of W3C DOM and ECMAScript) that can compete with these proprietary offerings. Adobe’s open source release of the Flex SDK gives them the edge on this front, and for open source developers, it makes AIR a more attractive platform. Of course, Silverlight’s .Net integration makes it much attractive to developers who are wedded to the MS platform.