Can I just say: finally. Finally. This isn’t stricly an Android story, but NBC’s decision to dump Microsoft’s proprietary steaming technology, Silverlight, is a win for every single Android user who wants to watch the Olympics. Why? Because they’re switching to YouTube, Google’s very own video playground that’s deeply integrated into (almost) every Android phone and tablet. In addition to making Android sports fans the world over happy, it’s going to save millions of Internet citizens the hassle of installing the Silverlight plugin… which they haven’t needed since two years ago, when the last Olympics made use of it.

Every single event of the 2012 London Olympics will be covered by NBC, but not all of it will be available live online. It’s likely that most of the high-profile events will be on NBC’s broadcast and cable networks, with the overflow events (think table tennis and archery) going online when necessary. The events won’t necessarily be on the main YouTube website, either -while Google will be providing the back-end for the streaming video, most or all of it will be on NBC’s own site.

Even so, that’s a major win for mobile users (other than Windows Phone 7, of course) as any Android phone can handle the HTML5 that YouTube defaults to. If it comes to it, almost every Android phone and tablet can also use a Flash (though not forever, and not ideally). Due to the complicated agrements between the Olympic Games and international broadcast partners, the above is probably only for the United States and possibly Canada – check with your local Olympics affiliate for more precise information outside the US.

Also, Netflix: please follow suit. I’m tired of having to update Silverlight on my desktop.

[via 9to5Google]

  • Mr. S

    There is no guarantee, however, that the games will be viewable on a mobile device. Much like with some music videos, the content provider might flag it as being “desktop non-mobile web only.”

    • Ack, I hadn’t thought of that. Does that trick work when you use the desktop view in a mobile browser to watch YouTube? 

  • banjoonmyknee

    Glad to hear it.   I was really ticked off when the Super Bowl footage was Silverlight only.  Hopefully, this is a trend.

  • “a major win for mobile users (other than Windows Phone 7, of course)”
    Windows Phone 7.5 users should be able to view the content if it’s HTML5 (seeing as they’ve IE9).

  • For mobile users, where html5 is supported, this is a great improvement. When no html5 is supported, Youtube still uses Flash, and I see NO advantage with Flash over Silverlight.

  • Guest

    Well reasoned transition, the market changed a lot in the past years. However, this does not change the fact that this article is pathetic.

  • Samispa

    Wondering what the quality will be like, complain all you want about plugins etc but if you were actually able to watch the video from previous olympics it was pretty stunning in HD.

  • Wait, doesn’t Netflix use Sliverlight?