Microsoft Silverlight may not be the first solution you think of when considering how YouTube might stream live TV. But in fact that's exactly what CBS used on their NCAA March Madness On Demand YouTube channel. It appears that the player and feeds for audio and video are coming direct from CBS, and upon further examination the Silverlight-powered player is identical to the one offered on CBS' own March Madness site. We first heard about this new offering from a post on NewTeeVee.
The player lets you adjust the video quality in four discrete steps to best utilize your available bandwidth. It looks as though the source feed is high-definition, because if quality is bumped all the way up to maximum even the full-screen mode looks great. In fact, the player as a whole is easy to use, and free of hiccups or bugs.
When we went to TV.com and selected the March Madness link, it went to the CBS-hosted link mentioned above. It appears, at least in this case, that YouTube has perhaps a slightly tighter integration over CBS' own streaming video site offering. But there are a couple of perks that are also available no matter which path you choose. Going the YouTube route gives you quick access to CBSNCAATourney video clips. Choosing the CBS site offers a live Facebook status update stream similar to what CNN did during the presidential debates. So, either way, everybody wins.