NBC Direct: A new Companion App


I have been convinced for a while now that the industry is headed toward more of a companion application model… that is a model that offers the best of the web world in the browser and everywhere and the best of the client world out of browser.    One common example of this model is Outlook Web Access everywhere and Outlook for the desktop.  While this patterns has been around for a while… it has been very difficult to implement. Today, if you can afford to double implement this is in reach, but as we move forward with .NET and Xaml everywhere with Silverlight and full WPF you can reuse lots more of your application design (in Xaml) and business logic (in .NET) across the web and the desktop.

As I am sure you are aware, NBC, like all the major networks has for a while now offered streaming for their TV content image from their web site..  But they have recently put into beta and .NET Framework based full desktop companion application that enables offline viewing, scheduled download of higher definition content and offers the ability for even more desktop integration in the future.  Notice it does go full screen as well.. 

image

 

I can’t wait to see what sort of solutions networks can build when they can get on a single platform for the web and desktop client experiences… 

From looking at the C:\Program Files\NBC Direct directory it appears that the good folks at NBC are using a lot of cool stuff from the community:

Spring .NET Application framework

Log4NET

EnterpriseLibrary

ApplicationBlocks

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What are your thoughts on Companion applications?  Have you seen any good ones? 

Comments (9)

  1. I have been convinced for a while now that the industry is headed toward more of a companion application

  2. Samuel says:

    Any reason why this application still leverages Flash and not Silverlight?  Doesn’t Microsoft have some investment in NBC?

  3. Francois says:

    Probably because Flash supports more platforms than Silverlight 1.0, and has more tools… Once 1.1 is out, things probably will change for the better.

  4. Rod Mac says:

    I posted this on TS’s blog: I think it will help the rapid adoption of WPF on XP if the .NET 3.5 download could be incremental, starting with something to match the size & content of Silverlight (for the same functionality). If I have a Windows machine, IE should should detect it and download the appropriate library (Goldlight/Windowlight?). Why download Silverlight here when I can have  something that will run offline as well?! As for development, VS 2008 should have had the capability to recompile for either code base, based on a single solution setting (and couldn’t one control set be superimposed upon another in VS – maybe with just the occasional change to a property setting or two). Can’t understand why the dichotomy is allowed to rule us as it does but I guess it has to be commercial!

  5. Ben says:

    Yes! I want companion apps!

  6. calloncampbell says:

    I agree about the industry moving towards a companion framework.

    Speaking of frameworks, uf anyone is interested in a great .NET logging framework that is by far better then Log4J, please checkout my application called ReflectInsight.

    http://community.reflectsoftware.com

    Thanks and please post any feedback.

    Callon

  7. Keith Hill says:

    Too bad this companion app doesn’t support Microsoft’s flagship OS – Vista.  🙁

  8. Atif says:

    THE COMMENT IS NOT RELATED WITH THIS ARTICLE. IT IS RELATED WITH THIS SECTION TAG OF YOUR BLOG.

    Execution Process in .NET Environment?

    file:///E:/Atif/Articles/Execution%20Process%20in%20.NET%20Environment.htm

    I just read this article and now willing to know more about this execution sequence in more depth. Would you please refer any source or write an article yourself on this topic.

    Thanks

  9. Atif says:

    Oops, look at the location of referred article :o)

    The page is not opening at this time. I found the article on http://www.csharpfriends.com.