Video.Show 1.0 Released to Web

video-show-logo-web After three public preview releases, I'm proud to announce the final version of Video.Show, a ready-to-run solution for hosting video content on the web!

You might be interested in Video.Show if:

  • Your company or school wants to distribute e-learning or educational content over the web for internal or external access;
  • You're creating the next YouTube-style site and you want somewhere to start;
  • You want to share home movies with your family and friends via your own personal site, rather than uploading them to somewhere public like YouTube or MSN Soapbox;
  • You're running a conference or event and you want to make the materials available for anyone else to watch;
  • You're a hosting provider and you want to offer your customers a way to store and share videos;
  • You simply want to learn how to build a great AJAX web site experience with Microsoft technologies.

We built Video.Show to enable all the above scenarios and many more!

Getting started with Video.Show is easy: all you need is a machine with Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2005 Express and Expression Encoder; the software is built to guide you through a few simple configuration steps (setting an admin password and obtaining a Silverlight Streaming key), and then you're up and running. The application is broadly licensed for commercial or non-commercial purposes and full source code is available for review or modification.

For an end-user, we've designed Video.Show to be straightforward to use, both for uploading new videos and for browsing existing videos. The very first thing you'll see when you visit a Video.Show-based site is the "video wall", which is designed to let you browse through video thumbnails without having to navigate from page to page. You can hover over any thumbnail to see a short preview of the video, or click on it to play the video in a full-size view. One nice touch is the way that the rest of the interface fades down when you play a video - this was designed to subtly imitate the way that movie theaters fade the lights when the show starts. As you're watching a video, you can add comments; but unlike typical sites where the comments stand alone, with Video.Show they are triggered by marker points during the video so you can connect the comment to a specific scene.

From a developer perspective, Video.Show was designed to be a showcase of our full web technology platform. It's said from time to time that beautiful code has more to do with art than science: it's easy to see what the code does without reference to documentation or comments because it's clearly laid out and makes good use of the underlying platform to minimize unnecessary cruft. When I look at the way Video.Show uses LINQ to SQL to manage the various different data sources, I see some of that elegance in play - it's genuinely a pleasure to browse through the source code and see how things are done. Video.Show uses Silverlight for the player experience, of course; the videos themselves are uploaded to the Silverlight Streaming content distribution network, so the server bandwidth hosting requirements are pretty lightweight.

imageSince we published the first release of Video.Show, we've seen many thousands of downloads, along with a number of real-world practical implementations. One of my favorites is, a UK-based education site for students and teachers. There are already over a hundred videos on the site covering everything from chemistry to politics, and they've done a nice job of customizing the default Video.Show interface to add their own unique style along with new features like Windows Live ID integration.

While you're having a look at Video.Show, also check out its sister project, Slide.Show, a straightforward control for publishing highly-customizable slide shows on the web, with picture data coming from a local store or from Flickr. It's very well implemented and extensible for many other back-end image sources. Well worth investigating!

Comments (20)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Tim, great work to all of you in the team.

    Are we subject to upload to the free silvverlight 4gigs or can we host the videos in SQL Server 2005 Express, and i supposed i will be able to use a SQL Server 2005.


  2. Tim Sneath says:

    Hi Leny, you can modify the code fairly simply to host the videos locally instead of uploading to Silverlight Streaming. We’ve done this ourselves for a number of recent demos.

    The SQL Server 2005 non-express editions are of course fully supported.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Tim, would it be possible to provide downloads of the code changes to utilize an inhouse video server rather than the silverlight server?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Great news Tim! This will be the third time I’ve had to port my work across from an earlier version to a new version, heh. I’ve found it quite difficult to modify the UI and Silverlight Player/Thumbnails controls, but it sure is better than writing it from scratch!

  5. BenHayat says:

    Tim; I assume this is developed in SL 1.0? If yes, is there plan to port it over to SL2.0?



  6. Tim Sneath says:

    Hi Ben, it’s written using JavaScript, but it runs perfectly well on Silverlight 2.0. JavaScript isn’t being deprecated as a Silverlight language. That said, we’ll probably offer a .NET version of Video.Show in the future as an alternative, but that work hasn’t yet commenced.

    Best wishes, Tim

  7. ccatto says:

    Hey Now Tim,

    I really like this tool, it’s similar to the & Vertigo sure created some nice tools.

    Thx 4 the info,


  8. Tim Sneath says:

    Hi Jay, apologies for the porting – hopefully the release notes along with copious use of windiff will help with the transition. I’d love to see what you’re building – is it live?


  9. Anonymous says:

    Jeff Paries is back today with Glowing edges with Animated Clipping Paths, Tim Sneath announced Video

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hello Tim,

    Video.Show looks very useful.  

    Soon we will see people watching tv-like programming such as ‘Discovery Channel’ as well as those people/organizations create with something like Video.Show anywhere they have a connection such as Starbucks, the airport, etc.  Organizations are now making their own streaming video channels for online distribution where they can sell advertising if ever become popular.  It was cool to see NBC pick up the online show "quarterlife" this week and we will see more of that in the future as the computer and broadcast media worlds are getting close together.

    We are just introducing the world’s leading video compression after seven years in development that blows On2/Sorenson away in the Adobe Macromedia Flash Player .FLV output world and can back it up with an example on my blog and on the ‘Video Exampes’ page on our website. Our patents are ‘pending’.  We are able to input .WMV files and output (transcode) compressed Flash .FLV files in original-like quality video 10 times smaller that are truely cross platform made to run on existing systems in full-screen HD online at wireless speeds: Windows, Apple, & Linux.  There is an example .WMV in and .FLV out on our website on the ‘Video Examples’ page.  

    We are interested in inputing .WMV files and outputing compressed .WMV files to help Microsoft be the best possible with our better than tv looking world-leading video quality for end-users.  Confident can do it if take the time but have not as hear there is a licensing issue writing .WMV files out … is this true?  We don’t want to get in trouble wit you guys – in fact we would like to partner.  If Microsoft will give us permission would like to show you what we can do to help Microsoft have the best quality high resolution video online inputing HD .WMV and outputting HD .WMV in much smaller file sizes (Let’s talk.)

    Congratulations on this Video.Show introduction.  It looks very useful to the masses.  Interested in beginning conversations between us – as we work in the same space possibly we can compliment eachother…

    We are just getting started so our webpage and blog are under construction nearly nightly when not talking to prospects in business hours.  Kind regards,

    Shaun Maki

  11. Anonymous says:

    Tim Sneath has just posted this – I think thi could be of serious interest to partners – how to easily

  12. Anonymous says:

    I’m going to try to keep up a live blog this morning through the keynote to provide folk with an Engadget-style

  13. Anonymous says:

    I'm going to try to keep up a live blog this morning through the keynote to provide folk with an

  14. Anonymous says:

    Thank you again for creating Video.Show to enable more video in the world.  It will make it so Artists who are not technical can produce awesome end results.

    Unable to edit my earlier post so wanted to add new information.  Can now support those who desire high definition full screen .WMV output to Silverlight or Video.Show for people who want the best looking output (Microsoft license required when writing .WMV output).

    A HD online full screen (1280 x 642) example is on our website just poke play.

    Image is tied to how messages are delivered.  High definition full screen video distributed over the Internet will spread messages most efficiently effectively to impress in a world without a HD YouTube.

    The same video media can be sent to any computer Microsoft-based PC, Apple Mac, Linux, Sun Solaris, or mobile devices like cell phones.  In any file format: Microsoft Windows Media Video (.WMV) licence required, Adobe Flash Video (.FLV), QuickTime (.MOV), and Audio Video Interleave (.AVI), 3GP, MPEG-4 (MP4), H.264, etc.  Something huge goes in (even raw interlaced video) and something 10 times or more smaller still great looking comes out the other side of our video compression and transcoding.  In a world where the web is now 10% YouTube with small window ugly video, you can now have full screen high definition better than TV online without upgrades or plug-ins of any kind.  HD video online in full screen is like a train to get on or be left behind.

    Shaun Maki

  15. Anonymous says:

    I was wondering since Video.Show uses expression encoder to encode uploaded videos. Are there any hosting sites out there that have exp encoder installed on their servers and provide it as part of hosting service.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I was wondering since Video.Show uses expression encoder to encode the uploaded videos. Are there any hosting sites out there that have expression encoder included as part of hosting services.

  17. Anonymous says:


    Are you aware the British Library seems to have dumped SilverLight in favour of Adobe Shockwave for the "Turning the page" (your #1 WPF post!)?

    Oh dear.

  18. Tim Sneath says:

    Not that your question has anything to do with Video.Show, Jack, but I’d like to take the opportunity to correct the confusion. Shockwave was the original (old) version of Turning the Pages, providing a basic 2D experience. The TTP team redeveloped a new version in WPF called Turning the Pages 2, but they left the original version online, as well as adding a Silverlight version for Macs and low-spec machines.

    Here’s the link:

    Best wishes, Tim

  19. Anonymous says:

    Sorry tim. comments seemed disabled for the article in question, so stuck it here.

    you are correct of course. i could have sworn the day i looked, the bl front page linked to the old shockwave TTP stuff. but i look now its its taking me to wpf/silverlight stuff.

    i was worried they had dumped wpf and moved to flex/flash 9 or some such!

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