David on Billboard - sized

Tonight at 8:00 PM Eastern Billboardlive.com will broadcast David Archuleta singing live from the Foxwoods Resort. Some people have expressed concern about the technology being used, so I thought I’d give a little background on it and perhaps ease your mind when you get that download link from Billboardlive.com.

The plug-in used to manage the broadcast on your browsers is called Silverlight.  What is Silverlight?  According to Microsoft, “Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform and cross-device browser plug-in that helps companies design, develop and deliver applications and experiences on the Web. A free download that installs in seconds, Silverlight enables a new class of rich, secure and scalable cross-platform experiences.”

There are many other applications on the web that use Silverlight, and you may already have installed it on your computer for another site. The reason for using Silverlight is to provide a smooth streaming experience for high quality video.

Microsoft Installation says:

For Windows Internet Explorer users:

The browser will prompt you to either run or save the installation file (Silverlight.exe). Click Run to start the download. When the download is finished, the browser prompts you again to run the installer. Click Run to start the installation. Note that you must have sufficient administrative privileges to install Silverlight.

For Mozilla Firefox users:

Save Silverlight.exe to your hard disk. Once the download is finished, click Open. The installation starts.

Billboard says, “Music fans can select from five different views as they take in full concerts by these artists, focusing solely on the drummer or guitarist if they choose.

The site also allows visitors to use Twitter or Facebook during the Webcast without leaving the show. The application is also available on the iPhone. New concerts will be added through February.”


A little research turned up the fact that it takes over 50 people to run the session, with 5 streaming feeds and a complete sound mixing capability for between 70 and 80 channels from the stage.

A visitor to the set for the Daughtry Live Performance, Steve from Gearslutz.com said, “There were two video production trailers and a satellite truck. The trailer with the audio room also had the video control room in the rear. When I got there around noon the audio was just begining to be hooked up and the board (Calrec) patched etc. The video folks had set up two cameras behind FOH and had started to set up 4 more on the floor in front of the stage behind the bike racks. One of these was on a jib.

“As you can imagine pulling these wires and patching everything took several hours. The sound company (Clair) had already set up and they were busy programming lights and EQing the system. The light guy told me they had used 1008 channels. Eventually the preliminaries got done and Clair started their line check. Steve and his guys did another line Daughtry Pics 011check afterwards for his end. Sound check was at 4:00 and lasted about an hour after fixing a few things. Everyone was great to me including Steve’s guys and the video people. It was remarkable how Steve seemed to enjoy the pressure as time wound down. The less time there was the larger his smile got. I left after the sound check because the population of the trailer kept growing and I was really in the way sometimes.”

It sounds like an amazing undertaking. I’ll be watching, and I suspect, so will you!