Maven Networks, which provides hosting services for Internet TV, will announce today plans to add Microsoft's new Silverlight technology as a video delivery vehicle.

The company is collaborating with Microsoft on this endeavor. Through Silverlight, Maven's customer base of professional media companies will be able to leverage familiar Windows Media technology as well as workflow automation, publishing, and player creation capabilities of the Maven Internet TV platform.

A rival to Adobe's Flash technology, Silverlight currently is in a beta release stage. It provides for cross-platform, broadband video experiences, Maven said.

Maven's plans call for supporting Silverlight when it is available later this summer, said Todd Boes, vice president of product management. Templates will be launched in the Maven Internet TV platform to support Silverlight, he said.

"That means that [users] can leverage their existing investments in the Windows Media format while at the same time providing new and engaging user experiences," Boes said. Maven customers like Sony use the company's service to build direct-to-consumer video channels, he said.

Flash is supported on Maven, but using it requires re-coding of Windows Media video to Flash, said Boes. With Silverlight, this video can remain in the Windows Media format, he said.

A Microsoft official cited benefits for content creators.

"Our collaboration with Maven will help provide compelling and innovative Silverlight-based solutions for content creators looking to differentiate and maximize their online media offerings," said Microsoft's Sean Alexander, director of Silverlight Media, in a statement released by Maven. "Silverlight ushers in a new level of online experiences with improved video streaming capabilities that can scale up to HD and incorporate rich interactivity, all with a lower total cost to operate."