The Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony

Yet another fantastic InFocus photo-set from the London 2012 Opening Ceremony.

The Beijing 2008 Opening Ceremony was never going to be an easy act to follow, but I tend to think that London performed admirably. With some utterly memorable moments from the Queen, Daniel Craig, Rowan Atkinson, and Kenneth Branagh, the ceremony far exceeded my expectations, and I walked away feeling thoroughly patriotic and proud.

As a testament to the instilled sense of excitement in the British populace, over one million spectators have lined the roads today for the men’s cycling road race. Out in my local town, I can honestly say that I’ve never seen as many people congregated there as I did today. A truly fantastic feeling.

For those of you that are interested, I’ll be posting photographs to Instagram (username: mattalexander) and Path throughout the Games.

Now TV Launches in the U.K.

Now TV

Aaron Souppouris:

As well as offering movies, the service will include access to live sports events including Barclays Premier and UEFA Champions League football, Test cricket, rugby, tennis, Masters golf, and more. The Sky Sports package will launch on Now TV before the end of the year. After the Sky Sports service goes live, Sky will add a further package including shows from Sky 1, Atlantic, Arts, and Living. The service launches for PC and Mac, and certain unspecified Android devices this week, with an iOS app due next month and support for further devices arriving “later this summer.”

During the quiet summer months, I’ve had a distinct yearning to cancel my current cable subscription in the United States. Spending all-too-much on a relatively ill-fitting service is becoming increasingly difficult to swallow, but my prized Fox Soccer and HBO subscriptions continue to meter my cord-cutting-desires. Such is the state of the American entertainment distribution landscape.

On the other hand, in the U.K., Sky is launching its Now TV service. Sporting swathes of digital content and impending agreements with various sporting events, I suspect that Now TV embodies all that I could ever truly need from a television package.

One of the most interesting things to derive from the modern streaming media marketplace is the tidal shift in consumer appetite. Rather than simply gorging upon any and all media that happens to be available at the time, users are becoming increasingly cognizant of their finite needs. Introspectively questioning the need for hundreds of channels and willfully whittling such a list down to the core requirements is an endeavor in rational intelligence — an element otherwise bereft from within the media industry.

Now TV, in many respects, serves as a poignant mirror reflecting such a shift. While I imagine such a service will not arrive on U.S. shores for years to come, it’s utterly fascinating to perceive such a movement in the state of consumption.

I’m excitedly looking forward to personally dabbling with Now TV over the course of the coming weeks.

For further information, the full press release is available from Sky.