Netflix Direct, a TV Channel-Like Offering, Will Choose Content for You So You Don’t Have To

first_imgIf proven to be successful, it’s likely that Netflix will roll out availability of its Direct channel in other global markets as well. Of course, the functionality of the channel depends on careful curation of content, with a good mix of movies, TV shows, and other specials playing as per a set schedule. The curation would have to be based on respective markets, since users in France and users in India will naturally have different preferences.For now, Netflix Direct is only available in France, and is naturally being curated for French audiences, with a selection of French, international, and US feature films and TV shows, as per the Variety report. Users will of course have the option to watch movies and TV shows on Netflix normally by selecting and immediately viewing as before, but Netflix Direct will have some appeal to users who are between TV shows or just want to sit down and watch something at the end of the day without putting much effort into looking up content.Netflix is known to live test many of its upcoming features in various global markets, and only recently announced plans for a ‘weekend trial’ of its premium service for select users, starting with India. The streaming service has also been gradually improving the technical quality of its original productions. Much of its new content is being produced in 4K Dolby Vision, compatible with many current-generation HDR TVs.- Advertisement – Which is the best TV under Rs. 25,000? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below. Netflix Direct is a TV channel-like service that is being tested in France. The great thing about streaming on OTT platforms is having access to movies and TV shows whenever you want to watch them. You aren’t bound to programming schedules, and in most cases, you don’t need to wait for a week to get a fresh new episode of your favourite show. That said, it can sometimes be frustrating to look for something to watch, and the traditional experience of flipping through TV channels to find something interesting remains an option that many prefer. That’s why Netflix plans to bring this experience to OTT streaming, through Netflix Direct.Designed to function like a regular TV channel within the streaming platform, Netflix Direct is the company’s first attempt at linear, scheduled programming. The channel is rolling out in a phased manner for testing in France right now, according to a report by Variety. The report states that Netflix chose France because traditional TV consumption habits are still popular in the European country. Netflix Direct has been soft launched in France on November 5, and will be widely available in the country in December, as per the report.- Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more

Down home with the Calzaghes and dreaming of Vegas

first_img Since you’re here… Joe Calzaghe Down home with the Calzaghes and dreaming of Vegas Share on LinkedIn Donald McRae Share on Pinterest This will be the unbeaten Calzaghe’s first fight in America, as well as his first as a light-heavyweight, and the sense of him crossing uncertain territory is sure to be highlighted in the long week ahead by Hopkins, a relentlessly canny operator who has transformed himself from a violent convict to a master of ring psychology. Hopkins’ own undefeated reign lasted 12 years, during which time he established himself as boxing’s best middleweight champion since Marvin Hagler, before he moved up to light-heavy to crush Antonio Tarver and then out-smart the usually wily “Winky” Wright in his last fight.Despite calling himself The Executioner, Hopkins is not a murderous puncher. The terror and damage he promises, as in all the best horror films, is locked in the mind rather than revealed in gory detail. Hopkins has been tunneling away these last few months, trying to find a way into Calzaghe’s head so that he might unhinge him in Vegas. And, aware of Calzaghe’s tight family bond, Hopkins has threatened to get to those who are closest to the British fighter. His prime target is Calzaghe’s trainer and father, Enzo.As if on cue, the wizened Sardinian walks into the gym, jabbering away in his amalgam of accents as he barks out greetings and commands in combinations which sound like incomprehensible jabs and hooks. Joe waves Enzo away. He holds Jo-Emma lightly by the hand and looks at me: “Tell Jo what Hopkins said to you.”I relive the moment when, in his Philadelphia gym at the end of January, Hopkins pulled his chair so close to mine that our noses almost touched. Hopkins gripped me by the arm and told me that when he had been as near to Calzaghe in Vegas a month earlier, just before Ricky Hatton was outclassed by Floyd Mayweather, he had felt the Welshman’s fear. “I looked Joe in his face and said, ‘I ain’t ever gonna lose to a white boy’,” Hopkins cackled. “He looked petrified.”Calzaghe emits a dirty laugh. “Can you believe that?””Oh God,” Jo-Emma shudders, “I just don’t like that man. He’s nasty.””After the white guy thing,” Calzaghe says, “people asked if I was offended? I thought ‘are you crazy?’ I fucking loved it, because I knew then the fight was on.”Boxing’s grimy mix of race and violence is a little too much for Jo-Emma. She knows it’s a long way from the night four years ago when, after a minor role in a fuzzy boxing film called The Calcium Kid, with Orlando Bloom, she was invited to the grand opening of a gym in London. Calzaghe, having just separated from his wife, was the star attraction – and Joe and Jo have been together ever since. But it’s hard to think about a love story when there’s so much danger ahead.To avoid any more talk of The Executioner, Jo-Emma embraces Enzo, planting an extravagant kiss on his cheek. “Now that’s a proper hello!” the old trainer exclaims.His son, meanwhile, concentrates on the looming fight. “I fear nothing in Hopkins, but he’s cagey. He’s not the kind of fighter I like. I love fighters who come at you but Hopkins is too sly for that. But the only thing I worry about is that you’ve got three American judges and an American referee. And Hopkins will resort to dirty tactics. It’s just how far he can get away with it. So I’ve got to watch for the dirty stuff -head, elbows, low blows. But as long as I’ve got my jab working, and my speed, it’s an easy win.”Enzo looks up. “Joe will mash him – he throws a thousand punches to every hundred from Hopkins. Even the judges will see that.””Hopkins ain’t thrown a thousand punches in his last 10 fights put together,” Joe shrugs. “He talks far better than he fights.””I dug Joe in the ribs at the press conference,” Enzo mutters darkly. “I says, ‘Did you hear what Hopkins just called you? How can you let him get away it?'””I let dad do the pantomime,” Joe says archly. “He gave Hopkins some real lip.””Someone had to do it,” Enzo yells. “Hopkins turned to Joe and said, ‘I’m more scared of your dad than you!’ Too bloody right.””It was comical,” Joe sighs.Confidence over fear There is something far less comical in the fear that haunts Joe’s mother. Jackie Calzaghe admits that, while immensely proud of Joe, “I’m afraid whenever he steps in the ring. I think he should retire, while he is at the top, because I worry about something going wrong.”Calzaghe reveals that his mum, who has never attended one of his fights, broke the habit to sit down in front of the television to watch his last bout, a world title unification contest against Mikkel Kessler. Jackie claims she only glanced at the screen for a few seconds at a time – “to make sure Joe was all right.” After one of the finest performances of his career she phoned him in his dressing room to urge his retirement.”I told her I wanted Hopkins in America and one more fight after that. But that’s it. I’ve just turned 36 and I don’t want to fight out of greed. If you keep fighting you’re going to lose and get hurt. That’s why I don’t want my boys to fight. My one boy used to say, ‘Dad, I want to box’. I said no. Boxing’s too cruel.”As the wife of a hardcore trainer and the mother of a son who has had 44 fights in almost 15 years as a professional, Jackie Calzaghe understands that truth. “But she knows it’s coming to an end,” Joe says. “She’s now saying that she might even go to Vegas. She won’t watch the fight, but my one sister, Sonia, is going, so mum might keep her company. My younger sister, Melissa, is pregnant so she can’t go.”Will Calzaghe see much of his boys next week? “Every day. I’m going to be very relaxed. You know me. I’m not one of those fighters who locks himself away to get in an evil mood. On the afternoon of the fight I’ll have an hour or two on my own, with my iPod, just to think but otherwise I’ll keep things nice and normal. When they were younger I never took them to fights because I don’t believe in doing that to small kids. But Joe’s almost 14 now and Connor’s almost 12. I want them to share in the experience. I want them to able to say they saw their dad fight in Vegas.”Later, as Joe and Jo-Emma drive me through Abercarn and Newport, taking me on a scenic tour, we talk about a different journey they all made late one night last November. Shortly before midnight, with Jo-Emma behind the wheel of a much smaller car, she drove Joe and his two sons to the Millennium Stadium where he was due to fight Kessler in a 2am showdown.”I was nervous,” Jo-Emma admits, “because there was lots of hype. I’m getting better at handling my fear because, initially, I was hopeless. I hated it. But now I’ve got so much confidence in Joe. No one’s invincible but I just believe he’s always going to win.”Calzaghe nods thoughtfully. “You’re definitely handling it better but, that night, I did notice how quiet the boys were in the back of the car. Obviously they were nervous for their dad. Like anybody they feel a lot of emotion in that situation. It’s intense and scary.”There is a hush in our car, as well, as thoughts turn to Vegas and the Executioner. How might the boys feel watching their dad fight so far from home? “They’ll be excited,” Calzaghe says. “They know I’m going to kick Hopkins’ arse. Mind you I don’t say that in front of them. I don’t want them getting too cocky. It’s a tough enough battle getting Joe to do his homework without him thinking his dad is gonna make the rest of his life dead easy. After Vegas is out the way I want him to concentrate on his schoolwork.”Rooted in raw realityWinding down toward the centre of Newport we slip into good old dad-talk, swapping homework and parents’ evening anecdotes, while Jo-Emma turns up the music to keep herself entertained. I eventually ask what she’s looking forward to most about next week.”When it’s all over and Joe’s won,” she says with a dazzling smile. “Then we can go off on holiday. That’ll be the best bit.””Yeah, that’ll be good,” Calzaghe grunts, as he struggles to park his Range Rover in a tight space near the station. “We’re bringing the boys back home and then we’re going out on our own to the Caribbean. I can’t wait.”We step out on to the street, and all eyes seem to swivel their way as if Joe and Jo are Newport’s very own Posh and Becks. But, inside the fighter, there is something far too rooted in raw reality for Calzaghe to be compared to Beckham. He stretches out his hand as I wish him good luck.”Watch out for Hopkins,” I say dumbly.”Don’t worry,” he grins. “I’m going to be fine.””Of course he will,” Jo-Emma says, pulling him towards her. “He’s going to be brilliant.”A family travelogueBorn in Sassari, Sardinia, in 1949, Enzo Calzaghe, Joe’s father, had his first taste of Britain aged two, when his family moved to Bedford. Ten years later the family returned to Sardinia, where Enzo spent the rest of his formative years dreaming of becoming a professional footballer.After completing national service in the late 1960s the 21-year-old Enzo grabbed a guitar and some clothes and vowed not to return to Sassari until he had made a name for himself. Having hitch-hiked his way across Europe, sleeping rough and busking from his Simon and Garfunkel songbook, he ended up on a tomato ship bound for Bournemouth, where he got a job working in a restaurant during the day and sleeping there at night.In the summer of 1970 Enzo was on the brink of giving up and heading back to Sardinia but on the passing recommendation of one of his customers at the restaurant he decided instead to move to Cardiff. He knew little about the city but found a job at Wimpy, where he met Jackie, a young Welsh waitress who became his wife.Joe was born in Hammersmith in 1972 but soon after this the family settled in Newport where Joe grew up and, aged nine, began to learn how to box. Tom Drew Sat 12 Apr 2008 12.56 EDT Share on Facebook Reuse this content Topics Boxing Contact author Joe Calzaghe trains with his father Enzo. Photograph: Jae C Hong/AP Share via Email Read more Shares00center_img Boxing Share on Twitter Share via Email Support The Guardian Share on Facebook The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage comment Share on Messenger … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. First published on Sat 12 Apr 2008 12.56 EDT The black door to the Newbridge Boxing Club, a bleak and low-slung building streaked with sweat and pain, seems to be locked. Jo-Emma Lavin rattles the metal bolt and then, curling her hand into a small fist, hammers on the door. In the long silence which follows she looks down to check that she has not broken one of her immaculate nails. “OK,” she sighs, as if realising that I’m not going to be of any use in this puzzling deadlock.The 27-year-old model and aspiring actress from Hull hands me her bag and the keys to her world champion fiancé’s gleaming new Range Rover. And then in a fluid movement she swivels on one long leg and uses her other cowboy-booted foot to kick the door open in a killer-babe kung-fu move. Inside, a dank corridor leads to the gym where we are due to meet Joe Calzaghe, the love of her life. “Joe?” she calls out in the gloom. Her voice echoes against the concrete walls.And then, in a roaring blur, he jumps out at her from behind a corner. Jo-Emma screams. “Boo!” he yells back imaginatively, like a ghost from the Gwent valleys. Calzaghe grins as he whips off his black beanie. “Guess who?”Love, race and violenceYou scared the life out of me,” Jo-Emma complains, suddenly looking less like Humberside’s answer to Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. It becomes easy, then, to imagine her deeper fears this morning as, in the company of Calzaghe’s two young sons, Joe Jr and Connor, she flies to Las Vegas. The fighter is already out in the Nevada desert, preparing for next Saturday night’s battle against Bernard Hopkins, and the tension and worry has set to work on those who love him most. @donaldgmcrae Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter British boxing’s first family have mixed feelings about fear factor at work ahead of the fight against Hopkinslast_img read more