Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Czech Slow TV! Česká Slow TV!

One of the Live Slow TV streams on
A delightful discovery and the first dedicated and branded online Slow TV channel is hosted at slowtv.playtvak.cz . The channel consists of webcams but is not diminished for it. Besides archive transmissions, there are live feeds from many types of subject. 

At the time of writing there are five feeds : an airport runway, complete with radio between pilots and air traffic control (sometimes in English); a winter view across the River Vltava Prague; a bird feeder (reminiscent of NRK’s ‘Piip Show’); a waste incinerating plant where monstrous grabbers lift refuse into chutes - watching pigeons peck over the rubbish, dodge machinery and bits of bag waft around a bit like the carrier bag in ‘American Beauty’. My favourite one has been the ‘lubricating tram’ live feed around Prague centre. 

I was at first bemused thinking it was a translation error from Google Chrome’s translate feature (yes, Slow TV’s exciting - but THAT exciting!) - but in fact it is a tram which is dedicated to oiling the tram tracks on Prague’s street tram network. Tuning in at night when it had been raining, the streets were dark but reflective. Watching the tram icon on the map mark where the vehicle was going and the interactions of lights, vehicles and people - it worked for me. Turning the volume down to just audible and then having my own music (Classic FM) playing worked wonderfully and gave a nice cosy feel before bed (check out the Danish word ‘hygge’ for the best sense).

Late Night Lubricating Tram Slow TV
Keeping an eye on the Facebook page for slowtv.playtvak.cz it's clear some have been having fun interacting with the live broadcast from the tram, even getting on it a time or too with a swift stop and a berating from the driver. The hook line on the banner reads -"Napínavé příběhy se dějí právě v tomto okamžiku. Zpomalte a klidně se dívejte. Nebo rovnou sami zasáhněte do děje!" - which translates as "Exciting stories are happening at this very moment. Slow down and calmly look. Or directly intervene themselves into action!".

It may not be as high a production broadcast via TV signal as NRK but remains engaging and interesting - a wallpaper TV which may or may not do very much while you have it. But there’s the hook - something could happen. I’ll certainly be getting to know Prague a little better. If you’re wondering about translating, using Chrome, right click on a blank piece of page and click “translate to....” whichever language your default language is on.

Slow Television - The Slow TV Blog


  1. What has happened to Prague Station, I cannot get a picture !

  2. Cannot get live picture of Praha Station, any ideas