slow tv…who knew?

20 years ago, when we quit smoking, we bought a giant projection TV as our gift to ourselves for the money we would save not smoking.

That particular TV was the top of its line at the time but the end of that line, with other formats on the horizon. But it was a known entity in a wilderness of options, none of which had any track record. My husband, the couch team tech guy, wasn’t convinced “plasma” was the way to go, and it turns out he was right. Projection TVs were supposed to be problematic and “delicate,” but we moved that baby 3 times and it lasted until 2021.

In the interim, we always thought we’d have to replace it, so we watched as family and friends went through any number of flatscreen TVs, large and small, and saw the difference in picture, color, clarity and so on. By the time the Toshiba dinosaur finally failed, the couch team tech guy knew what he wanted as a replacement — but wouldn’t you know it: supply chain interruptions!

So he got his second choice, a smaller version of the brand. Not too much smaller. It’s still 70″ or something, but bigger is better of course.

The picture is light years better than our dying dinosaur’s had been, and so we’ve taken to watching some rather random things. We don’t watch anything but ROKU and YouTube and the morning weather, but some of the YouTube offerings are amazing.

One day we watched some “8G” nature click bait, even though there’s nothing close to “8G” programming, really. But it was awesome visually.

My husband likes the aircraft videos, including POV pilots stuff, as well as trains and historic locomotives. We’ve followed a few of the guys who ride historic routes, too. So, since YouTube is “intuitive” — which is a nice way of saying they know everything about our viewing habits — we ended up with these POV train cab videos, in amazing terrain, like northern Norway, and St. Moritz to Tirano (my favorite.)

They are mesmerizing.

With the level of technology in the cameras and the televisions, you are there. In the cab, next to the driver. No comments. Very little noise at all. Just the whoosh of the electric train, or the steady quiet roll of the diesel.

The terrain unfolds in front of you as if the train wasn’t even there (there’s no way of knowing how many cars are behind or even what it looks like, most often.)

You keep watching because it’s so interesting, and relaxing. Even when the train is going fast, it’s relaxing. You’re watching the weather change, and sometimes you go from below the snow line, up into higher elevations and blizzardy canyons. Sometimes there are miles of tunnels. Or the train is on a narrow narrow spit above a fjord below, and you go under snow sheds that keep off avalanches.

Cool stuff.

Did I mention some of the videos are 5 and 10 HOURS long?

I could definitely use them to go to sleep by. Just set the timer for the end of the run. I routinely nod off if they’re on, no matter what the time of day. LOL

I was telling my son about them, because he’s into all things Norway and Viking, and he said, “Oh yeah. The Norwegians invented SlowTV.”

So we stumbled into something called SlowTV, and we like it. Does that mean we’re old? Of course, we are. But I think it says more about the therapeutic elements that appeal in 2022, amidst ongoing televised medical fear porn.

(C) 2018 Carol Joy Shannon

My son says most of the SlowTV is hours of nature. I’ll be looking for those. I usually get my nature first hand, in my big backyard in the middle of nowhere. But it’s been cold this week. Maybe I can find a few hours of the tropics to escape to.

Here’s a little intro to the genre, compliments of the Scandinavian Standard LINK

It turns out that the first train trip we “took” is the one that started the trend, and it’s a train I’ve actually taken, albeit 40 years ago. I can’t wait to watch the one about the squirrels, and the sheep, but will probably skip the one on firewood — though it has a million views.

The couch crew likes to “fly” too, and there’s a company called AmericanAir that flies Pilatus planes all over as charters, and we “took” one to the Turks and Caicos earlier this week.

Highly recommended.

Safe travels!

1 comment

  1. This sounds very cool! I have a few things I watch with a similar relaxing effect. I will definitely check this out. Great writing as always. <3

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