Watching live webcam feeds of ski resorts, towns and cities across Austria makes for oddly entertaining breakfast television. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure let me explain. ORF 2, one of the national broadcasting company’s channels, provides two hours of quality weather TV in the morning by the simple devise of showing live web feeds accompanied by weather updates and forecasts for the next few days.
In a country which is mostly mountains the weather is a vertical and well has horizontal issue. I have in the past walked through the hills an hour from Vienna wearing a T-shirt and enjoying the warm sunshine whilst being able to look down upon the clouds covering a sub-zero and wet capital city. So these webcam broadcasts can be of real practical use in knowing the conditions in different regions and various altitudes – I have in the past observed the webcam feeds before deciding whether to make a trip.
However, the real value of this two hour programme is the entertainment it can provide. These are webcam’s with camera’s automatically moving through 180 degrees with no human involvement. Therefore you never know what you might or might not see. If the weather is bad or the wind is blowing snow/rain directly into the camera then the effect can be anything from a blank screen to a truly modern art experience. When you can see, the views can vary from great scenery through to people getting on with early morning life. As yet I’ve never looked down on one of the towns and seen a bank robbery or observed a dramatic mountain rescue at a ski resort but then this real time TV is more a gentler wake-up entertainment, as you prepare for the day, than ‘reality’ TV.