How to replace the U-Verse Showcase?
March 1, 2016 10:46 AM   Subscribe

The AT&T U-Verse Showcase channel was discontinued today. It featured 30 minute HD shows with animals, natural scenes, or landscapes with inoffensive music. This channel was the only thing we let our kids (2 and 1) watch besides sports and nature documentaries, and is a key part of our nightly bed routine. Now I want to figure out what kind of shows I can find to replace it for this critical media niche.

Oh man, this is a family crisis. We have a good handful of these recorded on the DVR, but part of the appeal is that every two weeks or so there would be a new episode to put into the mix. The last one was "elephants". These shows always felt to me like that they were being produced from a media aggregation service; they have kind of generic music over stock images, but it was just perfect for our needs. The best outcomes that I can think of:

1) finding a compilation of past Showcase programs on DVD; I would totally buy this.
2) finding the media aggregator that makes these and buying them from said aggregator.
3) finding comparable shows to record, stream or purchase. I don't have Netflix but I would subscribe if I could find a show series that is sufficiently similar. I do have Amazon Prime.

We like nature documentaries but these were not the same thing. They don't have the "here's where the animals starve and die!" sections that seemingly all nature docs have to put in there. In fact, they have no narration at all (good!) and no animal sounds at all either (eh, whatever). And not all of them even have animals; our all-time favorite one is just aerial and skyline shots of world cities. Each episode shows just images and inoffensive music and each episode lasts something like 26 minutes, perfect for that period between book-time and teeth-brushing-time and bed-time. Damn you for getting rid of this, AT&T.
posted by norm to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
There's a TV channel from Newfoundland that shows "Scenes of Newfoundland" over night. It's basically just footage of panned shots of stuff in newfoundland with music playing over it. And it turns out there's a web stream. Looks like the show webcam footage when the tv station is running shows they're not licensed to stream. Anyway, here's their schedule. You can see that Scenes of Newfoundland was on at 3:30 AM Newfoundland time last night. I'm not sure how you would record this, but if you can figure out a way, that's one option.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:21 AM on March 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've never seen Showcase but your description reminds me of a Discovery show called Sunrise Earth, which isn't on TV anymore but is all over youtube and at least some of them are available for purchase on Amazon, plus there are DVDs.

The show is just nature and animals and scenery, as the sun comes up somewhere in the world. No music, no narration, just nature sounds. Very peaceful.
posted by colbeagle at 11:49 AM on March 1, 2016 [3 favorites]

What you're looking for has a genre: Slow TV. If you have the ability to put web video content on your TV, search YouTube for "slow tv" content. There are lots of videos and playlists. Some of them are hours and hours long, though.

Also, if you have a Roku, consider adding the free PlutoTV channel. This is like an internet TV-within-a-TV. It has its own channels inside the app, including a dedicated SlowTV channel that just shows the sort of stuff you're describing.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 11:56 AM on March 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

There are some shows available through Amazon streaming if you have Amazon Prime of things like waterfalls and other nature scenes.
posted by tracer at 12:28 PM on March 1, 2016

Response by poster: I am *very* interested in actual suggestions. I am not particularly interested in "I think they have some stuff like that on Prime".
posted by norm at 12:33 PM on March 1, 2016

Best answer: It's on Netflix, but I always liked the Moving Art Series for that.
posted by zabuni at 12:37 PM on March 1, 2016 [1 favorite] probably has some good stuff for you.
posted by nixxon at 2:14 PM on March 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The aerial shots of cities, etc. reminds me of Aerial America, which airs on the Smithsonian Channel, albeit with commercials (on AT&T Uverse HD 1118/SD 118).
posted by kuanes at 4:53 PM on March 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I like Aerial America and that's already on my "record every episode" list for the DVR. I prefer the Showcase format of music but no narration, but I appreciate all of the specific show recommendations. I have been checking them out and there are some good possibilities for the programming niche I am looking to fill.
posted by norm at 1:45 PM on March 9, 2016

For anyone else still interested, Amazon has added a new genre called Ambient that encompasses this idea. 93 titles and counting...
posted by overeducated_alligator at 3:52 PM on May 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

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