Czech TV – In English!
Filip Bezděk explains the dangerous magic of “Dual Sound”
There are people in Prague who don’t own televisions out of principle. And then there are monolingual expats who wouldn’t get much of český dabing, so forgo the box simply because they can’t understand it.
The ranks of the latter may be about to thin, thanks to the concept of bilingual Dual Sound broadcasting. The number of shows available isn’t enough to turn you into a full-fledged TV addict, but just might justify that second-hand purchase.
The concept of Dual Sound is based on stereo broadcasting: two separate sound channels broadcast with one picture. But Left and Right aren’t the only options for stereo sound – it can also mean Language I and Language II.This means that you can switch from Czech to English at will if it is offered by the broadcaster, and in the Czech Republic it is on the rise.
What kind of TV do you need? Easy: you just need a set capable of receiving stereo sound according to the Czech standard, which is to say a TV set purchased in the Czech Republic during the last five years. But beware of some older models, especially Samsung, equipped with a stereo amplifier but a mono tuner: these can reproduce stereo only from a VCR and don’t offer Dual Sound. A sure sign is a “I-II ” marked button on the remote control. (A nice side-effect of stereo TV is that they are also equipped with more powerful amplifiers which emulate stereo sound even on mono broadcasts.)
Stereo broadcasting in the ČR started with Czech TV some four years ago. Suddenly it was possible to watch shows like The Simpsons and Star Trek: The Next Generation in English, but then the show’s distributors claimed that the right to broadcast in Dual was reserved for cable channels. This was bad news, as the shows weren’t on the cable channels, and Czech TV was too lazy to negotiate.
The best known shows available in Dual on Czech TV now include Happy Days (ČT1 Tuesdays at 4), the original Star Trek series (ČT1 Fridays at 4:30 and mid-night). Euronews broadcasts in English and French on ČT2 at midday. If you’re looking in the papers’ TV listings, Dual Sound shows are marked with a “D” symbol. While it won’t list the second language, it is usually English.
TV Nova jumped on the Dual Sound bandwagon a year after Czech TV with a much larger selection for English speakers. Nova offers late morning movies (starting around 11) which can be anything from classic Hollywood to newer thrillers. Many of its prime time movies also come in Dual now, which recently included Raiders of the Lost Ark. Also watch for the Friday horror movie at midnight.
As for Nova’s regular shows, the list does not inspire: JAG (weekdays at 4:30 p.m.), Colombo (Sundays at 6 p.m.), Jake and the Fatman (Sundays at 11 a.m.) and the old British series Dempsey and Makepeace (Tuesdays at 9:45 p.m.). Just be aware that some of these shows produced non-Dual episodes, as was the case with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Murder She Wrote.
English isn’t the only language broadcast through Dual Sound. Most shows from Latin America and Spain are in Dual, including Rosalinda, Wild Moon, and The Wild Angel. The original German can be heard on shows such as the Schimanski movies and late-night porno.
Unfortunately Nova is the only private Czech station to use Dual. When Prima follows suit then maybe we ’ll have Married With Children, The Bold and the Beautiful, and LA Heat. Until then, we’ll take what we can get.
—Filip Bezděk can be eached at email@example.com
Opera Review: Krakatit by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Karel Čapek's novel predicting the nuclear arms race is also an opera
A Playdate With Marvelous Toys by Annie Friesen - Anglo American University (Foto: magnetický stůl - Ondrej Smeykal)
PLAY is open until June 30th @ Galerie Malostranská Beseda
National Gallery to be open over Easter by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: prague.eu)
All of the gallery buildings will be open Good Friday through Easter Monday
Cimrman set to conquer America by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The English version of a Jára Cimrman will be presented in the US for the first time
Through the Labyrinth of Normalization at Robert Guttmann Gallery by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The Jewish community was branded as an enemy of the state after the 1968 invasion
Architecture of the VII Day at Dox Centre by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Igor Snopek - DOX)
Church construction in Poland was a form of protest against the government
No Man looks at Stalin's sculpture by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
A modern music drama takes on the sculpture and its absence
In the Realm of Humans: Jaroslav Kučera’s Silent Dialogues by Markéta Hrehorová - Anglo American University (Foto: Roman Kelbich)
Exhibition running till 2. 4. 2017 @ Leica Gallery Prague
Eno's The Ship at Veletržní palác by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The installation is meant to be an ambient three-dimensional song
David Ives' All In The Timing at Kolowrat by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Seven short plays capture the feel of New York in the 1980s
First Cobbler's Prague Bakery Cup Cake Shop @ PALLADIUM!
Become a Good Angel!
Concert Tickets for Prague and Czech Republic
English and RUssian language driving school in Prague
First diamonds museum in Prague
Trabant Museum @ STK Motol
Armádní muzeum Žižkov
Národní památník hrdinů heydrichiády