Streaming Romanian/Hungarian TV in USA
January 3, 2016 7:09 PM   Subscribe

My MiL is coming to stay with us in late spring. She's older and speaks no English. So to make the days tolerable while we're at work and her grandson is in school, I need to get TV set up for her. She's a bilingual Hungarian from Romania. Some of her very favorite shows are in Hungarian, her native tongue. But she still likes to watch the news and whatnot from home, in Romanian. What are the current options for shows from these countries together or separately?

I've used a whole mess of things for her in the past. We had a Globecast World TV satellite, but it was expensive and unreliable and confusing to her. It's crapped out anyway now, so I'm not investing in that again.

We've tried various IPtv and online solutions, but Mama's level of technical ability is limited to power on/off, channel up down/and volume. So HTPC use was not practical at all.

I had been intending to purchase both the Romanian and Hungarian packages from GlobalConnect Network. They use a set top box (streaming from the internet) with a remote and DVR all with Romanian menus. The DVR would be a perk, but isn't necessary. The problem is, they no longer do the Hungarian channels.

I'm not ruling out doing Romanian-only through Global Connect, but I still sort of hope there might be a single set top box solution that can do both.

Alternately, I hope I might find a similarly easy Hungarian set-top box option and I could put one on one tv and one on another.

I do see that NexTV has an option for Hungarian channels they say works through Roku and that might be okay. Is there a company that does a Romanian channels option for Roku? Then I could give her one box and remote with two apps. Less than ideal, but maybe workable.

I'm not particularly interested in pseudo-legal options, as they don't generally time shift and Mama doesn't want to watch Dansez Pentru Tine at 3 am here. The legal channels through legit services generally time shift so that this isn't a problem.

The channels Mama likes (that I know of) are:
-in Romanian: ProTV, ProTV News, Antena 1, TVR
-in Hungarian: Duna, RTL Klub, MTV (Magyar TV, not music television)

This is tricky for me to search for as I don't speak much Romanian or any Hungarian, and my spouse's patience for sifting through options is limited to warm leads, not targetless spitballing.

If you have secured streaming tv for a loved one in the US from overseas, even if it's not in Romanian or Hungarian, you might point me to what you know and I can see if that leads me to what I need as well.
posted by DirtyOldTown to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Oh crap, one other thing. I don't have a roku (but wouldn't be averse to getting one if it helped with this.) I do have a couple of Amazon Fire Sticks.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:17 PM on January 3, 2016

I hear you about the pseudolegal options, but I've had good experiences using TunnelBear... It's easy to set up and it'll work on a tablet with basically no user interaction. Probably there's a way to set it up on a Roku with just the VPN settings.

Yes, it's definitely semi/pseudo/more-or-less-legal, which I personally feel comfortable doing in cases where nobody in the US will let me pay to get what I want legally...
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 1:28 AM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Romanian language channels appear to all be available online for a small subscription. If you set up each channel as a bookmark on the Bookmarks / Favorites bar maybe Mama would be comfortable with clicking on the channel name & choosing what program to watch from there? They all also have links for IOS & Android apps.

Anyway here are the links:

TVR - this appears to be free

Antena 1 - 3 euros a month subscription via PayPal

ProTV - its a service called Voyo that I found by following a link from the ProTV site, again 3 euros a month via PayPal

All these sites are in Romanian, but am I right in understanding that your spouse can read Romanian to set up subscriptions?

Also, certainly the 2 with subscriptions are described as being intended for international viewing, but I'm unable to test this for you, because I'm actually in Romania at the moment.

Hopefully someone else can help you out with the Hungarian language side.
posted by cantthinkofagoodname at 3:58 AM on January 4, 2016

Oh dear, I've just re-read the question & spotted that you've tried online solutions before. Sorry if I've just reiterated what you already tried.

You didn't mention any tablets in the household... would the an app for each channel on the front screen of a tablet be acceptable where a laptop with a browser wasn't?
posted by cantthinkofagoodname at 4:19 AM on January 4, 2016

Final update from the OP:
It turns out all you need is a VPN. If local streaming sources think you are streaming from their locale, you have so many choices.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:26 PM on March 27

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