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Russian TV in America

 

This page is dedicated to the Russian - language TV in North America (USA and Canada). How to get it, how much it costs and some other questions are discussed here. Although this page primarily covers this topic for the USA, Canadian readers can most certainly  find some useful information here. 

 

 

Currently available TV channels:


The program guide for NTV America is on  www.ntvworld.com.


A cool Internet-broadcasting site is www.webtelek.com.

 

Content

  1. What you can get and where

  2. Setting up the equipment

  3. About Canada

  4. Russian TV on the Internet

  5. Useful resources


What can I get?

A few lucky ones can get Russian channels on cable. If you live in a huge metropolis with sufficient Russian population, then you might be just one of them. Ask friends, inquire in a Russian food store or call your cable provider. If you're not that lucky, then it's time to raise your eyes to the sky. Satellite TV is what you need. And things most certainly look better now than it was just a couple of years ago.

     
  

RTVi and RTVi Plus
(former NTV and NTV+ )
NTV America

 NTV,NTV+ and NTV America are carried by  DishNetwork.

Subscription fee is $25/month for two channels (RTVi and RTVi+) or $15month for NTV America. Plus if you want Russian movies you ought to get NTV+, it rocks! Besides, you can get almost everything they offer on US cable plus some additional stuff. Click here for available American  programming choices.

The best part is price of equipment - although it varies significantly, some models can be purchased for FREE.

The only disadvantage with the DishNetwork system is that you might need two dishes to receive both Russian and American programming. If you just set for either of them - one dish will do just fine. 

WMNB:

WMNB was the first Russian TV station in the US. They originated from Fort Lee, NJ and originally  provided Russian broadcast for New York city. They grew-up  with growing demand for Russian service. Do you know that there are approximately 3 million Russian Americans in the US?

Subscribe here:
RTN/WMNB (800) 222-2786
Bridge Plaza, Suite 145
Fort Lee, NJ 07024

Be advised, they went though a bankruptcy.

The program guide is available  here.

ORT

Folks on the East coast can receive ORT-1 on a BUD (Big Ugly Dish) system. If both DirectTV/EABC and DishNetwork feature very small (about 35"/90cm in diameter for WMNB/DirectTV and 18''/45cm for Dishnetwork) and easily mounted dish, this one is a huge monster that you so often can see in countryside. 

A lot of companies would gladly sell you such a system as they're getting more and more obsolete. Some businesses 'specialize' in selling these 'high-tech' systems for Russian TV and ask a lot for it ($1000-$1500). But the truth is that quite often you can get such a system either free or for some ridiculous sum (like $100 - compare to several thousands the owner paid originally). Just drive in countryside and watch for abandoned 2 meter dishes near the houses. Sometimes owners will be just glad to get rid from this junk and give it to you for free. I personally saw classifieds "sell 10' dish and receiver for $100". Keep in mind that you would have to have *a lot* of free space to install this monster. At the same time this system is one of the most interesting and fun things you could ever get.

In order to determine whether you can receive ORT use a link to Telesputnik. Check if your city is within footprint of  Express-3a. Besides, reception quality will depend on diameter of your dish and sensitivity of LNB (Low-Noise Blockconvertor).

Although programming by itself is free, expect some expenses connected to buying a new TV and VCR. ORT is broadcast in SECAM, not NTSC. When did you last see a multisystem TV in an electronics store?  You can get it off the Internet, but even there prices bite. 

Please refer to the newsgroup rec.video.satellite.tvro and FAQ for this group for further questions. Special thanks go to Oleg Konoplev for useful information on this matter.

Setting up your equipment

Usually a dealer will install equipment with subscription.

BUD: Well, you'll need a pick-up truck, knowledge in handling concrete and adjusting precision electronic equipment. Such folks don't need instructions. Or have a dealer install it for you.

    What about Canada?

    Bell TV (formerly Bell ExpressVu ) offers a package with RTVi, RTVi+ and NTV Canada for $35/month.

    Rogers Cable offers a variety of packages containing various channels:

    • RTVi and Channel One Russia - $24.90
    • RTVi and NTV - $24.90
    • RTVi and RTVi+ - $24.90
    • RTVi and WMNB - $24.90.

    Russian TV on the Internet

    New emerging media - Internet. Sometime we will get all TV from the Internet and now you can see the first signs of it. Beside well known Real Audio radio broadcast there are more and more TV stations broadcasting live on the Internet. In fact, ORT plans to make its own Webcast. For now quality is poor and cannot compete with satellite TV. This situation is going to stay until faster channels become as widespread as today's 56K. Well, see for yourself:


    A site with many radio and TV channels.

    For more streaming video check out links below.

    Useful resources

    Russian Seattle

    Russian TV Satellites @ Telesputnik

    Voices of Russia


    DVDs, music and more


     
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    Research Resume