The Netflix library has half the titles it did four years ago


#21

I recently got Amazon Prime (Austrian Version), and I spontaneously decided to re-watch a few episodes from Season 1 of “Heroes”.
Original Version or German Dubbed Version? Well, translation is sometimes a necessary evil, but hey, I understand English.
So I start watching. Part of the action is in Japan. I have to manually enable subtitles, my Japanese is not quite good enough yet.
On to episode two: No subtitles available. None at all.

I’m left with a choice between the original version, without subtitles for the Japanese parts, or the German Dub, which has Hiro Nakamura speaking German, which becomes quite ridiculous as his command of German grammar varies according to who he’s talking to. And the voice actor must have had a previous career in dubbing children’s anime series.

So, back to the pirated version, I’ve paid for it now anyway, haven’t I?

Piracy is still pretty convenient in comparison. I usually even get a choice whether to have subtitles and what language(s) to use, independent of my current location. And Amazon recently told me that they won’t show me high-definition content, because I’m running Linux and my 30" screen is not connected via an encrypted HDMI cable. I’m still paying for getting less than I get when pirating.

And extend that to translations & adaptations.
I want the right to buy and use third-party subtitles for the things I watch.
I do not want to pay so that dubbing companies make American War Heroes speak perfect German to Evil Nazis.
And I don’t want to hear Arnold Schwarzenegger speak with a Northern German accent (well, maybe it is preferable to his own interpretation of the German language).
And I want the local middle school theatre club to be allowed to perform “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” without asking for permission first. Or their own stage adaptation of a movie they happen to like.


#22

About the only thing we watch on Netflix is kid stuff and movies not made for the US market. Hadn’t noticed the drop in streaming content, but I’ll drop it like a hot potato the day the sprog isn’t interested in watching all of Clone Wars (again) anymore.


#23

actually their dvd collection is amazing. i’ve watched dozens of excellent silent films, japanese classics, exceptional bollywood selections. i’ve gone through french and italian new wave cinema, german expressionism and post-expressionism,as well as movies from australia, south america, and the soviet union. streaming is a steaming pile but actual dvds is a different matter.


#24

I don’t have the service, so I can’t really say it’s what you are looking for, but it does look tempting: https://www.fandor.com/ indie + arthouse films.

We already have less selection in Canada and I can’t keep up with all there is to watch on Netflix. They put new movies on faster than I watch them. Maybe I need to watch more movies!


#25

I still have service through them; I haven’t run out of things that I want to watch yet. But then, I skew things because I’m still going through a “rewatch all the Star Trek” phase. If CBS pulls Star Trek, I might have to reconsider.


#26

I’ve got both plans, so the lack of streaming content doesn’t bother me all that much, either. But the thing, is, I’m noticing more and more films are disappearing from Netflix DVD, too. I have more and more films in my DVD and streaming watch lists disappearing and showing up on the “Saved” list, where they never return to being available. In some cases this is happening in a matter of days after release, and increasingly it seems like Netflix isn’t picking up films to begin with. My list of films I’d like them to get but they don’t acknowledge the existence of is ever-increasing, and the number of new titles they pick up seems to get shorter each year.
Given that Netflix drove all the local video rental stores out of business, that means there aren’t a lot of options. The local library system’s video selection isn’t great, and subscribing to another video streaming service, in the hopes of getting a few of the things Netflix lacks isn’t very appealing either - mostly you’re just paying for an overlapping library.


#27

Fandor looks pretty cool! I wonder if I’d be able to find the BBC documentary fourth-part of Peter Sellers’ home movies. I’ve been wanting to see that for years.


#28

By comparison NOW - not with what I envisioned.


#29

The DVD service doesn’t get their hands on absolutely everything, but I haven’t experienced the same loss of content you report beyond a smattering, although I don’t doubt that it’s going on to some degree.

My unstreamable Saved queue has actually shrunk over the years, with only 26 of the 70 Saved items currently being 2015 or older. I also have a separate list of 12 that neither Netflix nor Prime offers, but I think I could knock out most of them via YouTube, Amazon non-Prime, iTunes, or somewhere else if I put my mind to it.

Reed Hastings is reportedly a devoted indie film fan, so the DVD service continues to be very good about picking up foreign and limited releases. I have seen the DVD release list shrink, too, but it hasn’t affected what I’ve selected that much.


#30

The last few (maybe more) times I have gone to Netflix to watch something I have spent about a movie’s worth of time searching for something I would like to see and then finally given up. Might be time to kill the sub.


#31

IIRC, on the first season of Fuller House, subtitles and/or translated dubs were made for over a dozen languages initially (English, English Descriptive Audio, European Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Castilian Spanish, Latin American Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish, Italian), and then eventually Polish and probably Japanese, Mandarin, and god knows what else. Netflix has language codes for 126 different tongues, for what it’s worth. I was under the impression that all the dubs and subs are accessible to the IMF file containing the audio and video media, but I don’t know what the limitations of each market’s particular Netflix apps are when it comes to accessing those assets. Above my pay grade. I know that somebody in the world can watch Fuller House with subtitles in Bokmal, but I have no idea if anyone can do so in the States.

And, of course, Netflix’s original programming will likely have more options than older features obtained from studio libraries, since Netflix is keen on future-proofing their original content (which is why they thought it sensible to shoot a multicam sitcom in 4K in the first place).


#32

It’s been pretty obvious for a while now that Netflix is becoming HBO: a smaller selection of titles for shorter periods of time supplemented by “can’t miss” original programming.


#33

The VPN blocking really hurt. Still, I have to pay for the (quite worthwhile) public stations anyway, and Netflix is the best source for international content.


#34

Just to be clear, we’re talking streaming (for me, on an Android device), right?

In Mexico, Fuller House is in English or Spanish, also for subtitles. This is often the case for shows whose viewership includes children.
However, using VPN, it comes in Cantonese, French, English, and Mandarin. In subtitles, you get English, French, or German.

However, with something like Grand Hotel, you get “European Spanish” only for subtitles - while with VPN, you also get English subtitles.
It seems to me the capacity for a wider range of languages is there (even if only two), but Netflix chooses to throttle it for some reason, while one still pays the same amount for the monthly fee.


#35

nothing like the 6am siren song of

#WANT PIGGIES!


#36

Well, streaming on any kind of device, as far as I know. I only worked on the show’s post-production end; once the show is delivered to Netflix I don’t know how they go about actually distributing it. I do know that the dozen or so languages I listed above for dubs and subs needed to be in place by the time the show initially launched, and that the languages I did not list (like Mandarin, Cantonese, and Polish) were done at a later date, which implied to me a later rollout in those markets.

Initially, Warner Bros International Mastering was going to do all the international dubbing and subtitling, but at some point Netflix decided to take responsibility for those assets themselves. I’m kinda surprised you only get four spoken options and three subtitled ones (neither apparently including Spanish) on a VPN, since there exist dubs and subs for at least fourteen languages, not counting Cantonese, Mandarin, and Polish.

But then again, who knows how broad the appeal of that show is.

For their original programming, Netflix is willing to commission dubs and subs into many languages, but for stuff they license from other studios and libraries, they probably don’t commission much in the way of new translations, and just acquire whatever the studio had already commissioned for foreign distro. And maybe not always all of it.


#37

About half of my “Saved” list is made up of movies that they used to have on DVD, streaming or both. A little under a third is currently movies that have yet to be released on DVD and the rest are movies that they’ve had listings for, sometimes for years, but have never actually had them available. Weirdly, that last category includes second (etc) seasons of tv series where they picked up the first many years ago.


#38

Just “curious”, which VPN service is still working for you?


#39

Long time Netflix customer here and I’ve definitely noticed the dwindling selection of films and shows I actually want to see. Then they have the nerve to charge extra for 4k content. Not to mention it takes forever for many things to go into the streaming library. Still waiting on season 2 of Better Call Saul.


#40

PM’ed.