TV and Movie streaming is heading in the wrong direction

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 10, 2018
Music and Video

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Now, YouTube TV, and many others; soon, Disney's entry into the market with its own service while other companies consider entering the TV and movie streaming niche as well.

I canceled my Netflix subscription today as the company's offerings, at least here in Germany, are not cutting it anymore. While I like many of Netflix's own productions, I found it to be severely lacking when it comes to movies or TV shows that I would like to watch. Netflix's catalog is small; according to Finder, less than 2000 TV shows and movies are available in Germany.

The same can be said about Prime Video, my second subscription. I did not cancel it because it is included in Prime, which I use, but I don't really watch a lot of productions on Prime Video either because of those limitations.

netflix membership end

The Prime Video interface and layout is even worse than that of Netflix; I use a Fire TV stick for that, and it is such a pain to browse only free movies and shows using it as Amazon did not implement a filter to hide all paid offerings.

Disney will launch its own streaming service in 2019; means, Star Wars, Marvel, and other Disney productions may be offered exclusively there.  If you like these franchises, you may find them only on Disney's service and not elsewhere anymore.

The TV and movie streaming niche is fragmented already, and it appears that companies do their best to fragment it even further. Audio streaming on the other hand has less fragmentation even though there are multiple companies that offer streaming services.

For video, you'd either have to subscribe to multiple services to access a good range of productions, or hop from one service to the next regularly to avoid multiple subscriptions. Both options are not very enticing. The first costs a lot of money and means that you have to switch between the different services and applications they provide to search for content and stream video. The latter, that you have to cancel subscriptions and subscribe regularly.

In short: it is too expensive and not particularly user-friendly. Search works only on individual services which means that you have to rely on third-party search services to find out where you may watch a particular show or movie.

What will you do?

How will users react to the fragmentation? Some will surely subscribe to multiple TV and movie streaming services to access a good amount of content; others might move to streaming and download options that are not "official".

I made the decision that I won't play the game anymore. I canceled my Netflix subscription and won't subscribe to a service again until a Spotify of video streaming appears on the market.

What I do instead? I buy shows or movies on DVD or Blu-Ray that I'm interested in. Advantage of that method is that I can watch them whenever and wherever I want.  I don't buy many, however, and usually years after release on flea markets and other second hand marketplaces.

Now You: Do you have streaming video subscriptions?

TV and Movie streaming is heading in the wrong direction
Article Name
TV and Movie streaming is heading in the wrong direction
TV and video streaming fragmentation moves the whole streaming niche into the wrong direction; it hurts customers and companies.
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  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source –

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

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