Wednesday, October 24, 2007


It's that time of the year to re-subscribe to a video rental service, with winter gloom and darkness settling over the landscape. Nothing like a warm, crackling fire in the fireplace and snuggling down under a comforter with a bowl of popcorn and me and Mrs Lipstick watching a flick or two to stave off the winter blahs.

Last season Blockbuster, going head to head with Netflix, really put the pedal to the metal by unveiling their Total Access packages where you get the DVDs in the mail, take them into the local BB rental place and trade them for an in-store movie, and by scanning your return the warehouse is prompted to mail another one. It was a bold move. BB realized that their numerous stores was a potent weapon to one-up NF in the rental biz. It worked well for us and using the three-out-at-a-time plan for $17.99 we watched up to twenty movies a month last winter.

I switched back to Netflix this time around. Why? Well for one thing BB bumped that rental plan up to $24.99, probably realizing their pricing was too much of a good deal after looking at the stats after a few months. Now even at that price the plan was a bargain but I resented the money grab.
With both companies you pick a list of movies you want and the deal is when you send a movie back they'll ship you the next one on your list. Au contraire figured Blockbuster. Apparently they decided your list was only a loose guideline and seemingly picked your titles at random. At times the first few in the queue were overlooked for weeks.
And speaking of the titles, even though both services have tens of thousands to choose from, slight preference differences in their libraries means a wealth of new movies to rent if you switch from one to the other.
The final thing that made me change to NF is the fast delivery of DVDs through the mail. Blockbuster has a lot of stores for that Total Access thing, Netflix has a lot of warehouses around the country, meaning quick turnaround. If I send a movie back in the mail, I get the next one in two days. Much faster than BB.

So there you have it Blockbuster, the ball is in your court, your move.

added - looks like I'm not the only one who likes Netfix again.

added - Fergot ta mention that NF also has an on demand online movie selection too. For every dollar you pay for your particular rental plan you get an hour of viewing their growing list of online titles. Watched "A Boy and his Dog" the other day.


Blogger Lesley said...

I have a similar plan at Hollywood Video. I rent at least once a week and except for the monthly fee of $17 my rentals are completely free and I don't have to wait for the mailman.

24/10/07 6:25 PM  
Anonymous expatbrian said...

I havent rented a movie for years. No need to if you have a computer with a burner and a dvd program. I get all my movies from (don't tell anybody)Very often I can get them before they even hit the theaters. I burn them as DIVX and can get 6 on one disk. You have to have a player that plays DIVX but those are becoming common and can be bought for about 100. Even without that you can burn as a dvd and play in any player. Its alot cheaper than renting. Discs cost about 40 cents apiece.

I get the covers online. there are several sites that have all the covers, just download and print. My library is about 900 movies now plus maybe 200 documentaries and even some old tv series. If you don't have a burner, just watch them on your pc.

Get a dowload program like Emule for free online. Start downloading and enjoy.
Burn your Blockbuster card

24/10/07 8:48 PM  
Blogger Debbie Does Nothing said...

That settles it. I've been thinking about doing Netflix & you convinced me. We'll see if their turnaround is as quick where I live, out in the boonies.

25/10/07 12:38 AM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

Dunno about all that work, expatbrian, but I'll look into that. 900 movies!
Didn't know that Hollywood even had rental programs, Lesley.
Yeah Debbie, BB really backed off from their original good deal, and the somewhat erratic service disappointed me. Something else I didn't mention was that my local BB store decided to thin the archived classic selection in favor of romantic comedy, teen booty calls and Owen Wilson, all the time.

25/10/07 1:40 AM  
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