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Selecting The Best DVD Rental Service

Selecting The Best DVD Rental Service

Renting movies at a store has almost become a thing of the past with online options and streaming content more the norm today than ever before. Netflix is the leader in online rentals and streaming media to all kinds of devices within the home, but are they the best for you? Blockbuster has similar services now and a number of upstarts are moving into the business to create additional competition for Netflix. Lets take a look at the qualities and services you should look for when comparing online DVD rental services.

Shipping Time: Does the DVD provider have a local shipping location to reduce the time it takes for your DVDs to arrive at your house? If you watch a lot of movies at home, delivery times can vary from between 1-2 days and 3-4 days.

DVD Selection: Consider both new releases and other categories when determining which online DVD rental service to join. Classics, TV Series, and Independents have become more popular recently.

Availability: It will be hard to tell how many copies are available until you begin to request DVDs in the mail. The larger the service, the more copies of a DVD they will usually have.

A Plan that Fits: First determine what you need as a household, how many DVDs will you watch in a given month? Then compare plans of all the companies under consideration that meet the needs that you have.

Ease of Use: Once a member, consider how easy it is to navigate the online service. Hopefully you were able to get a free 2 week trial with the service so you know before you begin paying if reserving DVD titles and having them shipped to you is something simple or more of a chore.

Ratings: Reviews from others will make getting the best DVDs into your queue and delivered to your home. If the online service doesn’t have user ratings or they are difficult to get to, look for a different service.

Streaming: If you want to be able to watch movies on your PC or streamed to your XBOX, make sure the DVD rental house provides the specialized service. At this time there are bigger differences in this area than most of the other categories discussed.

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Wal-Mart Purchases Vudu, Video On Demand Service

Wal-Mart Purchases Vudu, Video On Demand Service

Wal-Mart is purchasing video on demand service Vudu and could be looking to challenge other Internet movie delivery services such as Amazon, Hulu, Blockbuster (CinemaNow) and Netflix. Vudu is one of the options on many Internet ready movie devices sold today including HDTVs, like the ones sold at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has made a significant push into electronics while purchasing Vudu moves them into a service area that will extend Wal-Marts reach into consumers home for an extended period of time.

Vudu currently offers movie downloads for as little as 99 cents a movie. Their library of movies includes most major studios in addition to independent and international shops, 16,000 titles all together. Wal-mart could possible offer less expensive move downloads than other services and they could offer better quality content (1080p) which would put them one step ahead of the two biggest names in the space today, Netflix and Boxee. Wal-Mart might also create a new monthly service plan to compete directly with Netflix.

Make sure you have a decent internet connection (4.5 MBps) for the best quality delivery from Vudu. Other stream qualities are available including 1080i and 720p which require less bandwidth. When downloading streaming content other home services can also be affected included Internet phone service and computer browsing.

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Changes at Blockbuster Make Netflix Even More Attractive

Changes at Blockbuster Make Netflix Even More Attractive

While numbers are dwindling for Blockbuster loyalists one of the major differences between the two has always been the ability for Blockbuster customers to drop off their mailed videos in person should the desire arise. What many consumers may have missed is that about a year ago, they dropped this service and only allow consumers to rack up 5 in-store returns. In addition to that, they are no longer giving out the coupons for free rental. Netflix seems to have left the brick and mortar rental business behind, saving their hard-earned money to offer customers more in way of selection and service.

For the expanse of $20 a month consumers cannot only have unlimited video but they can develop a fully customized queue of movies to rent and never worry if they don’t pass a store on the way home. Keeping the movies as long as you like and having viable options with which to view videos has kept Netflix on the top of the map when it comes to video rental. Seems the only reason to stay with Blockbuster is to enjoy the consumerism of walking into a store and buying overpriced popcorn or cotton candy when you rent. Sure thing is Netflix offers more selection, better deals, economical packages designed to fit the needs of all consumers and reliability unsurpassed by no other online rental company.

Netflix Roku DVR

Netflix Roku : Streaming Content as It Should Be

Netflix Roku – Streaming Content as It Should Be

Roku Video Recorder/Player is one of the most desirable devices at this
moment. The Roku for Netflix is so simple and easy to use, we could only play for a few minutes and we were watching a movie.

The Market

To start, we have to understand why it is important for a company that rents videos to be selling boxes for members to instantly watch videos on their televisions. Currently, Netflix has 8 million subscribers, 21% more than last year. The business is based on renting movies by mail, such as Bazooka does in Chile.

However, as efficient as the distribution of the DVDs is, Netflix has a cost that it assumes twice per film, per customer, as the physical DVD has to travel through the US Postal Service. In addition to administrative and logistical costs of managing the inventory, the company waste is great when you consider the volume that they handled daily.

That’s why companies like Netflix and Blockbuster are seeking new ways to distribute their films in a more efficient. Digital distribution is the solution. It is interesting to see how the industry has evolved: First there were neighborhood video libraries, then monopolistic chains, then the mail distribution of DVDs and now the virtual distribution.

The Roku Box roku-netflix-front-new-web

The Roku Video Player is not a media center, not a DVR, it’s no Apple TV. That’s the beauty; it offers so little and is so simple that even the price in U.S. is small, $ 99. With it, you do not buy movies, and renting is complicated by limitations of the DRM failed strategies.

The Roku does only one thing: you can now see over 10 thousand movies, whenever you want, whenever you want and for as long as you want. Netflix in the future wants to add his entire library of 100 thousand movies.

Inside, it has no hard drive, only 32MB of memory used by owners to manage their software and functions. One does not drop or download movies to the device, but you see content in pseudo real-time streaming, Internet Television.

The ports you have are: HDMI, component, composite video, Ethernet, S-Video and a Toslink optical. It also has WiFi and runs on an Internet bandwidth from 1.5 Mbps and up.

Installation of The Roku

Short and fast installation: The Roku Video Player plugs into the mainstream TV plugs and into an Ethernet connection to your broadband Internet connection. You log into your computer and your Netflix account, you select the movies to watch, and begin watching movies.

The Roku is only the beginning of a series of other devices that Netflix has already announced and will be available in the coming months in the U.S.


The installation took less than 10 minutes. When you are ready to watch movies, it takes about 2 minutes to start, and image and sound are flawless. It’s a completely seamless experience comparable with any cable or DVD movie.

If you desire to have more than 10 thousand movies available and want to watch them in great quality, buy it quickly without thinking twice. If you want advanced features you find in traditional DVDs and other advanced services, you might want to wait for a more robust solution.

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Netflix Free Trial Compared to the Blockbuster Free Trial

Netflix Free Trial Compared to the Blockbuster Free Trial

Both online movie rental services, Netflix and Blockbuster, offer free trials at this time to allow new subscribers the opportunity to test their service. Both services are quite similar but also have some differences that you should consider.

The Similarities

Both Netflix and Blockbuster provide an online queue within your membership area. This queue holds in order the movies you would like to receive from the company on a rental basis. Once you finish watching a movie, return it in a prepaid envelope, and the next movie in your list or queue is sent to you. The number of movies you can have at one time is the only factor that varies and is dependent on the plan you wish to pay for.

The Differences

Blockbuster has the added bonus of allowing movies to be returned to a participating store location in your area. Overdue fees and late charges may apply though when you choose to return it physically to Blockbuster instead of mailing a watched movie back to the company. When you do return the movie you are giving a free in store rental which is a great benefit that Netflix is not able to provide. I personally liked the select of movies available better with my Blockbuster free trial.

Other differences relate to Internet streaming options which are rolling out independently by the two companies. At any one time, one company may provide the service on the game console you have already in the home while the other company is still working on making the services available. Each company also offers compatible devices that you can purchase that allow for instant watching. Broadband connections are required for the service.

The Costs

Costs for the plans are the same at this time. The initial 2 week trials is free with plans ranging from $8.99 a month to $16.99 a month depending on the number of movies you want to have at home at any one time. There are one, two, and three movie rental plans. Make sure to cancel your trial during the 2 week period if you do not wish to continue.

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XBox 360 Netflix

XBox 360 Netflix

The numbers are impressive when it comes to Netflix. They have 95 shipping sites all over the country so most addresses can be reached within one business day. Along with being able to get the movies in one day you can choose from 100,000 movies and television shows. There is something for every member of the family.

If you do not want to wait for your movies, you can watch many movies instantly on your computer or television. There are quite a few ways to watch Netflix movies on your television. You can use some Xbox 360s and you can also use TiVo. Many upper end home entertainment systems also come equipped for Netflix so look for that feature if you are going to be purchasing a new home entertainment system. Netflix has 8 million customers and that should tell you that their services are top notch. You can also try Netflix for 14 days for free.