Thursday, December 07, 2006

Blockbuster VS Netflix

I have been a member of the online DVD rental community off and on now for several years. For the longest time I went with Netflix because, well at first they were the only ones around, but even later because they had the greatest selection and seemed to treat their customer’s with a well pleasing service.

A few months back I switched to Blockbuster, and I don’t see myself turning back.

Here’s the rundown.

Blockbuster has essentially stolen Netflix’s game plan from them so both services are nearly identical. You choose a plan which consists of how many movies you want out at a time. For example I am on the 2 at a time plan which means at any given time I have two movies “out” (this doesn’t necessarily mean I have them in hand for this count also involves mail time. For this it costs me about $17 a month.

Both services have similar queues wherein who select the movies you want to watch and then as returned movies are turned in, the next movies in your queue are mailed out. Due to popularity of certain titles, an item in your queue may not be available when it hits the front of the line. Both services make not of this on their queues and will then send out the next available flick. I have noticed that Blockbuster has a tendency to send the movies in my top ten a little out of order even though none of them are listed as unavailable. Though I’m not sure why this is, it really isn’t too bothersome to me since I’m not that particular.

From my location and my calculations both services are comparable in terms of how quickly they process returns and send movies out. On average I receive a new movie five days from the time I have returned it.

In terms of selection Netflix gets the prize. They, by far, beat Blockbuster with number of movies in their archives. They also do not place any restrictions on ratings (Blockbuster doesn’t allow NC-17 or X rated films.) Neither company supplies pornography or “Adult” films.

So, why did I choose Blockbuster? Because they give you free in-store rentals. Before a few weeks ago they gave me 1 coupon per week to rent a movie from their physical stores. With my normal online rentals averaging out to two movies a week added with the 1 coupon per week I was receiving approximately 12 movies per month. At less than $20 per month this was already a big bargain.

Blockbuster has recently changed their terms and now instead of mailing the movies back to them you can simply return the DVDs to any Blockbuster store. Once turned in they automatically send out the next movie in my queue thus upping the amount of movies sent to me per month. Also each time you turn in a movie, you may rent one from the store. Thus, even with my old average of two movies per week I’m now doubling the amount of movies I rent from the store, and with the improved mailing times this may even triple. That’s 16-20 movies a month!

Well worth it in my book. I will probably even drop my selection to one movie at a time for $10 which will still see me receiving 12-16 movies per month.

It is a no brainer for me. Now I know most of you are probably now thinking to yourselves that there is no way you could watch that many movies in a month. The reality of the situation is that you don’t have to. With the online rentals there are no due dates or late fees. You can keep the movies as long as you want. With my DVD burner I tend to maximize my movie gathering and money saving potential by turning them in the day after, but you can certainly be more leisurely about it. Even if you take the $10 one at a time option and only watch 4 movies, you’ve still saved yourself money over watching those same movies with regular rental prices.


bigsip said...

We did Netflix for a very short time. We just don't watch enough movies to make it worth it to us.

We will rent a movie from Movie Gallery every now and then, though.

Netflix or BB is awesome if you are a consistent movie watcher, though.

Nice rundown, Brew.

mmullinz8 said...

Dude, I’m amazed that you have all this experience in the world of movie acquisition and rental.

We’ve got a library of maybe 20 DVD’s that we rotate through and that’s about it. We’ve got VHS for the kids and that’s about it.

I don’t see how you can deal with watching all those movies. The time invested just seems like too much to me. Once you find a gig I think you need kids to take up a bit of your free time.

Brewster said...

No kids, plus no job = lots of free time.

but even with job there were always evenings and weekends. we don't go to the movies, but watch lots of them on the dvd.

Plus I burn loads of them to watch later. I've got upwards 400 DVDs now.

Jamison said...

I wouldnt be posting to the world wide web your piracy habits. It is, after all, a federal offence.

mmullinz8 said...

What do you do with 400 DVD’s? I have the occasional times when I wish I had this style of movie or that but wnen I get to that point I read. I know that you read like the dickens so I just don’t see why you want o spend so much time sitting down. I guess that’s the thing, it seems like you’re sitting around quite a bit.

Doesn’t that get boring? I mean a hobby is a hobby and a passion is a passion and there is nothing I can say against doing something you love no matter if it’s sitting, standing, walking, hiking or flying. My little mind can’t wrap its self around reading and watching movies all the time.

Brewster said...

So now you are Mr. Active? Everyday after work you go for a job and a hike eh?

I don't read and watch movies 24/7. Amy and I go walking sometimes, and I try to get to the gym and certainly we go out and do stuff.

Now admittedly with the Winter full on and the job nonexistent, I do a lot of reading and watching, but that's not the normal routine.

When I was working, sure on weekday nights we'd usually sit at home and watch TV or a movie. Or we'd go to Borders and have a hot chocolate, or to the park, or whatever. I don't know what you want me to say, we go midget car racing every Thursday...

I certainly haven't watched all 400 odd movies and I've reached the point where I could probably cancel my bb subscription and be happy with the movies I have, but its cheap and thats my obsession.

Brewster said...

it's my turn to play sip again.

Just got a call from one of my agency people and they want to set up an interview for an HR position in a call center.

Its not exactly my dream job, but definitely sounds like something I can easily do and mostly enjoy.

It would be a little bit of a pay cut, but I've decided this is more than ok since its still way better than anything else I've found in this area.

I'm going to ask for some specific prayers on this one. with an addendum that if God's got something else in store that I have the patience/foresight to wait for it. but honestly this sounds like an answer.


bigsip said...

Good show old Brew!

I am in my last week of work. The interviews for teaching have gone well and other interviews have gone well, but all of them so far would be such a huge pay cut that I can't take them.

Of course, they've all been the jobs I'm overqualified for but would like to do. But, I think I'm going to have to follow the money train.

Best of luck and much prayers, Brew.

Rachel said...

In defense of my husband...

The paycut thing isn't because we want to live the high life. It's simply a matter of paying our bills.