I recently took some time to review the website Netflix.com. I would imagine that most of you have heard of it before. Personally, I am not a huge movie watcher, but after reviewing the site, I can certainly say that if I were, that Netflix would probably be my first choice.
There’s a reason why Netflix has become so popular in a short amount of time. Its prices are great and the movie selection is even better. Their intelligent algorithms that pick movies based on your movie interests and how you rated other similar movies is very accurate and helpful. Plus, they’re coming up with new ways to instantly watch their movies all the time.
Here’s a more in-depth look at them:
Here is how it works. You can get all the movies that you want from Netflix for $8.99 per month. You can either rent them through the mail, or you can access them instantly on your TV through one of many different devices including Blu-ray Players and a variety of gaming systems including the PS3, Wii and XBox 360. You can also stream a variety of TV episodes as well. They also offer the ability to stream movies over the internet.
At first glance, you may not see the benefits to streaming because you don’t want to huddle around a computer to watch a movie. However, many of the newer television sets can be connected to a computer via various different connections so it’s like you’ve rented a DVD instantly without having to wait for it in the mail. The process for all these various ways to access movies instantly is amazingly simple and straightforward.
As far as the different pricing points, $8.99 is if you only have one DVD out at a time. They also offer plans for two out at a time for $13.99 and three out at a time for $16.99. You can also get a free trial to test things out and see how you like it. One important note: Netflix charges a higher fee if you want access to Blu-ray movies as well, which Blockbuster does not offer (see Blockbuster section below).
No Strings Attached, No Late Fees, No Due Dates
There are no due dates and no late fees, ever. They also offer a free, no-strings attached one-month trial. Also, you can cancel at any time, although they do not offer refunds on partial months. They have a great deal of distribution centers and most DVDs coming through the mail will arrive in one business day depending on where you’re located. They currently have about 15 million members, which is pretty impressive. They also carry Blu-ray movies as well.
That pretty much sums it up. They couldn’t make watching or renting movies any easier, in my opinion, and you can have your friends and family attest to that.
Netflix has really taken things to the next level with everything that they offer, it just seems as though they are waiting for the consumer to catch up. As I said, I do not watch a lot of movies, but if I did, I can’t see any reason why I wouldn’t be a member. Their monthly fee of $8.99 is less than the price of one movie theater ticket, and if you watch at least three movies per month, you would save with Netflix versus renting based on movie rental fees.
However, I will say this. If you are considering becoming a member of Netflix, I would base that decision on your current movie-watching habits. Allow me to explain. I like to call it the HBO Syndrome. When I was younger, I’d venture to say that I signed up for HBO about ten times. This is what would happen. I’d look into signing up for HBO and tell myself “Boy, if I had HBO, I’d watch movies all the time.” So, I would sign up, watch a few more movies than I normally would for a month or so, fall back into my normal movie viewing habit of not-so-much, and finally get around to canceling a few months later. It always turned out to be a waste of money in the end for me. So, if you love to watch movies, I’d highly recommend Netflix, but I think you’re kidding yourself if you think you’ll watch so many more movies once signing up for their service. You can also argue that signing up for this WILL make you watch more movies which might make you less productive in other aspects of life. There is definitely a “temptation” aspect here so just be sure you won’t go overboard watching movies.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t have at least a little commentary on their blog, as it seems every website I go to has one. I actually found there blog to be quite good. It is 100% information-based, as I found no opinion articles there whatsoever. The majority of their articles dealt with coming attractions, release notes, and other FYI type stuff. I only found about one post per month there, but it does contain good information for movie watchers.
Netflix vs. Blockbuster
To be honest with you, I first thought that a comparison to Blockbuster would be irrelevant. Here’s my take on the whole Blockbuster/Netflix thing: Many years ago, Blockbuster was king and they were the only game in town, besides Mom & Pop rental places. Then, lately, Netflix came on like gangbusters with their rentals by mail concept. Then they got into the download/streaming feature as well. You then began to see Blockbusters attempting to close the game while man assumed they wouldn’t have a chance. A quick review of their product and site told me differently.
The services they currently offer are really quite similar to Netflix, a few are even better. Their base package is the same as Netflix at $8.99 per month. And they also have the other options which allow you to have more than one rental out at a time. This goes up to $17.99 per month, depending on how many you want to be able to have out at one time. They also have a total access program which allows you access to all of the features they offer.
Blockbuster does have a few advantages:
- You can exchange your movies in store
- There is no additional charge for Blu-ray movies as there is from Netflix
- Blockbuster offers video game rentals as well
So, I would guess that if you watched a ton of movies and wanted to stick with the “one out” program, then being able to exchange them in store would be an advantage to save time on the mail delivery process. Also, if you watch more Blu-ray’s than anything, then Blockbuster might be the way to go. Finally, if gaming is your hobby, then Blockbuster obviously has some advantages there.
If I had to make a choice between the two, I think I would definitely go with Netflix. They seem to be on the cutting edge of technology with everything that they offer. I think their price point is great at $8.99 per month, and they have all the options you could possible want regarding watching movies. Of course, their risk-free trial doesn’t hurt either.
In my honest opinion, Blockbuster is still playing “catch up” with Netflix, but Blockbuster does offer a few key benefits that Netflix doesn’t. If you watch a ton of movies and don’t mind returning them in store, then Blockbuster may be a better option. Or, if you love Blu-ray’s, or are a “gamer” then you might want to consider Blockbuster as well.
Are any of you out there Netflix members? Blockbuster? Feel free to share your experiences with our readers below to help us decide!