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Netflix vs. Blockbuster

January 27th, 2007 at 07:47 am

In the on-going battle for DVD-by-mail supremacy, Netflix seemed to always have an edge over Blockbuster. As a previous Netflix subscriber, I was recently made aware that Netflix will soon be offering customers the option to download and view movies online. When this becomes available, Netflix thus becomes a "movies on demand" type of service. Compare that to Blockbuster, which at first had the advantage of "instant" gratification in that if you really couldn't wait, you could go to the actual store and obtain a movie by simply trading in your mailer. Now you can be an ultimate couch potato and just point and click your way to a movie on your computer via Netflix.

Blockbuster still has one slight advantage, but this applies only to gamers. You can rent video games for Xbox and Playstation at the stores. By being a subscriber to the DVD-by-mail program, you receive ecoupons which you can redeem in-store for a video game. Given the, ahem, episodic (re: addictive) quality of certain games, and depending on whether the "no late fees" applies, this could be a very good deal (though I have the feeling that is not the case). But if your thumbs were aching for a quick fix for Madden NFL 200-whatever, then Blockbuster could be your cure.

Pricewise, Netflix and Blockbuster are neck in neck. I don't know how prices will change when Netflix unveils the downloading service, but people may be willing to pay a little more for the convenience. Blockbuster would have to drastically lower prices to get people's attention.

I have personally tried both Netflix and Blockbuster and experienced no delays receiving DVD's in the mail from both services on a timely basis. There's no handy listing of the distribution sites, but perhaps some people in non-metropolitan areas have experienced shipping delays. My friends and I have received cracked/unplayable DVD's from Netflix a few times; can't say anyone really minded, though, because there were always other movies to watch and things to do. And WOW, Netflix let us return it with no problem or charge. Guess it's impossible to finger who's to blame.

Ultimately, the thing that draws me (and my friends) to Netflix are the 2-week Free Trials. For awhile, a group of us would take turns applying for the free trial membership, then we'd all get together to watch the movies. After three rounds of this, we did all chip in to pay for a subscription (we felt bad). When we canceled, Netflix offered ANOTHER free trial period to keep us, so we took that. Then we ran out of movies to watch =) But, my point is that FREE is always a big plus.

Still hesitant to give Netflix a try? Enter this code: 80004745 for a 4-week Free Trial Bring on the popcorn!

4 Responses to “Netflix vs. Blockbuster”

  1. monkeymama Says:

    That on-demand video viewing sounds something to look for since my dh has gotten his computer hooked up to a 10-foot screen - would love it I bet - will have to tell him.

    We are REALLY happy with blockbuster and as usual with everything we are grandfathered into some really old cheaper plan so switching would cost more. The good and the bad - LOL.

  2. monkeymama Says:

    I just chatted with my dh and he said the quality was really sucky - either that or it would take a day to download. Hmmmm. For people okay to watch a movie on a computer and not be too concerned of quality, I guess. Like me, I could care less - LOL.

  3. threebeansalad Says:

    I'm really excited for the movie downloads. If the quality is OK, we plan on reducing our subscription (currently 3 movies).

  4. LuckyRobin Says:

    Blockbuster does not let you keep games for an unlimited amount of time. If that is something you are wanting check out Gamefly. It is just like Netflix only if offers games for all of the more recent game systems including the handhelds. They have a $20 for 2 out at a time and $15 for one out at a time. A little pricey unless you're going to keep them for the entire month or longer. But if you do four in a month you will beat out renting them locally.

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