Thursday, November 10, 2011

Which Is Better: Netflix, Redbox, or Amazon On Demand?

Renting DVDs at a traditional video store is quickly becoming a thing of the past. People are now getting movies faster and much cheaper thanks to Redbox, Netflix, and Amazon OnDemand. The million dollar question for consumers is "What service is the BEST and most affordable?"

Here's how the big three movie rental services stack up:


With over 16 million subscribers Netflix is the leading internet subscription service for DVD by mail, streaming movies and tv shows. For as little as $4.99 per month Netflix will send DVDs directly to your mail box. Pay a little more and you can get movies and tv shows streamed instantly. Many people have actually dropped cable and satellite all together in favor of Netflix.


    * Great Value: Netflix offers subscription plans starting at $4.99 with no long-term commitment. The cost of a single movie rental from a traditional video store will nearly pay for an entire month of Netflix service.
    * Huge Movie Selection: Netflix carries a collection of over 100,000 titles allowing serious movie buffs to access a wide range of movie title categories that may be hard to find at a local video store.
    * DVDs By Mail: No need to venture outdoors to rent a movie. You can have movies delivered right to your mailbox.
    * Instant Movie Streaming: Netflix will zap movies and tv shows directly to a television, ipad, or iphone. At this time Netflix does not stream to Android phones, but they likely will soon. Netflix has over 17,000 instant titles, which is a significant increase from the 1,000 the service offered in 2007. The viewing quality of streamed movies depends on streaming device and internet speed.


    * Possible Long Waits: Netflix claim that over 97% of subscribers receive one-day delivery on movies. But, this only applies if the movie is available. However, the availability of movies varies and you may experience a "long wait" or "Very long wait" on movie titles.
    * New Release Delay: New DVD releases may not be available from Netflix until 28 days after they go on sale in retail stores. This is a huge turn off for people who want to see certain movies right away.
    * Additional Internet Expenses: Netflix streaming requires a minimum internet speed of 1.5mbps to get video quality similar to DVD. If you currently have a lower DSL speed be prepared to spend money on bumping up your internet speed.
    * Extra Device Required: You might have to shell out more cash for a device to receive Netflix instant movie streaming. The most popular device is Ruko ($59.99). Several gaming systems including Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 are already enabled to stream Netflix movies, which could save you a little money. At this time, Playstation 3 is the only gaming device capable of streaming Netflix movies in HD (1080p).


Redbox kiosks offering $1.00 per night movie rentals first started to pop up at grocery stores and McDonald's locations in 2005. It has grown wildly popular over the past few years with people clamoring over the big red cube that spits out DVDs instead of soda.


    * Great Value: The biggest advantage with Redbox is that DVD rentals only cost $1.00 per night. This obviously beats paying $2.75 - $4.99 at a traditional movie rental store. Redbox frequently offers coupons for free movie rentals.
    * Easy To Use: Redbox users simply touch a button on the kiosk to select movies and swipe a debit or credit card to instantly get movies. You can even reserve movies online and pick them up at the nearest Redbox kiosk.


    * Location: Many Redbox kiosks are placed outdoors which may be an issue for people who don't want to stand in front of a kiosk during frigid temperatures.
    * Limited Movie Availability: Redbox offers a much smaller variety of movies in comparison to Netflix. Also, popular new DVD releases don't hit Redbox kiosks until 28 days after they go on sale in retail stores.
    * Credit Card Skimming: Redbox has reported isolated incidents of illegal devices designed to read and capture personal credit card information being placed on their kiosks. The vast majority of Redbox kiosks are safe and secure, but Redbox recommends that users to pay a little extra attention to credit card swipes and check for any unusual activities or evidence of tampering.

Amazon On Demand

The king of online book sales is now poised to claim the "watch now" crown. Amazon On Demand service allows movie watchers to instantly view new releases on a tv, pc, mac, or portable device. The service does not offer streaming to mobile phone devices.


    * Instant Movie Viewing: Amazon On Demand movies can be downloaded on a compatible device in 5 minutes or less.
    * New Releases Available Now: Unlike Netflix and Redbox, Amazon On Demand offers new releases right away, and users don't have to wait 28 days to see a hit movie.
    * Competitive Pricing: At $3.99 the cost of an Amazon On Demand is line with movie rental fees at video stores. Amazon On Demand even offers lower prices on thousands of other titles and free movies as well.


    * Extra Device Required: You may have to spend money on a device to stream Amazon On Demand movies to your television.
    * Higher Internet Expenses: As with Netflix, Amazon On Demand requires a faster internet speed (1.5mbps minimum) for streaming movies. Users of the service could spend an additional $200 - $400 per year on a faster internet speed.

And The Winner.....

The overall best choice among the various rental services is often determined by entertainment needs of each individual. Redbox is more suited for people who want to save a few bucks and don't mind waiting 28 days to see a hit movie. If you want instant access to movies in the comfort of your home Netflix or Amazon On Demand may be a better fit. Of course good customer service and no late fees is a huge factor and all three service excel in that area.

The best way to choose a rental service that is right for you is to try out Netflix, Redbox and Amazon On Demand. You can try each service for little or no cost. There is a link for free Redbox movie offers and a free Netflix trial at After you give all three a shot, simply stay with the one that gives you the most satisfaction. What truly works best for you is the BEST choice!

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