Alternatives to Netflix
Netflix recently changed its pricing structure, upsetting a lot of people. The video rental giant not only jacked the price of its DVD with Online Streaming package by 60 per cent (to $15.98 per month), it had the nerve to force customers to make choices! Should you protest in the street, find an alternative, or do nothing? Here's my take…
Netflix Price Hike - What To Do?
Netflix has ended the option to pay $9.99 a month for their service which offered online movie streaming along with DVDs by mail. Those two services are now sold separately at $7.99 per month each.
So you can subscribe to the DVD-only service, or the unlimited online streaming service, or both. The basic DVD-only plan ($7.99) lets you rent one DVD at a time; if you want to hold onto two discs at once, it costs $11.99 per month. You can still stream as many flicks as you like per month for $7.99.
People are up in arms about this "unfair" price hike on the combo package. I'm not sure why, or what the "boycott Netflix" crowd plans to do with their couch time. For some, this will actually be a price DECREASE, if they decide they really just want either the DVD service or the streaming service ala carte.
But if you're mad and you're not gonna take it, consider some of the possible alternatives to Netflix:
Netflix Alternatives, Pro and Con
Hulu Plus: Streaming only, $7.99 per month, same as the new Netflix. Mainly old TV shows and classic movies. The Hulu library hasn't nearly the depth of Netflix. DVDs are not an option, so you need a high-quality Internet connection. Oh, and every stream is filled with commercials. But if TV programming is your game, Hulu may be all you need.
Apple TV and iTunes: Streaming only, and you must start by buying a $99 set-top box. The selection of programming on iTunes is extensive but priced a la carte; there is no all-you-can-eat option. Most HD movies cost $3.99 a pop, and most TV shows are 99 cents. You can't pause a stream and restart where you left off. No DVD rental, of course.
Amazon Prime: Wait, that's an expedited shipping service from Amazon, right? Well, yes, but it also includes Amazon Instant Video service. Amazon Prime costs $79 a year ($6.50/month). How much of that you spend on Instant Video is debatable. Call it "free." But the free part of the library is really, really old compared to Netflix or just about anyone else. Currently, the top ten on Instant Video include episodes from the first season of Monty Python's Flying Circus and a documentary about swingers' clubs in the 1970s. New releases cost $3.99 per view. Still no DVD rentals.
Redbox: Ah, THERE's the DVD rental! For only a buck per DVD, too. But you have to go find a red box, many of which are located in unsavory venues such as WalMart, or the Piggly Wiggly parking lot. Rumor has it that Redbox will launch a streaming subscription service this year. We'll see.
Blockbuster: Always leave them laughing, I say. When watching Blockbuster stores close gets boring, you can turn to the nearly-defunct company's streaming and mail-order DVD rental services. You can even rent games. One disc at a time will cost $11.99 per month; two discs, $16.99; up to three discs, $19.99. Streaming rental start at $1.99 and you have up to 30 days to start watching it, or re-watching it as many times as you wish in a 24 hour window. Sounds a lot like the new Netflix, only it costs more and offers more of those aggravating choices.
There really is no good alternative to Netflix at the moment. Maybe one will come along to offer the good old days of $9.99 all-you-can-eat DVD and streaming rental. But even with its new pricing plan, I say Netflix offers a good deal - especially if you can choose between DVD and streaming.
Your thoughts are welcome on this topic! Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 14 Jul 2011
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Alternatives to Netflix (Posted: 14 Jul 2011)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved