Netflix and Redbox both offer convenience without the cost of a monthly cable bill. But which is better? If you’re off Netflix altogether, here are five alternatives to Netflix.
I set out to compare the two services (Blockbuster’s bankruptcy filing may eliminate Blockbuster Express) based on price, convenience, and selection quality. As part of this comparison, I am giving away three one-month free trials to Netflix. A friend gave them to me and I am passing them onto you. To win, comment on this post about which home movie service is the best, in your humble opinion…oh wait. Anyone can get a free one-month trial on the Netflix homepage. Guess this prize isn’t so exclusive!
Factor No. 1: Price
Netflix plans run from $5 to $48 per month. The plan that seems the most advantageous costs $9 per month and lets you have one DVD at a time with no monthly limit and unlimited streaming. Once you watch your DVD and mail it back to Netflix, you get a new DVD in about a week. Given the turn around time and the fact that your life is busy (just a hunch), on this plan I’m going to guesstimate each month you will watch three DVDs. Postage is included in your monthly Netflix membership fee, meaning each movie costs $3. (Netflix has a $5 per month plan that includes two DVDs per month plus two hours streaming on your PC, which brings the cost down to $2.50 per month).
Rebox movies are $1 per night plus tax. This is a lot cheaper than Netflix, except if you forget to return the movie, like I did last week. Watching the so-so movie Date Night for $1 is a bargain. Watching it for $3 is nothing I’m proud of. Still, Redbox takes the cake when it comes to price.
Factor No. 2: Convenience
Netflix is superior. Add and subtract movies from your Queue online, get movies and TV shows delivered to your doorstep. What could be easier?
Redbox requires driving to your local grocer, gas station, or mall to rent. Choose a location that is close because returning it the next day is a pain!
Factor No. 3: Quality
Netflix quality is superior, hands down. Redbox has dozens of movies to choose from, while Netflix has thousands, including TV shows, movies released a few years back, and classics. Redbox kiosks are largely stocked with recent releases that appeal to casual movie watchers.
Overall, I believe Netflix is a better value than Redbox. The combination of better movie selection and supreme convenience trumps Redbox’s lower upfront cost. Plus, if you stream movies your cost per movie drops dramatically.
Which movie service do you prefer?