Why Choose When You Can Have Both

Starting September 1, 2011, Netflix will be increasing their monthly membership costs for existing members.  These same price increases will be effective immediately for new members.  While price increases are not out of the ordinary, this particular price increase has many people upset.  Understandably so, since the price increase is not for better services, but simply for the same services.

Netflix users must now choose between streaming movies or DVDs-by-mail.  They do have the option of selecting both streaming and delivered movies; however, all options will be more expensive.

Blockbuster has been struggling with new competition to its once dominant stance in home entertainment.  Netflix, especially, has taken a considerable part of Blockbuster’s market share.  But with the recent price increases from Netflix, Blockbuster may have a surge in market share.

When considering which option to choose when selecting between these two home movie entertainment giants, the answer is simple: why not choose both.

Forget about Redbox, Pay-Per-View, and Video-on-Demand services.  The only two services you need are Netflix and Blockbuster.

As a matter of fact, choosing both companies could not only save you money but also provide you with the best picture quality and the most viewing options.

My movie viewing strategy is simple.  If you want to watch the most movies – with the earliest release dates – for the least amount of fees per month (legally, of course) then follow these guidelines:

Register for a Membership at Netflix

If you do not already have a membership at Netflix, sign up for one.  It is fast and easy and it is free.  Not only is it free to join, but they give you two weeks free of endless viewing pleasure just for signing up.

When you sign up for your account (or if you already have an account, you’ll want to switch to this new plan) Netflix will ask you which plan you would like to select.  Select the 1 DVD out at-a-time (Unlimited) Plan with Unlimited Streaming.  This will cost you $15.98 per month.

Register for a Membership at Blockbuster

Most people have either forgotten they have a blockbuster card because they have not used it in quite some time or they do not have one at all.  Whatever the case may be, sign up for a membership online.

When you sign up for your account, select the 1 Disc at a time option.  This plan will allow you to receive an unlimited amount of DVDs in the mail per month while having one disc out.  Unlike Netflix, you can return your disc to the Blockbuster store and exchange it for the movie of your choosing in the store.  This will run you $9.99 per month.

The Combined Plan

So now you have a Netflix and Blockbuster account.  Together they will cost you $25.97 per month.  This may seem expensive but when considering that a new Blu-ray can cost approximately $30, the value is absolutely worth it.

Now that you have both plans, you can implement my strategy for the ultimate viewing experience.

Before I divulge, I must qualify my plan by saying that I have a brick-and-mortar Blockbuster not 5 minutes from my home.  This is one of the key ingredients to my plan.  The closer you are to an actual Blockbuster store, the more this strategy will pay off for you.

Ready, Set, Watch

Netflix and the Netflix queuing system may seem awesome but they actually have some little known flaws.  The first, and frankly not so little known, is the fact that it takes much longer for newly released movies to appear on Netflix than it does for other viewing outlets, including Blockbuster.

Blockbuster can typically have new releases the day they are released.  Netflix might take a whole month for the movie to show up in the queue.

The other little known flaw is that Netflix actually punishes those members who consistently put new releases on the top of their list.  They punish them for using up their services by putting them at the bottom of the waiting list for the new releases.  Essentially, if you want to see new releases on Netflix, you are going to have to wait a month.

But with Blockbuster, not only do they have the new releases they day they are released, they do not have this ‘back of the line’ approach either in store or online.  If you want to see a new release, the best place to check it out is through Blockbuster.

Other than new releases though, Netflix is still the dominant force and I would recommend using it over Blockbuster if you want to watch any classic movie.  You will not have to worry about being put to the back of the line with classics and they almost always have your option available for you.

When it comes to TV series, it is a draw.  Netflix has a plethora of streaming TV series on their online library.  If a series is available online for you to stream then I would highly recommend doing just that.  However, if a series is not available online, your best bet would be to grab the discs as you finish them at your local Blockbuster store.

So there you have it, the best plan for watching the most and newest movies and television series.  The best plan is to use all the options available to you and you will be the master of home entertainment.