With Netflix's recent decision to increase their prices and change their subscription model, many consumers are looking for alternatives for DVD rentals. One of the options that people are turning to is Redbox, automated kiosks that rent DVDs out for a flexible time. Both services have their pros and cons and it may be difficult to decide which is best for you and your wallet. Lets compare the two:
Redbox: Renting a movie from Redbox is just like renting from the video store, minus the store itself. Once you've located a kiosk in your area you simply swipe your credit card and make your selection. Your card is charged for each day you keep the movie, up to the maximum for your selection; (around regular market value for the item). If you are charged for the maximum rental fee your selection is yours to keep. Rentals can be made from any Redbox in your area and returned to any box as well.
The convenience factor of Redbox depends on the number of locations in your area. Many supermarkets and gas stations have locations and more are popping up every day. Check the Redbox website to see all the locations near you.
Netflix: The original DVD in the mail service hasn't changed much since its inception, but it doesn't need to. DVDs are sent in the mail in specially designed envelopes and returned in the same envelope. As each DVD is received, another is mailed out, based on the list you've created on the Netflix site. The DVD's are yours for as long as you want and there are no late fees. The only hassle is maintaining the queue list, finding and adding movies you want to watch and making sure they are in the proper order.
Netflix also offers a streaming service. A limited selection of movies are available to watch at your computer, on your TV (with additional equipment such as a Tivo or gaming system) and on select mobile phones. The streaming service requires a high speed internet connection to access.
Redbox: Features a fairly small selection, usually about twenty to thirty movies. Most movies are new releases. The selection of the boxes may differ and it can be hard to know whats available without scrolling through the selections. Most offer Blu-Ray rentals as well.
Netflix: Nobody beats Netflix when it comes to selection. They have over 75,000 movies with most new releases offered on Blu-Ray as well. Their selection covers all genres and includes thousands of independent and classic films. The streaming content is limited and does not include most new release movies. Chances are if you can think of a movie, you can find it on Netflix.
Redbox: The Redbox pricing plan is simple, about a dollar a day fee for movies (about fifty cents a day more for Blu-Ray rentals) up to the maximum cost. Renting from Redbox is inexpensive and assures that even if the DVD is lost you wont be charged more than if you purchased it in a store.
Netflix: Pricing for Netflix is a bit more complicated. There are a number of plans to select from, with a monthly fee based on how many DVDs you have out at once. There is also an additional monthly charge if you want to rent Blu-Ray discs. The streaming service is no longer automatically included with all traditional plans, it is now billed as a separate service. The prices for Netflix can range from eight dollars a month to over thirty, depending on your choices.
Redbox: A great choice if you are in the mood for a movie on the way home, but not for the serious movie watcher. The limited selection is their biggest drawback and locations may not be in all areas. Keep them in mind as a back up on a rainy day, but don't expect Redbox to meet all of your movie watching needs.
Netflix: The best choice for people that love movies. Fast turnaround on DVDs in the mail plus a streaming service mean you will almost never lack something to watch. The monthly cost can be prohibitive for some people, but even the higher end plans are still cheaper than purchasing a single Blu-Ray disc at the store. With their selection and convenience Netflix is the best choice and value for people who enjoy watching movies.