The continuing television writers’ strike has greatly reduced the value of our cable television subscription. Yet there’s still just enough need for us to continue the subscription. The last month we’ve turned to renting movies via a DVD Play kiosk at our local Safeway. We love this option since it’s only a $1.50 for a day. However, the selection has become limited. This has turned us towards the local Blockbuster.
Renting videos at Blockbuster really adds up. At $5 a movie, we could spend nearly $150 a month. In reality we wouldn’t get a movie every night, but 20 days out month, or $100, is not a stretch. The answer for us is to join a program that sends DVDs by mail or allow an unlimited plan. There are two companies that provide these services… it’s Netflix vs Blockbuster.
How does one choose between the two? It really comes down to a personal decision. For us to watch a movies 3 out of four nights, we need to look at a plan that allows us to have multiple DVDs at one time. Netflix has a plan that will allow to have 3 movies by mail at one time for $17.00. Blockbuster will do the same for $16.00. That’s close enough for me to look at some of the intangibles. Blockbuster will add 5 in-store returns per month for another $4.00. This is valuable to us because a Blockbuster is just a few blocks away. On the other hand Netflix includes 17 hours of streaming movies over the Internet each month for the $17.00 price. Since, my wife travels for her job 1-2 weeks a month, it would be very helpful if she could log-in with her laptop on the road and watch a movie from her hotel room.
After discussing it, we have decided that the 17 hours of Internet viewing, plus the savings of $3/mo. makes Netflix the winner. Instead of being able to drive to Blockbuster and get instant gratification from a store, we can get instant gratification from hooking up a laptop to our television and watching a movie that way. The 17 hours should allow us to watch 7 or 8 movies.
I’m a little nervous about trying this new service. It could very well lead to an addiction to always having movies on hand. I can only hope that I don’t get caught up in lifestyle inflation.
[Update: In the last hour, I noticed Redbox has become available at a nearby supermarket. It’s selection is very similar to DVD Play, but the cost is only a dollar. We will look into this to see if there’s a few movies that interest us before we officially sign up with these.]