Blockbuster is a newcomer to online DVD rental scene but have stirred things up by offering users the ability to return movies at the local stores and get free in-store rentals, something previously unheard of.
My experience with Blockbuster was a little worse than with my Netflix experience, but I did not utilize their new â€œAll Accessâ€ features which allow me in store rentals as well as one free game or movie rental per month. For me it does not make sense to actually have to go to the store to rent moviesâ€¦one of the reasons I signed up for online DVD rental in the first placeâ€¦I am a lazy.
Compared to Netflix, Blockbuster has a smaller selection, especially when it comes to foreign and independent films. As far as mainstream movies go, Blockbuster and Netflix are on the same level.
As far as shipping goes, I ran into many of the same problems I saw with Netflix. They seemed to throttle my account and show that movies took longer to receive then they actually did. In addition to this, Blockbuster does not seem to ship on Saturdays, which is something that Netflix does. Lastly it seems like Blockbuster had a smaller stock of popular movies since in my 3 month period with Blockbuster I never received movies that were on my queue.
Depending on your situation and your proximity to a Blockbuster store, Blockbuster all access may be a better choice for you than Netflix, but I would recommend trying both out, since they offer risk free trials, and may perform differently for you than they did for me.
Netflix is arguably the leader in online DVD rental services. They have been in business since 2000 and have over 3 million subscribers. They have a huge selection, including rare foreign and indie film gems that you cannot find anywhere else.
Despite these great features they have a few skeletons in their closet, mainly something called â€œthrottlingâ€. Throttling is something Netflix may do to your slow the shipment of movies in your account if you have too much activity on it. Early on when you sign up for an account you may be able to see turnaround times of 2-3 days from the time you return a movie, until the time you receive a new one. Throttling will make this period be longer, allowing you to rent less movies per month, and increasing the amount of money Netflix makes from you. Netflix may perform the throttling by shipping from a distribution center outside of you closest one, adding a few days in the transport. It also seems like they will say it takes longer to receive one movie than another. A better article about throttling at netflix and blockbuster.
An example of this is that I returned 3 movies at one time. They should have all shipped together and arrived together, but Netflix says they received one the next day, one the day after that, and another THREE days later. I have had problems with the USPS in the past, but something like this is not very normal, and I have seen it time and time again.
In the past I have upgraded Netflix plans, to allow 5 out at a time, and have seen similar throttling. This angered me and I quit and wanted to try out Blockbuster, which I found to be worse than Netflix so I returned.
I have been a member of Netflix for around 3 months this last time, and have just sent 2 movies back from the post office. They should have arrived at Netflix today, but I have not heard of anything yet. My guess is they will say one will arrive tomorrow, and the other on Thursday or Friday. This is just wrong, but the only choice I have is to quit, or have a lesser selection from elsewhere.
Without the throttling, Netflix would be the greatest online rental service. With the throttling they can be annoying, but for the user who watches only a handful of movies a month, you should be extremely happy with their large selection of movies and the ability to rent from the comfort of your own home.
Has anyone used either Blockbuster or Netflix, and if so what are your thoughts? What about any of the other companies out there like GamezNFlix or Intelliflix? This site seems to do a pretty in depth comparison of these mail order dvd companies. This site, compares even more DVD companies, and has some good points on Blockbuster versus Netflix.