7 alternatives to Netflix
Customers are unhappy with the company's latest move, which will make it more difficult to manage streaming and mailed-DVD accounts.
This post comes from Cameron Huddleston at partner site Kiplinger.
Two months after announcing it would split its mail-order DVD and video streaming into two services and charge for each separately, Netflix is making another change. Its DVD-by-mail service will be renamed Qwikster in a few weeks, CEO Reed Hastings wrote on the Netflix blog.
Hastings also apologized for the way Netflix announced the separation of its DVD and streaming services and new pricing. "It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility," Hastings wrote in response to the thousands of comments posted on Netflix's blog since the company said in July that customers would have to pay extra for unlimited video streaming starting Sept. 1.
Previously, Netflix members received unlimited streaming and unlimited (mailed) DVDs for $9.99 a month. Now members have to pay $15.98 a month to get both services ($7.99 for unlimited streaming and $7.99 for unlimited DVDs).
When Qwikster launches, members will also have access to mail-order video games. However, Qwikster.com and Netflix.com will not be integrated. So those who receive both services will have to manage their DVD and streaming accounts separately.
More than 6,000 comments already have been posted to the company's blog in response to the name-change announcement -- many of them calling it a mistake. Post continues after video.
So if you're looking for alternatives to Netflix, here are some options:
Vudu. This streaming service has a wide selection of high-definition movies available the day they are released on Blu-ray. And it's one of the cheapest alternatives to Netflix. You can stream movies to Vudu-enabled HDTVs or Blu-ray players, your computer, iPad or PlayStation 3. You can also watch Vudu movies at Walmart.com. Cost: You pay $2 to "rent" a movie for two nights.
Amazon Instant Video. You can choose from nearly 50,000 movies and TV shows to watch instantly on your computer or on TV with a streaming device. Cost: $3.99 for a 48-hour rental. Amazon Prime ($79 a year) members get access to 5,000 movies and TV shows at no additional charge.
Apple TV. This device lets you stream thousands of movies and TV shows directly to your TV. Many movies are available the day they're released on DVD. You have 30 days to start watching but, once you start, you have only 24 hours to finish viewing. Cost: $99 for the Apple TV device; 99 cents for TV rentals, $2.99 and up for movie rentals.
Blockbuster. Like Netflix, Blockbuster will mail DVD rentals. You can choose from more than 100,000 titles. Cost: $4.99 for a seven-day rental. Or with Blockbuster On Demand, you can watch movies instantly. Cost: Free to $3.99 (depending on the movie) for a 24-hour rental.
Hulu. The website known for online streaming of TV shows also has hundreds of movies -- older releases, though. Cost: Many of the movies are free, but you can gain access to more with a Hulu Plus membership for $7.99 a month (the same as what you'd pay for Netflix unlimited streaming, which offers a lot more movies).
Redbox. This DVD-rental company has kiosks at more than 27,000 locations nationwide -- from restaurants to grocery stores to national landmarks, such as the Empire State Building. The kiosks feature up to 200 titles (630 actual DVDs). Redbox isn't nearly as convenient as the instant video streaming or mail-delivery DVDs that the services above offer, but it's cheap. Cost: $1 a day, but you can find codes for free Redbox rentals at Insideredbox.com.
Public library. The DVD selection at your local public library probably won't match what the services above offer, but it's a good source of free or dirt-cheap entertainment. Cost: Free or a minimal fee.
More on Kiplinger and MSN Money:
compare the prices above to what netflix costs and netflix still comes out the winner because their service is UNLIMITED not $1-$4 a pop for movies. Since I've had netflix I've been able to cancel my cable television which is a huge savings even with the recent price increase not to mention doing away with time wasted on commercials. A lot of people are upset with netflix but I see them as the only commercial free (cf), unlimited viewing (uv) option out there so I can't complain when they change things in order to provide a better product. I will continue to support netflix and the cf, uv format until a competitor can offer a better value, and as this article proves, the next best thing isn't even close.
Look at all the restrictions and fees with the 'other guys'. On Netflix I can watch any movie that is available, anytime, for as many times as I like for as long as it is on Netflix. I don't have to worry about fee/movie or having to watch it within a certain timeframe. I can watch in 'my time'. I will stick w/Netflix - presently there aren't any viable alternatives.
I personally think that netflix streaming is the better purchase for the cost. I refuse to get cable or satellite tv. I'd spend more money just to go back and forth to the store getting $1 redbox rentals. I can watch one movie on my computer while the family watches another on the big screen tv using the wii. I used to try to watch the 'free' sites , but the quality sucked.
Oh, one more thing...there is more to life than watching movies or sitting in front of the computer and I think I'll start doing it after this post.
Also I love blueray and 3D blueray on my big screen. All the streaming sites look terrible on my 60" HDTV. And buffering is unacceptable to me. I hoping for the return of the MOM & POP stores!
-Anonymous 19 year old who thinks she knows the world
I'm cancelling as soon as my billing date arrives; well 1 day before. Bye bye Netflix. I am not a big TV buff, have no access to internet, nor streaming, and only got mailed DVD's which for about 3/mailed per month, isn't worth it to me ($3.00 per film). Not a movie buff either, so not much of a loss for me. I know that I am probably one of very few who is not bullied into any one of those legal cable thieves (Dish, Satelite, Direct, Comcast, Fairpoint, etc.). In that way, I keep easily $200/month on fees in "my" pocket, plus as soon as the cell phone contract runs out (unlimited everything via Verizon) and I get NOTHING, not even email from my home for $175.00/month!! Bye bye Droid in May and another $175.00 in my pocket, thank you!! I don't know how people pay for all this B.S.
A good HDTV antenna from Home Antenna is the best way to see TV still free, remember that?? Pitch for Home Antenna is ok, since for a measley $60/antenna, you can have TV w/o power outages, line problems, and everything that goes wrong with cable/satellite. Thanx for reading...
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