One of the questions I’m asked most is: should I subscribe to, Blockbuster Online or Netflix ? This is an obvious question. These two have been competing fiercely since Netflix took DVD renting online in 1998. Netflix and Blockbuster are the two most popular online DVD rental companies. So which is better?
First, I recommend trying both Blockbuster and Netflix for a while and then choosing which one is your favorite. After all, both offer two week free trials, so without a doubt you should be trying Blockbuster and Netflix for at least two weeks. You’ll want to compare prices, variety of DVDs, speed of delivery, other features offered by the companies.
For those with prices in mind, to be honest there really isn’t all that much of a difference between Blockbuster and Netflix. Netflix does offer the lowest price possible if you’re only interested in two movies per month, one DVD out at a time. A plan like that is very restrictive, but if you do only want two movies per month, Netflix should be your choice. Blockbuster also offer one more price plan Netflix doesn’t; For $7.99 you can have one movie at a time with a total limit of three. Blockbuster and Netflix Prices are identical for the more popular plans with unlimited DVD rentals per month:
- 4 DVDs at a time: $23.99
3 DVDs at a t time: $17.99
2 DVDs at a time: $14.99
1 DVD at a time: $9.99
Delivery times are also highly comparable, but there are differences. The most notable difference is that Netflix has been known for throttling delivery speed of their subscribers who rent the most DVDs. In other words, if you rent a lot of movies from Netflix, eventually your delivery times will begin to slow in order to keep costs down. Blockbuster Online doesn’t seem to take part in any form of throttling delivery speed and actively denies it. Netflix does ship very fast, as does Blockbuster, but if you plan to rent a lot of DVDs and think you’ll be mailing out movies as fast as you’re receiving them, you’ll like Blockbuster.
You’re not going to find all that much of a difference in selection and variety. Netflix and Blockbuster have a selection that is deep and wide. DVDs range from new releases to classics to everything else. Keep in mind, however, if you’ll be interested in video games, Netflix is not for you. Blockbuster offers their Total Access program which allows subscribers to return their DVDs they got online to the local Blockbuster, and then pick out a new DVD or video game immediately. Blockbuster has a competitive advantage that Netflix can’t touch.
For those interested in their movies on demand, you may want to look to Netflix before Blockbuster. They recently began streaming DVDs to some subscribers with plans to release this feature to all Netflix subscribers in the near future. Plans will not cost a cent more. You’ll be given one hour of streaming video per dollar your plan costs, so the $17.99 plan will get you 18 hours to watch streaming Netflix DVDs. At this time, this is not being offered by Blockbuster.
So the final answer? As I said before: Try both Blockbuster and Netflix! Trust me, the only way to know which service fits YOUR needs best, is to try them both for yourself. However, both Blockbuster and Netflix have certain advantages that could make your mind up right away. The whole answer comes down to which feature would you prefer: Blockbuster’s Total Access or Netflix’s streaming movies. If you like the idea of returning your DVDs to your neighborhood Blockbuster store and picking out something new (even games!), try Blockbuster. But, if you want your movies delivered to you instantly through your broadband connection, Netflix is your answer.