Not only has technology improved the quality of films that are being made today but online comparison shopping for online movie rentals have streamlined the ease and fun of bringing the hottest movies and old-time classics into your own home. These virtual warehouses can be accessed 24/7, cost far less than taking the whole family to the local cinema, and even cover the postage coming and going. How do you know, though, which one will best satisfy a movie hound's hunger without taking a bite out of the wallet?
Comparison shopping for online movie rentals will help you make an informed choice about spending your movie dollars. Popcorn not included.
Three million subscribers can't be wrong. With its multi-tier rental plan, Netflix allows you to rent up to three DVD's at once and keep them for as long as you'd like. That's a welcome change from yesteryear when you were charged late fees if you didn't return a video within 3 days of checking it out.
Under Netflix' lowest price plan of just $9.99 per month, customers can select one DVD at a time. As soon as the movie is returned, the subscriber is then allowed to pick another one. There is no limit on the number of times during the month that this one-for-one trade can be made. The next level offers two DVD rentals at a time for $11.95. This plan limits the customer to four transactions (eight DVD's) per month. and a $14.95 plan that allows you unlimited rental of movies, two at a time. The most expensive plan is $17.99 per month; this is the one that lets you pick a trio of flicks.
For each of these pricing plans, Netflix offers a two-week free trial period; after which time, the paid subscription goes into effect. Movie selections are delivered to most parts of the U.S. within one business day. Within each package, there is also a prepaid mailing envelope, so you don't even have to lick any stamps. Unlike book, music and video clubs, there are no "minimum purchase" obligations that need to be met during the subscription period. In fact, Netflix makes it easy to cancel online at any time.
The Netflix selection available is outstanding and updated regularly, coupled with a user-friendly search component to help you find a specific title or do a generic search based on film genre and subject matter. The works of foreign filmmakers and indies (independent producers) are included in the lineup as well. When you are doing your comparison shopping for online movie rentals, you will want to include Netflix as an option.
Cafe DVD offers two options for film rental. The first is what they call an ala carte program in which up to four DVD's can be checked out at one time. Because this program is not a subscription service, customers pay $3 per title as well as shipping costs. Ala carte also offers a $3.50 super saver option, which is predicated by prepaying for 20 movies rentals. You have up two years to use up your 20 movie rentals, and you must rent them two at a time. Movie lovers have eight days to watch the films they have checked out. Reward points can be collected and applied toward free rentals.
The subscription component of Café DVD is a flat fee that ranges from $14.95 for two movies at a time and up to $23.95 for the maximum check-out of four at a time. Shipping is included in this plan. Viewers have seven days to watch their selections; membership can be cancelled at any time.
Café DVD allows for searches by genre, title, director, cast and synopsis. It has also set up such categories as "Top Shakespeare Adaptations", "Best of Avant Garde," "Best Cinematography," and the annual American Film Institute "100 Best" movies in terms of comedy, romance, heroes and villains, etc. This particular facet of their website can be very useful for students who are planning to study about movies from a specific collection or genre.
Like Netflix, Blockbuster Online offers a free two-week trial period, no late fees, free shipping, an extensive catalogue, and no pressure to hurry up and watch your selections. They also throw in two free rental coupons every month that can be used at your neighborhood Blockbuster store. Interestingly, these are not redeemable online, suggesting that they still want to keep live bodies walking in their doors now and then and giving the cashiers something to do. The rental fee for up to three movies at a time is a flat $14.99 per month plus taxes.
Online Comparison Shopping for Online Movie Rentals Summary
This is just a brief sampling of online DVD rental companies. Additional listings can be found by typing "Online DVD's" in your search engine. This will also provide you with the names of companies that operate in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.