Are there any viable alternatives to Netflix DVDs (not streaming)?

I keep reading articles that Netflix DVDs are dying and streaming is the future. But streaming almost never has recent top-tier movies like the DVD selection does – right now, the next 10 movies in my DVD queue (Hunger Games Mockingjay, Interstellar, Silicon Valley season 1, Game of Thrones season 4, Big Hero 6, Amazing Spiderman 2, etc) are available on DVD but not on streaming. Netflix DVDs have everything for one low fee; but the streaming selection is much more limited.

I know I can always pay $5 for each movie individually and stream it from Itunes or Amazon; but is there any sort of “one stop flat monthly fee” streaming alternative to Netflix that has anywhere near the selection of netflix’s DVD?


The only (barely) significant DVD by mail operations in the US other than Netflix are specialists: Asian films, Religious-based, adult material, etc.

Even Netflix would like to sell off it’s mail division and be streaming only.

The companies that own the new releases also tend to be marketing their own streaming services, or at any rate, negotiating the rights is legally complex. There’s no technical reason that we can’t have a single streaming service that would allow access to every movie commercially available right now, but the chances of that actually happening anytime soon are not great. Netflix has trouble getting rights to all the streaming content they’d like to have, and its competitors appear to be even worse off.

There’s a company in Chicago called Facets that had a lot of older titles. (I heard about the company in Roger Ebert’s column.) And you might be able to rent recent titles from Redbox.

But I think that Netflix will keep its DVD-by-mail service going indefinitely. Much as they’d like to go streaming for everything, there’s no easy way to get the rights for everything and the first-sale doctrine means they can rent any DVD/Blu-ray they can purchase.

Comcast by me lets you purchase movies now (an extension of pay-per-view/paid On Demand I guess) that play through the cable box. So not exactly Internet streaming, but not DVD rental either.

If you don’t mind getting in your car and driving somewhere, your library might have them for free. That’s how I watch all my new releases.

Red Box is what comes to mind. I have several Red Boxes within a mile, and the price is very reasonable for DVDs. You can even look up what they have online on their website. Admittedly, they don’t come in the mail, but still pretty darn convenient.

The movie studios have contracts in place with Netflix and other streaming services to delay streaming so as to maximize box office income. The same applies to DVD rentals. There are a number of web links going back (to at least 2010) talking about it. Apparently Netflix chose not to pay upfront cash to studios to avoid delays.

True, but if it is a new release the wait could be several weeks/months. I guess it depends on where you live and your library system.

Another option is redbox, you can get the film for less than $1.50.

Redbox. And you can rent from one box and return to any other box. There are probably at least 5 boxes within a mile radius of where most people live.

<removed recommendation of illegal activity>

Can you disable uploading/seeding? It is the uploaders who get ganked.

His complaint was lack of selection in the streaming service as opposed to the DVD service. That problem actually gets worse with Redbox; not better. They have an extremely limited selection of 15-20 movies to choose from; all new releases.

Waited 3 and a half years to post wrong info? Okaaaay.

I just checked one local kiosk: almost 180 films listed. There’s another kiosk right next to it. Probably a lot of overlap but I’m guessing well into the 200s. And there’s still a bunch of them around so the availability goes even higher.

I noticed several 2-3 year old releases. I’ve seen them “bring back” some much older films once in a while when the new releases (on disc) are few and/or poor. Summers are usually bad for new stuff, so good for old movies.