Should I go with netflix or blockbuster online

I’ve come to the cold, harsh conclustion that I don’t spend nearly enough time sitting around watching TV. This realization has led me to want to subscribe to either netflix or blockbuster with my new roommate. We would get the 3 DVDs at once subscription with either service.

Which is the better provider to go with, and which has better service? I live in Bloomington, so if anyone lives in Indy or Bloomington maybe they’d have experience with how long shipping takes for DVDs.

Which provider has the better selection? I have heard blockbuster is better, does anyone have opinions?

We have both.

Yeah, it’s sad…

Why out of curiosity? So you can get 6 DVDs at a time?

I should elaborate a bit. We got NetFlix and loved it, especially since I hate Blockbuster with a passion. But we found that some films were only available thru BB, I don’t know why.


I did the same thing–got them both, because some of the films I wanted were not available on Netflix.

So I signed up with Blockbuster, only to find (which I wish I could have found before) that those films weren’t available on Blockbuster, either.

Netflix’s interface/website etc. is far superior. The turnaround time is much faster. I can’t really fault Netflix any more than Blockbuster for not having Broken Arrow (by which I mean the '50s western).

I have Netflix and I love it. I got it before BB’s service came out, but I have “heard” from alot of folks here that BB doesn’t have as much of a selection as Netflix.

With BB tho…I do not know but I ASSUME that you can use your monthly rental fee towards getting vids from the local store? Is that a good reason to get BB?

I have been a member at Netflix for five years now and do not regret the choice. It seems to me that the only thing that I ever got from Blockbuster was late fees.

Chime in to say that my wife and I love Netflix. Great customer service, selection is pretty up there. From what I have seen the selection is good enough for people who stick mostly to the mainstream selection. If you want more obscure “genre” stuff you might find some stuff that you can’t find.

Blockbuster stores (that you physically go to) edit some of their movies for content. Would their online service be any different? Why risk it?

Earlier this month I started a trial subscription with Blockbuster Online, because I felt it was unfair to constantly bitch about Netflix without having checked out the competition. :wink: In a couple months I’ll be set to start an “official” comparison thread; however, based on preliminary results, here’s what I’ve found out:

Netflix carries far more DVDs than Blockbuster Online, in particular documentaries, music DVDs, foreign films, and other obscure independent titles. However, BBO carries Special Editions for many films, whereas Netflix only offers whatever version they happen to have (generally the older one.) Netflix also tends to be sloppy regarding which version they send you – for instance, occasionally I’ll get a pan & scan DVD instead of widescreen. So far, everything I’ve received from BBO has been exactly what I ordered.

Blockbuster’s queue system is a complete horrorshow. Adding something to your queue will cause the rest of your queue to randomly re-shuffle itself, and re-ordering your queue doesn’t work right…if you try and move something from #70 to #15, it will place it at #16 or #14 instead! Their search engine SUCKS, and there’s no way to tell if something’s really available or not unless you add it to your queue (whereas Netflix has a separate “SAVE” button for DVDs that aren’t currently available.) If you’re as anal about organizing your queue as I am, this is a HUGE minus.

Shipping times depend greatly on how close you are to a distribution center. For me, both Netflix and BBO are located in the same city, same zip code even. It’s close enough so anything shipping to and from the Netflix distribution site takes only one day each way – meaning, if they ship a DVD on Monday, I get it Tuesday, and if I return it on Wednesday, they get it by Thursday. There are exceptions, such as when they ship a DVD from a distribution center somewhere else in the country, which can take 3 to 5 days to arrive, and if the USPS gets overburdened or lazy the return time can take an extra day or two. IN THEORY, Netflix ships your next DVD the same day they receive the previous one…however, after being a customer for three months (especially if you’re a “heavy user”) you will find out that they will deliberately wait a day BEFORE sending the next DVD. Gotta maximize those profits, after all! :mad:

BBO ship times are all over the place. Sometimes they receive the DVD in one day, sometimes it takes as long as 3 or 4 days. I don’t know if they do this on purpose or if they’re just stupid. On the other hand, you can report a DVD missing if it’s been out for only 3 days, and they’ll ship the next one (Netflix makes you wait six days.) Also, BBO ships on Saturday; Netflix doesn’t.

Wait Times
I’ve heard horror stories about extremely long wait times with BBO, but so far I’ve been lucky – only about 10% of the DVDs I’ve put in my queue were on “Short Wait” or longer. With Netflix, it’s more like 3%. (What that means is, if all copies of a DVD are currently checked out, it will show up in your queue marked as “Short Wait”, “Long Wait”, or “Very Long Wait”. If the DVD at the top of your queue is on the wait list when you send a title back, they will skip over that title and send the next one.) Actual wait times with Netflix vary greatly, depending on how many copies they have and how big the demand is – typically, I’ll wait 1 to 2 weeks for a “Short Wait” title, 3 to 5 weeks for “Long Wait”, and 6 weeks or longer for “Very Long Wait”. Haven’t been on BBO long enough to compare, but so far it seems about the same.

BBO is cheaper than Netflix. For 3-at-a-time, BBO is $14.99/month, Netflix $17.99/mo. For 5-at-a-time, BBO is $27.49 vs. Netflix $29.99. My guess is that BBO is purposely undercutting Netflix to drive them out of business, so I’d recommend going with Netflix just to avoid supporting evil corporations. Besides, you get what your pay for. :smiley: BBO does offer two free rental coupons per month which can be used at any of their stores (plus a coupon for “any previously viewed DVD” for $7.99, which is totally worthless.) Netflix does have greater flexibility in their rental plans – you can choose anything from 2 to 8 discs at a time, whereas BBO has only 5 plans (1, 3, 5, or 8 at a time, plus a “limited” plan where you’re only allowed to rent like 4 DVDs a month total.)

Netflix is faster, easier to navigate, and has far greater selection than Blockbuster, plus the discs come in pretty red envelopes that look really cool. On the other hand, BBO is cheaper, and gives you slightly more options when it comes to special edition titles. Frankly, I think Netflix wins out easily – I’m already planning to cancel my BBO account once I’m done watching all the DVDs they carry that Netflix doesn’t.

BTW…I’ve never heard of Blockbuster editing their movies (perhaps you’re thinking of Wal-Mart?) They are, however, more likely to carry “R” rated movies as opposed to the “Unrated” versions, and they don’t carry NC-17 titles at all, period.

I get two in-store freebies per month with Blockbuster. I haven’t done Netflix but from what I read here, it sounds like I should look into it. I thought BBO had a great site and everything, but evidently, I’m missing something.

If I watched more tv, I couldn’t post more crap here. And that would be your loss :wink:

Besides, we dont’ watch alot of films anymore. Kids around and all that.
But I hate Blockbuster.

I’ve been a member of Netflix for about a year. Never tried Blockbuster. Netflix has an outstanding selection. I’ve gotten more than a few broken discs from them, however. Most of the time these are part of multi disc sets. I hypothesize that some people who own a multi-dvd set and break one might use netflix as a way to get a free “replacement” disc.

I honestly don’t think Netflix “delays” dvd shipping to long term members. I just don’t see them receiving a dvd and then saying, “Mr. Smith has been a member for a year now…let’s hold up his next dvd for an extra day.” I’m sure a boring job like opening envelopes and shipping dvds probably has a high turnover rate. My guess is they’ll have periods of time when they’re short staffed. It is annoying to be expecting a disc and not get it for a day or two. Still, as I have the 5 at a time, it is quite rare for me to be without a disc from them. I use the library and the free dvd rentals my apt. complex offers as a backup.

Netflix & BB offer 5 & 6 DVD rental options? I thought the best they offered was 3 DVDs at once with unlimited monthly rentals.

It would, actually. :slight_smile:

Former BBW employee here, and yeah they do. Even some Disney stuff. The key is to look at the running times…No, I don’t know exactly what they cut, but I’d guess it to be sex and swearing, they seem to have no qualms showing violence.

Netflix offers 3, 5, and 8 DVDs at a time. This includes unlimited monthly rentals.

Netflix offer plans of from one to eight DVDs at a time:
[li]$9.99 - 1 DVD at a time[/li][li]$11.99 - 2 DVDs at a time (limit 4 per month)[/li][li]$14.99 - 2 DVDs at a time[/li][li]$17.99 - 3 DVDs at a time[/li][li]$23.99 - 4 DVDs at a time[/li][li]$29.99 - 5 DVDs at a time[/li][li]$35.99 - 6 DVDs at a time[/li][li]$41.99 - 7 DVDs at a time[/li][li]$47.99 - 8 DVDs at a time[/li][/ul]

Not sure what the turn around rate would be for people outside the SF Bay/West Coast area, but people in it have another option - GreenCine.

We don’t use it, we’ve been with Netflix for 5 years or so, but I’ve heard some great things about it around here.

Sounds like they have a lot more independent, foreign, hard to find titles, etc.

I live in Indy and the DVD’s from Netflix come to me very quickly. I think one of their hubs is here in town or something. Netflix rocks.