*sigh* So...how cool is Netflix?

I don’t have a tv, but I do have a DVD player on my computer.

I hardly ever rent movies to watch. It’s not that I have some high moral reason for not having a tv, or for not watching movies (I can watch them on my computer), I just have too many other things to do, and I don’t like sitting still and doing only one thing.

Still, though, I would like to rent a DVD now and then. Netflix looks awesome. I would think even a small-time movie buff would think it is a great idea.

But their pricing system is based on the month, not the number of DVD rentals. So…their minimum charge is $9.99 a month. That means if I rented five DVDs per year, I’d have to play about $120.

Aaargh…why don’t they have another option of charging per DVD rental? They could give discounts the more someone rents.

Anyway, maybe if I whine to them enough they’ll offer some alternatives. Is it worth it? Is it as cool as I think it is?

Yes, it is as cool as it looks.

I doubt you’ll get them to change their pricing. They have gazillions of customers who like it the way it is. It’s geared towards people who rent several movies a month.

If you really only rent 5 movies a year, why not just get them from a local rental store? I agree, with that kind of volume it’s hard to justify the cost. On the other hand, if you watch 2-3 DVDs a week and promptly return them, I think Netflix will work out much cheaper.

As for me, I will never ever ever give up netflix. Been a subscriber for ~5 years now. I love the thing.

I think Netflix is way cool. They will probably never give discounts to people that rent more- in fact, if you rent a lot, they slow your service down to give priority to the people that don’t rent a lot. I turn my around once a week, and have never had a problem. It’s hard for me to understand why anyone wouldn’t do Netflix. Renting movies just couldn’t be easier.

I’m on Zip.ca, the canadian equivalent of netflix roughly, and I’m on a huge plan during the winter months and ‘stop’ my plan for the summer, just because I don’t tend to sit around and watch DVDs then. Not sure if netflix offers such an option… zip hasn’t complained yet.

on www.netflix.com, I see a reference to a bargain basement $5.99 a month plan, which caps you at 2 rentals per month. That works out to a little over $70 a year for 24 dvds. If you think you’d watch that many, it’s probably a good plan for you. Otherwise, as Athena said, it’s off to the brick & mortar rental store.


Yeah, what Athena said. It’s a good service for folks who watch in some volume. I have a 4-at-a-time plan, and figure if I see about a dozen movies a month, the price per is about $2, which I consider reasonable. Many months I see more, a few I see less. At $9.99 a month, I’d want to see 4 or 5 movies a month at least. so unless you think you’ll see that many, you’re better off going to the video store (assuming you return things on time).

Some people complain that there’s a long turn-around time at Netflix, but here in Baltimore, I haven’t found that to be true. Your location may be different. I don’t know what it’s like in Portland. And some have complained (in court even), about Netflix deliberately slowing down delivery to heavy users. Me, I just keep an eye on the cost per disc and number I get from them, and I’m pretty happy.

On preview, I can answer what chrisk said about changing rate of service. Netflix will do this, but they wait until the beginning of the “month” to make a change. When I say “month”, I mean the month won’t necessarily begin on the 1st of the calendar month. So, with a little planning ahead, you could easily slow down or speed up seasonally.

One really nice thing about Netflix is the depth of their collection. There’s an article about the company in today’s New York Times that said they have about 60,000 movies and TV shows in their collection, which is almost anything non-pornographic available on Region 1 DVD (the limitation on Region 1 DVDs is an annoyance for me, since some stuff I want is available only in Europe). That’s far more than the cable company’s on-demand service or the local video store. So if your taste in movies is at all esoteric, it’s really nice. And since I’m paying a fixed monthly amount, I don’t feel guilty if I decide I don’t like a movie and return it without finishing it. I find that I tend to watch obscure things I may have heard something good about.

I agree with those who said the value comes from renting in volume. 5 rentals a year definitely wouldn’t be a bargain.

As others have said, the selection is great. I am a huge fan of watching my favorite TV shows from pilot to series finale by renting the DVDs. I save huge amounts of money by being able to get them via netflix as opposed to shelling out 30+ bucks a season for each collection.

That’s exactly my situation. I just cancelled my Netflix account after having watched just two DVDs in 8 months. (and it’s the second time I’ve tried Netflix, I did the same thing last time) They’ve got great selection and great service but it’s not a good option for those of us who don’t watch many DVDs.

Check out GreenCine . It has most of the same movies as netflix, plus many rare, foreign and indie flicks, tons of anime, porn, etc. They also have a Video on Demand streaming service that may be what you’re looking for, and you don’t have to pay any monthly fee for it, just pay by the rental.

I’ll chime in too as a lover of NetFlix. Great selection, and usually a short turnaround time. I figure I’m also paying for convenience. It is SUCH a pain for me to go to the local video store. I was always paying late fees (or “restocking” fees).
Plus I like the feature where you can recommend videos to other netflix users. It helps create casual conversation beteen my in-laws and me.
It’s hard to put a price on that.

I have the same situation as you at home (no TV, dvd in computer) and I’m a Netflix subscriber. I have the 3-at-a-time plan that I pay $19/mo for or something.

75% of my queue is tv shows. Since tv shows come on sets of discs, and you can only get 1 disc at a time, it’s not hard to have a long queue that has a lot of shows you’ve been meaning to watch but never got around to (especially handy when you don’t have a TV).

It’s also cool to be able to watch tv shows with no commercials, and watch a whole season at once (like someone else mentioned.)

Since I don’t pay for cable, I think $19/mo for what I get is very handy. Right now I am not watching too much, but in the winter I go through a lot of discs. I also have my queue set up in a way that I get 1 TV show, 1 movie I want to watch but no one else does, and 1 movie that my friends or family would want to see. Makes it handy for when someone calls and wants to hang out - I can say “I have [x movie] want to watch that?”

I love Netflix. I didn’t think I would – Mrs. Giraffe got it for me as a birthday gift and I was a bit skeptical that I would get our money’s worth out of it.

Reasons it is awesome:

  1. No more trips to the video store. Not a huge deal, but it’s two less errands every time you want to watch a movie.

  2. The flat monthly fee is very liberating – there’s no reason not to just watch any random movie that catches your eye. If it sucks, you can turn it off and return it, guilt-free.

  3. I love their website. You set up a queue of movies (I currently have like 70 in mine) which they’ll send you in order. I am constantly forgetting about movies I want to see, so now I just stick it in the queue. When I’m in the mood for something specific, I just bump it up to number one.

  4. They have all the HBO series which are out on DVD. I’ve been watching the Sopranos and Six Feet Under, which are both excellent.

Yes, I love me some Netflix.

Just to note, because I’m not sure I was clear, GreenCine has all the same features as Netflix except the friends-queue sharing, I think (they might, I haven’t checked).

Arg, posted too soon, last one. And GreenCine doesn’t “throttle” – netflix will actually restrict how many movies you can have out at one time (despite the ‘unlimited’ claims) by shipping them more slowly to you if you trigger their “heavy user” flag.

Oh, and as far as I can tell, in addition to the rarer stuff, GC has the same popular/new titles as Netflix.

I’m a new NetFlix subscriber, and most of my queue is TV shows also. This is stuff you can’t get in video stores, and is too expensive to buy and watch once. Since we’re busy, only needing a 45 minute chunk (no ads) to see something complete is a big plus. The other stuff on my queue is from the MST3K set, stuff I missed because I didn’t get the Comedy Channel or SciFi Channel until it was almost over.

So far it’s been a great bargain.

Another vote for Netflix. I have about twenty movies in my queue - it’s nice to get home and see what’s there to watch tonight.

We watch 4-6 movies a month with them. It’s worth it for the convenience.

Yeah, exactly. It’s a great service for real movie buffs; when I had time to watch a lot of movies, I subscribed, and it was wonderful having access to so many foreign films, indie movies, and so on. Hell, it’s hard to find even classic films if they’re more than 20 years old at the video store, and forget about getting them on DVD. But it’s not worth it if you just want to rent some movies every so often. That’s why God gave us video stores.

They’re going to open a distribution center here in Anchorage, which is way cool. By the way, it’s not a bad stock to invest in (NFLX).

Two words: 60,000 titles :slight_smile:

Here’s my dirty secret – I’m a video store manager (as I discussed recently in another thread here), and even I’m a Netflix member. And I love it. If I didn’t work at a video store, I’d tell everyone I know to sign up. The selection is incredible, and I always get my movies very quickly.

Like others have said, whether or not Netflix will work for you depends on how much you watch, and how specific your taste in movies is. If you’re only interested in a couple new releases a month, by all means go to a video store. But if you want to watch TV shows or foreign movies or older movies, Netflix is the way to go.