Why does Redbox exist?

I haven’t done it lately, but I used to rent from Redbox occasionally. I almost always got a deal of some sort: a freebie, discount, two-for-one. So the “official” price isn’t the actual price in many cases.

I’d take the DVD and rip it, return the DVD (sometimes the same day). Then I’d watch at my leisure with no late fees, etc. No streaming glitches, FF and RR works a lot better, etc.

The rip was soon deleted. The disk requirements to save a significant number of these was too high for me to even consider.

Just to emphazie the mistake that Mdcastle and no doubts others have about streaming Amazon (Prime or pay) videos: You can watch them on a wide variety of devices: PCs, Android smartphones, tablets, some TiVos, etc. They are not limited to smart TVs or Amazon FireTV devices.

This is right on.

My stepdaughter and her friends use Redbox. She uses her cellphone as her only source for internet access at home, converting it to a hot-spot when she uses her laptop for school. Her 6GB cap is fine for browsing, shopping, sending a few photos or video clips to friends, and doing schoolwork, but not for watching movies on a regular basis. Even if she had the data available (and I’ll admit that raising her cap would be relatively cheap), new movies on Amazon are often between $6 and $15. Redbox is much more practical and provides much better quality picture and sound (as well as the usual DVD features). It’s not a difficult decision.

Oh, DVD features is another good point. Most DVDs have audio and subtitle tracks in several different languages, including at least the original language of the film and the predominant languages of whatever region the DVD is marketed in. I understand that the selection of audio and subtitles provided by streaming services may be much more limited. At least, I have heard friends complain that the Hollywood movies they stream are offered only in the local dub, not the original English.

Having access to the audio commentaries, making-of featurettes, cast and crew dossiers, and other DVD extras is also nice. I don’t know if these are commonly provided by streaming services, though I’m guessing they’re not.

My experience differs greatly from yours. I have On-demand, Netflix and Firestick. Also Amazon prime. Frequently the movies I want to watch are not available unless I want to plunk down $4 - 15 dollars.

Redbox is a cheap alternative. Also we commute between our house and the coast on the weekends. Redbox doesn’t care where you drop off your movies regardless of where you originally rent them.

Don’t forget about impulse buys, either. You’re at the store, you walk past the box, you think “Hm, I’d like to watch that movie”, and you’re not in front of your Amazon Prime-enabled computer right at that exact moment, but you are in front of a Redbox.

Yeah, the Redboxes I’ve seen are all in grocery stores, so it’s not like you have to go out of your way to get to one if you’re grabbing stuff to make dinner or movie night snacks.

I use Redbox about twice a month. Movies on Blu Ray look much better than streaming. Plus there’re always sending me discounts. So, I can usually see a new release Blu Ray for $1.50 or less.

I also notice they have a lot of children’s movies. I don’t have kids but I imagine parents might find it easier to use dvds for their children rather than giving them access to a streaming service, and of course many minivans have DVD players built in.

Finally, Redbox also rents games. I’m not a gamer but I imagine this is a good way for someone to try out a new game for a day or so before buying it.

Streaming is fine for something in the background or a tv series. But for a high budget film, I still prefer Blu Ray.
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I have a friend (former student) who is 20, and he always asks me why I bother to buy movies on disc. He simply watches everything streamed. I point out that there are advantage to owning the disc, but he remains unimpressed.

Different generation, living by different rules. Rules we old folks will learn to hate, when we finally are forced to abide by them.

I have Netflix, but don’t wish to pay for Amazon or Hulu or whatnot. I don’t watch enough new movies to make it worth the money. However, since it takes forever for a new movie to make it to Netflix, I will rent new releases from Redbox once or twice a month. It’s the most convenient method for me, and at a buck and a half, the price is right.

BTW, Redbox is currently in a legal battle with Disney. Redbox has been buying titles in combo packages that include a Blu-ray disc, a DVD and a code to download a digital copy. They’ve been breaking up these packages, renting the discs and selling the download code to customers. As you might guess, Disney hates this and has tried to obstruct Redbox from buying discs at retail.

The factual, it exists to make money for a collection of people known as a company or corporation. It does this by dispensing movies for rent on either dvd or Blu-ray discs.

Your imagination fails you.

We got our first smart tv for Christmas this year. My wife has amazon prime, and when we look at the offering available for prime, well, the word crap comes to mind. Limited selections of crap mind you. My parents have a roku, my niece has a Netflix account on it, I’ve never really seen anything on Netflix or any of the other streaming services that grabbed my attention, but it’s been a few years that may have changed.

OTOH I don’t use redbox either. I prefer to have my own collection of entertainment media, including (god I’m old) vhs, audio cassettes and a very few 8-track tapes.

I will say that the roku was where I first played angry birds, and learned just what an obsession inducing game that can be.

I’m not a complete idiot, but getting a streaming movie on to our TV is something we can only accomplish with the help of our daughter. I can never remember the log in information, or what steps are required to smarten up the TV. I image for those of my parents generation, it’s an even bigger problem On the other hand, we no longer own a DVD player, so redbox won’t help either. We DVR a lot of stuff and get by okay, I guess.

Years ago we used Netflix’s DVD mail service, and I ended up cancelling because the majority of the DVDs were in poor condition and would have sections that were unreadable by my player. Do the discs from Redbox have similar issues? I can’t believe that people treat rental discs any better but maybe discs and players have become more robust.

This is what I used to do. Netflix offerings seem somewhat limited and none of the various services clamoring for my business seem to want to tell me what they offer in a comprehensive list.

I could “time shift” my viewing by ripping the disk with dvdshrink. I found a WD box that plays ISO images so I had access to all
Features. But redbox closed in Canada and most dvd rentals have closed too.

I gave up on the Canadian equivalent of Netflix disk rental because if I added any older discs to my list then I would never get any recent movies; plus good old Canada Post it seems I was lucky if a round trip for a disk was less than a week - so effectively 4 disks a month. Redbox I could get 5 at a time mostly recent releases.

I also found Redbox discs fairly good condition since unlike the mail service most movies were new and spent their travel life in cases rather than paper sleeves.

I haven’t checked Amazon as a source for movie rentals, but I have a Netflix streaming subscription and most of the movies I want to watch–dozens and dozens of them–are not available on Netflix.

I have Netflix streaming, which is fine if you don’t mind watching whatever they decide to show you. But for recent releases, you can’t beat Redbox. Since our schedules are kind of hectic, we rarely make it to the theater, but most everything comes to Redbox within a few weeks of leaving the big screen. Alas, Redbox is useless for older movies.

Like md2000, I have found Redbox disks are in much better shape than the old Netflix mail order disks used to be.


The younger members of my extended family get sick of hearing me say it, but “accessibility over quality” is now the rule. There’s certainly some advantages to accessibility, but I miss the days when a large portion of the population actually had to make an effort to get great sound, the best prints of old movies, the best quality vinyl albums, and so forth.

But I also walked to school in the snow, uphill in both directions.

It’s interesting that Netflix and Amazon are trying to push original content. It’s certainly a way for them to save on expensive licensing fees. But, ugh, I don’t have time to constantly add new TV shows that require a much longer time commitment, especially if they’re shows that have hooks that require to follow the entire season and don’t work well as a one time viewing experience. I can find time for a 2 hour movie but I just can’t add any more shows that require multiple episode viewing.

Netflix and Amazon are also pushing original movies as well as TV shows. For example, last year Manchester-by-the-Sea was released by Amazon and this year Mudbound by Netflix.