Back in April, I wrote up a fairly detailed comparison of Netflix vs. Blockbuster. In a nutshell, we started out as Netflix subscribers, eventually migrated over to Blockbuster Total Access for the in-store exchanges, and then came back to Netflix when Blockbuster tightened up their exchange policy.
Overall, we’ve been quite happy with this decision. When things started getting busy this fall, however, we realized we weren’t taking full advantage of our Netflix subscription. Thus, we decided to streamline things a bit.
Dropping to a lower level of service
Our first step was to drop form the “three-at-a-time” plan to the “one-at-a-time” plan. In doing so, our monthly rate dropped $16.99 to $8.99. While this lower tier might seem a bit pricey for the service that we receive, we also get unlimited access to Netflix online.
To be honest, we could’ve just dropped the DVD service entirely and relied on DVD rental kiosks (more below), but we still wanted to be able to stream Netflix online. Thus, the one-at-a-time plan gives us what while cutting our bill nearly in half.
Supplementing with DVD rental kiosks
The other key to our strategy has been ready access to a DVD rental kiosk. While RedBox has begun moving into our area, there still aren’t any near us. Our local grocery store, however, had a MovieCube kiosk where we could get movies for $1/night.
More recently, the MovieCube has been replaced by a Blockbuster Express kiosk. Movies are still $1/night, but there are also tons of Blockbuster Express promo codes out there so we’ve gotten a lot of free DVD rentals from this.
Maximizing our Netflix experience
As I noted above, we’re big fans of the Netflix online streaming service. We are not, however, crazy about watching movies on the computer screen. Fortunately, you have several options when it comes to viewing Netflix content on your TV.
One of your best options is to stream to your TV using a game console (if you have one). This is already available for Xbox 360 (requires Xbox Live) and was recently announced for PS3. Support for the Wii is reportedly coming, but it might be next year before it happens.
If you don’t have a game console, and you don’t want to go through the gyrations of connecting your computer to your TV, you can use a Roku player (also available in HD format) to stream Netflix content to your TV. We actually have one of these little beauties (the SD version) in our living room, and it’s been fantastic.