Netflix has once again announced that it will be starting a new original series for their streaming service this July. Netflix has been making a huge push this year in it's original programming in an effort to make Netflix much more then just a streaming service. So far, Netflix have been incredibly successful with shows like "House Of Cards", "Hemlock Grove" and "Arrested Development," which will be premiering later this May.
The new Netflix original series, "Orange Is The New Black," is based off the widely popular book by Piper Kerman. The series is said to be a comedic drama on the life of a female inmate. Much like the prior Netflix series, "Orange Is The New Black" aims to bring in a larger audience and build Netflixes credibility as a legitimate streaming service.
If you're interested in watching this new series but have yet to sign up for a Netflix account, we highly suggest you check out our full review of Netflix and sign up.
Netflix announced this week that they will be launching a new family plan in hope of eliminating some of the account sharing that has been going on over the past few years. The new family plan allows for up to four users on a single account. It's estimated that nearly 10 million users of Netflix are mooching off of friends or family members accounts.
The new Netflix family plan will start at $11.99 per month and will allow for up to 4 different users to stream simultaneously. The current basic plan starts at $7.99 and allows only two different users to stream. Netflix has a lot of big things in store this year with the release of a few original series and a lot more content that is expected to boost subscriptions significantly. If you have been sharing with another person's account or are looking to set up an account to share, the family plan is a great option to stream whatever movies you want at anytime.
For those of you who are big fans of the hit TV series "Arrested Development," the moment you've been waiting for is almost here. After almost 7 years since the last episode, a new season will finally be released. The 15 episode season will be featured only through Netflix and will be available for all subscribers to watch on the instant streaming site starting May 26.
Ted Sarandos, the chief content officer of Netflix, said that the show's creator Mitchell Hurwitz is creating Arrested Development, "in a brand new way, crafted for the on-demand generation that has come to discover the show in the years since it last appeared on TV.” The new season will bring back stars Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Portia de Rossi, David Cross and Alia Shawkat.
If you are an "Arrested Development" fan who has yet to sign up for Netflix, we encourage you to checkout our full review here to find out more about the service and all its features. Once you've signed up, remember to check out the full 4th season of "Arrested Development" when it is released on May 26th.
Some of the nominees for the Academy Awards are still in theaters, but there are a few nominees that you can watch now if you want to catch up before the Oscars on Sunday.
Argo: Ben Affleck's gripping drama has been eating up all the awards this season, and is sure to pick up a few more at the Oscars. You can buy Argo on Amazon's Instant Video for $14.99 or rent it from Blockbuster with a DVD rental subscription.
Beasts of the Southern Wild: Little Hushpuppy lives in the Bathtub with her daddy, which is the premise of this Hurricane Katrina-inspired movie, which picked up the top award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. You can rent ($3.99) or buy ($12.99) the movie from Amazon's Instant Video.
Life of Pi: This movie is a visual masterpiece from Oscar winner Ang Lee, based on the best-selling novel. While the standard version of the movie is not available until March 12, the HD version is available to buy on Amazon's Instant Video for $14.99.
Flight: An airline pilot (Denzel Washington) miraculously lands an airplane after mid-air collision. Check out Washington's gripping performance by renting ($4.99) or buying ($12.99) the movie from iTunes.
Best Animated Film
Brave: Pixar features its first female lead character in Merida, a head-strong princess and brave archer. You can rent the movie ($3.99) or buy it ($14.99) from Amazon's Instant Video.
Wreck-It-Ralph: Disney's animated movie about Ralph, a video game bad guy who wants to prove he's a hero, was extremely successful in theaters. You can rent the DVD from Netflix with a subscription, or buy the movie from iTunes for $19.99.
Frankenweenie: From the creative mind of Tim Burton, this animated film explores the heart-warming story of a boy and his dog. You can rent the DVD from Blockbuster with a subscription, or buy it from Amazon's Instant Video for $9.99.
ParaNorman: This is the story of Norman, a boy who must use his ability to see and speak with the dead to save his town from a curse. You can rent ($3.99) or buy ($14.99) the movie from Amazon's Instant Video.
Don't have plans for Valentine's Day yet? Don't stress. Order a heart-shaped pizza and snuggle up with that special someone while watching one of these romantic movies that Netflix offers on their streaming service.
Sleepless in Seattle: A comedy inspired by "An Affair to Remember," it stars Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan as lovelorn widower Sam Baldwin and unhappily engaged journalist Annie Reed, who are brought together by fate and a tenacious 8-year-old.
Breakfast at Tiffany's: Starring an amazing Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard, this classic centers around a young New York socialite who becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building.
Love Story: A Harvard law student and music student share an instant connection that leads them through a life of challenges that test their love. The classic romantic film stars Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw.
My Best Friend's Wedding: When she learns her platonic pal is getting married, food critic Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts) realizes her true feelings for him and tries to sabotage the wedding.
Ghost: In this quintessential 80s romantic classic, the main character, Sam, is killed by a mugger, but his love for his girlfriend, Molly, endures beyond the grave as Sam's spirit tries to warn Molly that she is in danger. The movie stars Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze and Whoopi Goldberg.
The Wedding Planner: If you are in the mood for the ultimate romantic comedy, try this one. Wedding planner Mary Fiore (Jennifer Lopez) is saved from an accident by the man of her dreams — only to discover that he happens to be her latest client's fiancé.
A Charlie Brown Valentine: Every holiday needs a Charlie Brown classic and in this favorite Charlie Brown pines for a valentine from the little red-haired girl, and Peppermint Patty can't divert his attention.
To check out our full review of Netflix or to sign up for the service, click here.
Whether you've been dating your sweetie a while or you just met online, all the pressure around Valentine's Day can sometimes make the holiday less fun. It doesn't have to be that way though–there are lots of fun, low-key things you can do to make Valentine's Day special without making it a chore. Just be sure your partner is on the same page so you don't disappoint!
Dinner at Home
Do you love to cook? Does your partner usually handle planning and preparing dinner? Either way, Valentine's Day can be a great time to sweep in and take over the dinner duties. If you're not a confident cook, you could even order takeout from your partner's favorite restaurant to serve at home, we won't tell. If you want to take this one the extra mile, get home early and clean up the house and set up a nice dinner table, maybe even with a few candles. It's like a restaurant you can go to in your pajamas!
The Anti-Valentine's Day
Tired of the red hearts and flowers? Plan an anti-Valentine's Day celebration for you and your partner or for a crowd. Forget chocolate and romantic meals, pick up a pizza, pasta with extra garlic and onions, or even messy BBQ ribs and have a delicious but inelegant meal. After dinner, consider some un-romantic movies. Be sure to change into your most comfortable pajamas and break out the popcorn. You can even stream movies right to your computer (or to some TVs and gaming systems). We recommend comedy favorites like National Lampoon's Family Vacation, horror movies like The Ring, action and adventure like The Avengers or Die Hard 3, or revenge movies like Kill Bill if you need a place to start. Just stay out of the rom com section! You can rent most movies to stream on your computer instantly from Amazon or iTunes for a dollar or two, or you may find great options included free to stream with your Amazon Prime, Netflix, or Hulu Plus subscriptions.
Let Your Inner Child Make the Plans
Remember Valentine's Day in grade school? Getting cards and candy from all your friends was fun, and you can reinstate the practice this year if you want. Check out sites like Tiny Prints, Cardstore, Minted, and Paper Culture for custom valentines and buy your favorite heart-shaped candy. You could even make your own Valentines if you're feeling crafty. Then be sure to exchange your favorite schmaltzy sentiments and seal it all with a Hershey's kiss.
A: Netflix's pricing is simple: It's $7.99/month for unlimited streaming, with access to their over 100,000 videos. Netflix also provides a DVD-by-mail add-on service that includes a wider selection of movies and TV shows that is also $7.99/month. So for both DVDs and streaming, it would be $15.98.
So can you get the DVD delivery service without the streaming? The Netflix site makes it seem like you have to buy both, but we called Netflix customer service and they told us that you can get a DVD-only subscription for only $7.99/month by going to DVD.com, which redirects you to the Netflix DVD-only site.
Want more than one DVD at a time? Here is the pricing structure based on how many DVDs you want:
|Number of DVDs||Cost|
|1 disc at a time||$7.99/month|
|2 discs at a time||$11.99/month|
|3 discs at a time||$15.99/month|
If you need more information or just want to read our entire review of Netflix, check it out here.
Blockbuster has had some issues in the past competing with Netflix when it comes to renting videos, especially since Netflix is the premiere video streaming service. But if you are only looking to rent DVDs by mail, which service is better? We take a look at how the two online video companies stack up:
Price: Netflix is cheaper, by $2/month on each of their plans. Netflix costs $7.99/month for one DVD at a time, while Blockbuster costs $9.99/month for the same package. It's $11.99/month for two DVDs and $15.99/month for three on Netflix, while Blockbuster is $14.99/month for two and $19.99/month for three. That being said, Netflix raises their prices by $2 for Blu-ray discs, while Blu-ray is included in Blockbuster's rates, so if you have a Blu-ray player, the rates for both Netflix and Blockbuster are the same.
Convenience: Blockbuster actually has Netflix beat here since they still have physical stores in a lot of areas. If you get Blockbuster's DVD by mail rental package, you can also drop off and pick up DVDs at your local Blockbuster store, which is an added convenience. If you don't think you'll ever have a need to go to a Blockbuster or don't have one in your area, both services offer the same convenience when it comes to DVD rentals by mail.
Speed: Both Netflix and Blockbuster have a network of distribution centers around the country, so most people will get DVDs within one business day. You can also speed this up by dropping off your DVDs at a local Blockbuster, if you have one nearby.
Selection: Both Netflix and Blockbuster have a wide range of movies and DVDs to choose from. In some cases, Blockbuster gets movies before they are released to Netflix, so if you are looking for the latest releases, Blockbuster might be a better choice. Otherwise, both companies have an extensive collection of both movies and TV shows that you can rent via DVD.
While Netflix continues its dominance in the online video arena because of its extensive video streaming collection (a collection that Blockbuster can't hold a candle to), when it comes to renting DVDs, both Netflix and Blockbuster are good choices. If you want to read our full reviews of both Netflix and Blockbuster, check out our online video compare page here.
Over the weekend Netflix announced they will be separating their DVD-by-mail and online content streaming services and renaming their DVD business as Qwikster.com. This comes on the coattails of their recent decision to charge for their formerly free streaming service, thereby changing their entire pricing and plan line up and increasing prices up to 60%. Both announcements have stirred up plenty of controversy and speculation about Netflix, their customers and where the business is heading.
We still think Netflix offers a pretty solid value for unlimited online streaming at $7.99 per month. Although their streaming selection can be hit-and-miss and they don't provide original content, it's still a lot cheaper than paying for cable. And if you want to add 2 DVDs per month (no games though) to the unlimited streaming feature you'll still only be paying $19.98 per month, which is a decent deal.. The only downside is that sometimes you have to wait 28 days after a movie release date to rent it, and with their by-mail DVD plan you don't have the immediate gratification of walking into a store and swapping out your DVD for another one the same day. Still, having to wait 1 or at the most 2 days for a new movie by mail isn't bad. And they have a 30-day free trial, so you can try out their streaming and their DVD-by-mail service for a month for free.
If you're someone who's more interested in receiving games and having access to movies as soon as they're released, Blockbuster might be more up your alley. Although Blockbuster doesn't offer online streaming and their disc plans are slightly more expensive than Netflix's, you can walk into a participating Blockbuster store and exchange the movie (or game) you just watched for a brand new one. You'll also have access to newly released movies, and the gamers out their will appreciate the fact that games are included.
A few days ago at Google I/O, Google's yearly developer conference in San Francisco, the company made public a new movie-rental service for the Android Market. It'll roll out soon to Market applications on Android devices: handsets, tablet computers, PCs, and laptops. Users will be able to stream these movie rentals from the cloud, making it easy to watch your favorite films on the go.
But is this the best movie-viewing deal? Android Market rental prices start at $1.99, but most titles cost $3.99 for a 30-day movie rental. But once you start watching your movie, the countdown begins: You have 24 hours to watch it before the rental expires.
This is in stark contrast to Netflix, whose online DVD service starts at $8.99 a month. But for $13.99 per month, you can get two DVDs at a time mailed to your front door with no monthly limit. Suppose you watch one movie a week (that's about four/month). You'd average a cost of $16 a month on your Android Market device. But with Netflix, you'd save 13%! Those savings only increase as you watch more movies each month.
So is this the beginning of the end for online DVD rental? Not by a long shot. Right now, these services are far more cost-effective than the Android cloud streaming. And most people would rather watch a movie on their big-screen TVs than on the tiny screen of a phone.
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