Blockbuster Review: Online Video & DVD Rentals
|Sign up for Blockbuster|
|Good option if you want DVD rentals but don't want Netflix; streaming has very limited selection|
Blockbuster has been playing catch-up to Netflix in the online rental game, leveraging their position as the top in-store rental company to offer some unique features that make Blockbuster a good option for those that live near a local Blockbuster store and still want the option of picking up a movie there. Since being bought by Dish Network in 2011, Blockbuster has been making great strides in re-establishing its place in the video market, but still has more catching up to do.
When it comes to DVD rentals, Blockbuster has been able to virtually match Netflix in terms of number of titles and speed of delivery. They also offer a couple of things Netflix doesn't - many new releases are available before Netflix gets them, and you can rent games. This is a big perk for any gamers out there. However, their streaming options are seriously lacking, which make it hard for Blockbuster to compete.
Blockbuster offers "Total Access" plans, which provide extra value by allowing you to return your DVDs to the local Blockbuster OR instantly exchange them for another movie or game from the store at no additional cost. Of course, you can always just mail your DVDs in as well and receive the next one in your queue back by mail or just return the DVD to the store and have the next one arrive by mail, but this in-store exchange option allows you to get the next movie you want instantly.
All plans charge a monthly fee and vary by the number of DVDs you can have out at one time and the maximum number of DVDs you can rent per month.
Blockbuster's streaming option, which they call On-Demand, is pay-per-video. The pricing, of course, depends on which movie you choose, but they also let you choose either Standard Definition (SD) or High Definition (HD), as well as whether to rent or buy the video. The average pricing for rentals is $3.99 for SD and $4.99 for HD. To buy a video, the average pricing is $11.99 for SD and $12.99 for HD.
The good news is that Blockbuster's DVD rental selection is one of the best. They even get some movies faster than Netflix, which is nice if you are into current releases. So if you would rather get DVDs by mail, this is the perfect service for you.
Another plus is that they carry video games, which most of the other video services do not, so if you are a gamer, this is a great service for you.
The bad news is that their streaming selection, which they call On Demand, is seriously lacking. Granted, they do have some recent, popular movies, like 21 Jump Street. However, a majority of their streaming selection is composed of movies like Tooth Fairy 2 and The Babymakers. Their TV streaming selection is even more abysmal, with only 10 options, none of which we have even heard of.
Like other streaming sites, the video quality on Blockbuster is mostly good. You have the option of streaming in HD, which is obviously a higher quality, and is crystal clear.
Whether you rent or buy, Blockbuster gives you the option of either streaming the videos on their website or downloading them to your computer.
Streaming device options for Blockbuster are somewhat limited. The main way you can stream movies from Blockbuster is on your computer via their website, but they also list a selected number of devices that you can download and stream movies from, including some mobile phones (NOT the iPhone, unfortunately) as well as Internet-ready TVs and Blu-ray players.
Blockbuster, like most other streaming sites, has a help page with a slew of FAQs that should answer any minor problems you are having. If you have a more specific problem, you can either email their customer service 24/7 or call Blockbuster Customer Care on Sunday-Thursday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. CST, or on Friday/Saturday from 8 a.m. to midnight CST. Both options are very helpful, although the phone option is quicker, once you get through the automated menu.
If all you want is the ability to rent DVDs by mail, then Blockbuster is a great option, since they get some movies weeks before Netflix does. If you are looking for a great streaming option, Blockbuster is probably the last site you should use. They have a poor selection of streaming videos, as well as a very limited selection of devices that you can stream videos on. Stick to the DVDs if you want to get the most out of Blockbuster.
NextAdvisor Blog Headlines
Department of Homeland Security Urges Employees To Get Identity Theft Protect...
This week, the discovery of a security vulnerability dating back to July 2009 has caused a stir in the Department of Homeland Security. Thousands of DHS employees have been notified that their personal information, which include names, Social Security numbers and
Does Internet Fax Work Well?
Q: I'm thinking about switching to Internet fax, does it work well? A: Yes, Internet fax works really well! And, the people sending and receiving faxes from you will never know the difference. As long as you have an Internet
Memorial Day Sale from Pear Tree
If you have forgotten to purchase invitations for an upcoming party or announcements for a life event well you're in luck because Pear Tree Greetings is having a Memorial Day sale. From now through May 27th you can get 15
Get An Updated Credit Score Every Month
All of the top credit monitoring services monitor your 3-bureau credit report daily, but if you need to keep up with your fluctuating credit score, there are particular services that will update your Equifax, Experian and Transunion scores frequently for
Blockbuster Forum Posts
- Blockbuster Review
Here is NextAdvisor's review of Blockbuster: http://www.nextadvisor.com/online_dvd_rental_services/blockbuster_review.php