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Blockbuster Versus Netflix

It all comes down to what you really want

Over the past seven years, my husband and I have gone back and forth between DVD rental services. We’ve used Netflix, off and on, longer than Blockbuster, and while we have found that Blockbuster has the greater value overall, we still like Netflix better. Here is a breakdown.

Blockbuster Pros

Blockbuster has the option of getting DVDs or games, so if you like both (or either), you are set for the same price. You can also get Blu-ray discs if you prefer them. The best thing about Blockbuster is that you can get in-store exchanges as many times as you want, so you are really never without a movie (though you technically can be without one, after you return them back to the store, since your next movie won’t be shipped until your in-store exchange is returned). Like Netflix, there are no late charges, and there’s a decent lot of movies to choose from.

Blockbuster Cons

The worst part about Blockbuster is that their selection is smaller than the one you can get from Netflix. When we switched back, I hated that Blockbuster didn’t have dozens of movies or TV shows that I wanted to watch that I knew Netflix had. Blockbuster is also more costly—depending upon your plan—but you do get more movies/games for your money. So if you are a person who watches a lot of mainstream movies and could watch six or more movies a week, Blockbuster is definitely worth checking out. Streaming is only available to certain customers, though, so that access is out for many of us.

Netflix Pros

Netflix has an enormous variety of movies to choose from that is constantly growing. I love that I can watch most of the movies I want to see from Netflix. They also have the easy streaming feature which allows you to have access to hundreds of movies at a time, which my family loves—it’s an easy movie night without having to leave the house. You can watch seasons of TV shows this way without having to wait for another disc to arrive (which drove me crazy when we made our way through Supernatural!). I also like the queue form of Netflix better, which allows you to see everything at once.

Netflix Cons

Netflix’s recent price hike for renting one DVD at a time was enormous; it nearly doubled the price, which is why we left. For one DVD, I could pay less at our local store or a Redbox machine. The streaming movies are also constantly changing, so something you may have bookmarked to watch later may not be there the next day without notice. Many of the shows I want to watch (including Supernatural) are not on instant streaming, either. Shows that were once on there—such as Sanctuary—might not be there the next day without a moment’s notice, as with movies. There are no in-store exchanges, obviously, or game rentals.

The service from both companies is similar, so that isn’t a big factor with us. Overall, though Blockbuster does cost more if you get the full plan, it’s a better value in terms of what you get—though Netflix’s selection might be worth the cost if that’s what you’re looking for.