I’ve been using the DVD rental services “Greencine” and Netflix side-by-side for three months now, so I feel like I ought to say something by way of comparison.
Greencine (with 1-Out plan):
- slow shipping, with only one shipping center, in California (we can get about one disc per week at best in our location (WA))
- cost per month: $9.95 (no tax in most states)
- potential cost per disc: $2.30
- our cost per disc: $2.99 (10 playable discs over three months)
- VOD costs extra (who would pay for that?)
- slow, poorly designed website
- ability to lock your queue order (although, when I tried this, it just meant they didn’t send me anything)
- almost every movie that’s readily available on DVD, plus a number of hard to find things
- only some TV shows
- the best available editions of silent films
Netflix (with 1 DVD out at-a-time plan):
- fast shipping (about two discs per week at best)
- cost per month: $9.99 plus tax ($10.79 for us)
- potential cost per disc: $1.25
- our cost per disc: $1.62 (20 discs over three months)
- unlimited free streaming
- fast, well designed website
- if a title is too popular, you will never get it
- almost every movie that’s readily available on DVD
- only some TV shows
- no porn
- unwatchable editions of silent films that they found in the value bin
So, if I had to just pick one or the other, it would be a no-brainer in favor of Netflix. Maybe.
It really bothers me how Netflix handles silent films (or anything in the public domain, really). I mean, I’m not a huge silent film fan, but that attitude makes a huge difference. With Greencine, I can be sure that if I add something to my queue, I’m going to get the movie that I thought I was going to get. With Netflix, you might end up with something someone transferred off of an old VHS.
And just recently, Netflix stopped getting all of the new releases of classic Doctor Who, which means, as far as the stuff I want to watch is concerned, Greencine’s selection wins hands down.
Of course the free streaming shifts things pretty heavily in favor of Netflix. Personally, I don’t like to watch things that way; the video quality’s not quite as good as a DVD. But Lynn loves it, mostly because we live in a valley where there’s no TV reception, and having Netflix and a Wii means she can just turn on the TV and there will be something mindless there to watch. (Although, if/when the BBC ever releases an international iPlayer on the Wii, Netflix won’t even have this going for it anymore.)
Step up your game, Netflix. You are rapidly becoming obsolete.