Over the last few years I have covered the relative merits of subscribing to either Neflix or Blockbuster’s home DVD delivery service. Netflix has always been a superior overall service (which is probably why their stock is soaring while Blockbuster is in bankruptcy), but from a subscriber’s perspective there have been, and still are, reasons to consider Blockbuster. And given Netflix’s committment to being the leader in streaming video it is now easy to make a choice, depending on how you like to consume your video.
Netflix has struck deals with many studios that allow them more opportunity to stream movies as opposed to just releasing them on DVD. The downside is that they are delaying the release of many videos for 28 days via their delivery service, allowing the studios more time to sell DVDs on the initial release. They also still tend to throttle their best customers, putting those that rent a lot of videos on the “long wait” list for the best movies. This means that if you only watch DVDs and don’t stream, Blockbuster is probably a better choice for you. You will have access to the DVDs a month earlier and an easier time getting the hits.
If you only stream video, Netflix is the obvious choice. The number of available movies and television programs increases every month, and it works great. I have a number of streaming devices in my house, and especially like to stream off a newer generation Tivo box or an Apple TV. Even on relatively slow web connections in works really well. In the past I have not been able to stream movies off my Hughesnet satellite service at my house in the country, but have found that recently it is working well. The Netflix streaming service is also great for those that travel, as you can stream movies to your computer in hotel rooms equipped with Wi Fi – or my favorite is to use the iPad Ap to stream to my iPad.
But most people will probably want to use both services, since many of the biggest releases are still not available via streaming. I sign up for one video at a time from Netflix, which gives me full access to the streaming services, and I rent my videos from Blockbuster.
Ultimately Netflix will with the battle, and DVDs will be abandoned in favor of an all download environment, but for the time being we are in an old and new technology environment.