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Blockbuster vs Netflix the Complete Review

Updated on March 5, 2010

Movies by Mail or In-Stores

By now everyone has at least heard of Netflix, and understands the concept. Basically, you create a queue of movies you'd like to see - and Netflix, or Blockbuster Online ships the movie out to you. Depending on your plan you can have one to five movies out at a time. When you're done watching- simply drop the movie back in the mail in its pre-paid envelope, and then wait for the next movie to arrive.

Both mail pretty promptly, and usually arrive in one day.

DVD, Blu-ray, and Streamed Movies

The landscape of watching movies at home has changed dramatically in just the past year, let alone the last 5 years. Now not only can you rent and return DVDs (and Blu-ray discs) by mail, you can rent and stream movies and TV shows right onto your computer, and as of 2010- a host of other devices like your Blu-ray player, xbox, or ps3.

Streaming is the wave of the future. For those of you who aren't sure what I'm writing about. Imagine scrolling through a movie collection on your computer or TV, and with a high speed internet connection, watching it instantly in High Definition with full feature control- pause, rewind, fast forward - start and stop. Forget about trips to the video store- you don't even have to leave your couch!

streaming video

Netflix advantage

The first Netflix advantage is price. It's not a huge advantage, though - and prices and plans change all the time. in general, Netflix is usually a dollar or two less expensive every month.

The big Netflix Advantage is with streaming video. They offer free video streams- some in Hi-Def, with all their accounts. Currently there are no limits- you can watch as many movies as you want.

Netflix also supports the most number of devices- Xbox, PS3, Roxio, Samsung and LG Blu-ray players and TVs- as well as Tivo boxes.

Blockbuster currently only offers pay per view movies- that is you have to pay for each movie you watch, and only on Samsung players and TIVO.

There is a big weakness with Netflix content, however. Their catalog of available movies is large- several thousand titles as of now- but very dated. Very few new releases- lots of stuff 5-15 years old or more. They do have a large selection of TV episodes- especially BBC stuff like Dr. Who.

Blockbuster Advantage

Blockbuster is constantly changing their pricing plans- so be sure to check that this info is current.

The biggest advantage Blockbuster has over Netflix are its stores. With in-store exchanges you can return your mailed DVD and grab a new one right there. Or - you can drop your mailed DVD at the store, and they will immediately ship you a new title- this can save 2 days of transit time for your next DVD!

The other big advantage Blockbuster has are the availability of NEW RELEASES. I don't know about you- but to me that's what its all about. I don't want  to rent Top Gun or the Blues Brothers for the 900th time. I want to see what I missed in the theater- and with 2 kids and 1 on the way- that means just about EVERYTHING!

Netflix is constantly out of new titles. To be fair- Blockbuster online is, too. But since I can exchange the mailed DVDs in the store- I am almost always able to get what I want when I want with Blockbuster.

Final Call

For me, Blockbuster wins out- for now.  The ability to get new releases when I want them is the biggest factor. 

The game changer will be Netflix's ability to get newer content on their streaming network. If they had availability of the newest titles- and I'm sure someday they will- they'll put Blockbuster down for good.

Which online dvd rental service

Which service do you use now?

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    • thehis profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from San Diego

      Thanks slaomoutte for the comment. I agree- streaming is easy and quick! As of right now, however, there is not much selection- particularly newer releases. Even services like VUDU don't have the selection- and they are expensive!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Streaming movies are by far the best way to go. You won't have to worry about waiting for your movies to arrive.

    • thehis profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from San Diego

      Happy watching!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I've been interested in getting one of the services and haven't figured out the differences between the two until now! I agree the new releases factor is pretty important. I think watching the new releases is the main reason i want to watch movies. This article was very helpful. I cant wait to get my services started. yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay thanks!


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