Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Netflix vs. Redbox: A TV Girl Smackdown

After discovering Redbox a couple weeks ago, I've been toying with the idea of cancelling my Netflix subscription, but I haven't quite been able to bring myself to do it. In order to make the decision, I've employed a winner take all boxing match between the two.

In the first corner we have Redbox, which lays the first punch with it's price. The cost of Redbox is basically nothing. I can get free rental codes through Inside Redbox, and I'm very diligent about watching the movie that night and returning it the next day, so I don't get hit with fees. Compared to Netflix at $10 a month, which gets me about 8 movies, Redbox is far superior.

In the second corner is Netflix, which lays the second punch with The Queue. I love The Queue so much that I recently discovered that the limit is 500 movies. Nevermind that it would take me about five years, two months, and two weeks (yes, I calculated) to watch that many movies and tv shows, I just love The Queue. I love that I can save shows and movies for later so that I don't forget about them. I also love browsing through the list until I find something I've forgotten about, getting excited about it all over again, and moving it to the top of the list. I love adding, subtracting, and rearranging movies in that thing. It's like a giant To Do List, and combining Television with To Do Lists is basically heaven in my book.

After one good punch on each side, Netflix lands another jab with it's selection. Netflix has just about every movie, tv show, and documentary that you could dream up. Their selection trumps any local video store, and it certainly rises far above Redbox, which consists almost entirely of mainstream movie new releases. For me, the best thing about the Netflix selection is the tv shows. I've discovered and come to love many tv shows through Netflix, and I wouldn't have otherwise watched them because it's too prohibitive to buy them at $50 a pop.

At this point you'd think Netflix was ahead, two punches to one, but Redbox's cost punch was the strongest hit, so they're laying pretty even right now. Netflix allows you to put your account on hold, reserving your queue, but not charging you or sending you any movies. I've decided to do that for now and see how I get along on Redbox only. I may decide to resurrect my Netflix account in the summer when the TV drought hits. We'll see.


Elizabeth said...

I think the Redbox V Netflix issue is one without a single, definitive answer. It all depends on what one wants from a rental service.

For me, Redbox isn't even a consideration. Having to drive to pick up and return movies and have to pay each day I have it out would never, ever work. That's what I love about Netflix -- I send and receive movies from the comfort of my own mailbox.

Netflix wins big also because of the selection. Between a husband fond of dark comedies and weird films, a teenaged daughter really into chick flicks and insipid TV shows, a son into action and classic sci-fi, and me (documentaries plus a little of everything), Netflix is the perfect choice. The one type of movie we don't watch much -- popular new releases.

For us, Netflix is a no-brainer, hands-down winner. But I can certainly understand the appeal of Redbox for others.

TV Girl said...

Yeah, the decision really depends on how/why/when you rent movies. They both have their pros and cons, and neither service is the hands-down winner for everybody.

Matt and Carol said...

Hey girl! Been thinking about you lately! How've you been doing with all this? And everything else?!


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