Netflix Review – online movie rental
I signed up for Netflix online movie rental a few weeks ago. So far we love it and are very happy with our decision and their service. We did wonder about Blockbuster vs. Netflix though for a while. I thought I’d share some details about Netflix with you and offer it up as a great way to potentially save money. We’re looking at it as one of the options for getting rid of our monthly satellite TV service.
Netflix offers 5 different plans. The lowest cost option is a limited plan for $4.99. Under this plan you can have 1 DVD out at a time with a limit of only 2 DVDs per month. Additionally the amount of movies you can watch online is limited to 2 hours.
Their unlimited plans allow you to rent as many movies as you would like include:
- 1 DVD out at a time – $8.99/month
- 2 DVDs out at a time – $13.99/month
- 3 DVDs out at a time – $16.99/month
- 4 DVDs out at a time – $23.99/month
We currently have the 3 DVD plan, but might be moving down to the 2 at a time plan as we just don’t get enough time to watch the movies.
How Netflix works
Once you’ve signed up and selected a plan, you go into the awesome Netflix interface and start adding movies to your queue. Netflix is a queue based system that ships movies to you based on movies in your queue. You can remove movies from your queue and change the order.
When you first start, Netflix will ship you the first x number of movies in your queue (x being driven by the plan you signed up for). Movies arrive within a day or two from a local shipping center (ours is in Asheville NC) in special envelopes that are used to both ship your movie and to return them.
When you’ve finished watching a movie, you mail it back (postage paid by Netflix). Once Netflix receives your movie, they’ll ship the next movie in your queue. They offer the option of being emailing when your movies are shipped and received.
Another nice feature with Netflix is the ability to watch some movies online. Select movies are available for real-time streaming and can be watched instantly. The number of streamable movies is pretty small compared to the ones available on DVD, but a nice feature anyway that is available for no additional cost.
One of the best features of Netflix is no late fees. Once you have a movie, you can keep it as long as you like. No pressure to have to hurry up and watch a movie. We just watched one last night that’s been sitting at our house for a little more than a week.
Slick Netflix features
I love the Netflix.com website. They have really put a great deal of thought into the user experience and it shows. Here are some of the features I find really nice:
The queue management screen is very easy to use and honestly makes managing your movie queue kind of fun. Here’s a screen shot:
Ratings and Browsing
Netflix allows you to rate the movies you rent. Not only does this help other Netflix members when renting movies, but Netflix also tracks each movie you rent and uses that to offer up similar movies you might like. The movies you initially see on the “Browse DVD” screen are all based on interests you specified, previous movie rentals and ratings.
Movies on the Browse screen are displayed based on the primary categories you choose when you first signed up. Then as you rent and rate movies, Netflix applies your choices and ratings to make your browsing experience more tailored to you. A slick feature.
One very subtle feature I like is instead of having to click on a movie to see the details, you can just hover over the movie for about 3 seconds and a small pop-up appears showing a brief movie summary and the overall rating by other Netflix members.
When you add a movie to your queue, not only is the movie added, but a list of recommended and similar movies is displayed as well. I’ve found a few really good movies thanks to this feature.
Friends, Family and Community
Have friends or family on Netflix? You can add them and via the friends interface see what movies your friends have been watching and see their thoughts on the movies. I’ve just started using this feature, but am already addicted. Via the Netflix community, you can also read reviews of movies entered by other Netflix members along with building movie lists others can view.
Want to give it a try?
If you’re interested in giving Netflix a try, they offer a free 2 week trial via this link: Netflix 2 week free trial. You can cancel at anytime. If you don’t cancel within 2 weeks, you’ll be automatically billed for the plan you selected.
Personally, I love Netflix so far. We’ve really enjoyed doing family movie night on Friday nights together. Looking for a low cost entertainment option? Netflix is in my opinion a great value and I highly recommend you give it a try.
Also, check out: Netflix vs. Blockbuster for a great comparison.
This article is part of an ongoing series called Money Saving Monday. Each Monday, I share tips and techniques you can use to start saving money.