The other evening, my husband and I were discussing a movie that came out earlier this year but we never got to see. We decided that we should rent it to watch that night. Then, we realized that there is nowhere to rent movies anymore!
Our local grocery store and favorite pharmacy both have Redbox movie rental kiosks. If you are not familiar with these, you can pick out a movie to rent for about a dollar a day. It’s completely automated, spits the movie out after you swipe your credit card and you just shove the movie back in when you’re ready to return it. The only problem is that these kiosks are pretty limited with their options. After all, the entire apparatus is just about the size of a refrigerator. So, the film we were interested in – a bit artsy and not a blockbuster – was not a choice in either Redbox kiosk.
After doing a little research, it seemed that our best bet for getting to watch the movie we wanted without buying it was to subscribe to Netflix. Founded in 1997, Netflix offers over 100,000 movie and TV titles available in two formats, either streamed over the Internet or DVDs by mail.
For $7.99 a month, you can have unlimited access to movies & TV episodes streaming over the Internet. The catch is that the choices for instant viewing on your computer are much more limited. With the DVDs by mail option, also $7.99 a month, you can select any title you want and receive it within a couple of days by mail. When you are finished, you slip the DVD into a provided, pre-posted return envelope. With the DVDs by mail option, you will have a brief wait before receiving your selection, but the options are almost limitless. (You can select either or both options at www.netflix.com.)
In addition to using this service to watch movies that you yourself would like to see, it’s also a great option for getting access to kids’ movies and programming. At our house, we have Netflix set-up to stream through our television. (If you don’t know how to do this, either have one of your kids or an electronics store employee help you out.) This way, I have endless options for the kids to watch, and I am in total control. The best part – no commercials!