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My love/hate relationship with Blockbuster and Netflix takes another turn.

I loved Netflix.  Then, the price of that love took a huge step forward – one that I could barely spare my heart to afford.  Then, to make things worse, Netflix, with this higher-priced love, told me that a few of the things that I loved were too much of a burden to maintain, and so took them away from me forever.  I dealt with this the best I could because, as I said, I loved Netflix.  However, it wasn’t enough.  A few years later into the relationship, Netflix did it again…she hiked the price of her love up without offering me anything for it.  I was forced to say good bye…

That’s when I turned my consolation efforts to Blockbuster – the first time.  You see, I have gone back and forth between Netflix and Blockbuster, now, a 5th time in about 6 or 7 years.  This last time is a little different.  I’m ditching the discs.  That’s right – streaming only service for me this time.  The discs I don’t really need and Netflix’s streaming service has really taken off in the past couple of years.  There’s tons of content on there – so much, in fact, that it has allowed us to discontinue talks of getting cable…at least for the time being.  We primarily watched the ID channel and we have found that Netflix has hundreds of episodes for us to go through…months and months worth to keep us occupied.

So, why did I leave Blockbuster?  Well, it definitely was not foreseeable the first few months, but it was a rapid decline in services for me.

  1. Most of the brick and mortar stores around me closed, so no unlimited trade-ins.
  2. 75% of my queue was sent to an “Unavailable” list with no estimated time of availability.
  3. At least 50% of the discs I was receiving were broken.  One movie for my kids, in particular, was received broken 4 times before it was added to the unavailable list.
  4. Streaming service was extra and there are no compatible Media Center plugins.

I really liked Blockbuster for the games though.  We have a Wii and being able to rent games for no extra charge was pretty nice.  However, school started back today, so Wii time is going to be limited anyway…time to beat the games we have.  Maybe later we’ll do a service like Gamefly or something when they’re ready to graduate to a new console.  Time will tell.

Anyway, the Netflix streaming service is good.  It has a native Media Center application that works very well and there are tons of shows available for our kids…and us.  For the price of $7.99/mo., it fits in nicely with the amount of time we have to watch things.

I don’t know what the future holds for our movie rental life to be, but right now, streaming only makes the most sense.  I’ve never been into the kiosk-based rentals like RedBox offers as I don’t want to have to jump in the car to go pick up and return movies – that’s what makes the mail-based services so nice.  With the quantity and quality of streaming picking up, I will just see how it goes and enjoy it for a while.

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