We’re not paying $16 a month for Netflix. And let’s face it, I’m not becoming a Blockbuster customer (too much brand baggage). We’ll pick Netflix streaming or DVDs, until a great competitor comes to our attention. In the meantime, what should we do? Here’s my analysis:

We have a DVD at home, unwatched, from last August, so clearly, making time to watch this particular DVD is an issue. Yes we want to see the move, but it’s usually “not this movie tonight.” We’ll sometimes stream a movie we’d rather like to watch instead, or just go to the movie theater. It’s all about instant choice.

+1: Streaming.

92 of 125 movies in our Netflix queue are DVDs. As hard as it is to make time to watch a DVD, I don’t want to have to plan two days in advance to watch a movie…it’s an escape when we need it, not a meeting to plan in advance. Nonetheless, there is no video store anywhere near us to watch a hard DVD when we need one, and most of these movies can’t be streamed from anywhere.

+1: DVDs (irritatingly, with advance planning required)

WINNER FOR NOW (see update, below): DVDs. And anything we would have otherwise streamed, we’ll rent through iTunes or Amazon or anything but Netflix, because it won’t be more than a couple a month (based on our history), which should pull us under the price we would have had to pay with Netflix.

FUTURE WINNER: Streaming. Either because all moves will eventually become streaming enabled, or because with the outrage this pricing change has invited, it’s only a matter of time before the local video store businesses rise again to conquer the digital age. In fact, there’s a Blockbuster kiosk in the drug store around the corner. Maybe I’ll pinch my nose and see if they some of the titles on our Netflix DVD only list.



  • The Blockbuster kiosk is wildly insufficient. Crap selection.
  • Maybe the streaming option is better for now (because four seasons of The Tudors are there—something that our cable-less selves have been wanting to watch). That will probably be true for other high-quality shows that don’t appear on Hulu or the network sites. We can’t get The Tudors on DVD from Netflix, and we’d otherwise have to buy each episode on iTunes, which would massively defeat the savings gained by sticking with the DVD-only Netflix plan.
  • I realized today that SOME, but definitely not all, of the movies only available on Netflix via DVD might be available to stream through Amazon.com or on iTunes.
  • If we really want to see a DVD, we can order it on eBay (for example with Woody Allen’s Match Point—something you can’t stream on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, Blockbuster or Walmart).
  • Worst case scenario: we can rent a DVD from Blockbuster (through the mail) for $4.99, with no other commitment. We do this once a month, on average (and I’m telling you there’s no way this happens 12 times a year for us), and we’re still saving money compared with the DVD+streaming Netflix plan.