Friday, July 08, 2005

DVD bootleggers prefer Blockbuster

Honest, decent Netflix subscribers can rejoice that this guy isn't using Netflix anymore. He admits he copied his Netflix rentals to his hard drive, and returned them before watching them. He claims he deleted them from his hard drive after watching them (pardon me if I'm skeptical). Not surprisingly, Netflix couldn't keep up with his demand for discs. In retaliation, he posted an interesting comparison of Blockbuster vs. Netflix, in which Blockbuster comes out the winner.


  1. I think I should just point out, take a closer look at that site, especially the fine print at the bottom. It seems like this is some kind of dummy site that Blockbuster has set up to try and lure people into joining by looking like some independent blogger that praises them.

  2. I actually checked the main site - it does appear to be a legit software site.

    However, donnie has a point - Blockbuster might have given him a bit of "incentive"

  3. OMG, he's time-shifting his Netflix subscription. Really, this doesn't seem all that different to me than timeshifting, say, your HBO subscription with your DVR. Either way, movies you are subscribed to are going to a HD so you can view them when it's more convenient for you rather than when it's more convenient for someone else.

    And if you think TIME-shifting is bad, wait til you get a load of PLACE-shifting, as in receiving your video/music/whatever on your laptop when you're in New York on a business trip rather than your television at home on the west coast (which does you no good if you aren't there, obviously).

    The main thing is that you're paying the subscription fee, at least in my mind. Beyond that, if you want to enjoy that subscription at a different time, or in a different place, well, I'm not going to get angry or accuse you of being dishonest.

    And this guy is right: if you return your DVDs quickly, Netflix *does* throttle your rentals. And nowhere does Netflix tell you, 'Your subscription fee allows you X movies out at a time, but we reserve the right to keep your monthly rental count below a certain amount just because doing so saves us money.' That's like renting someone a car, but 'forgetting' to tell the renter that if they use the car 'too much', the car will begin erratically stalling in order to keep the miles travelled per month to artificially constrained levels.

    It's one thing to rent such a car to someone and tell the renter that's how it's going to work, because then the renter can make an informed decision. However, not mentioning such limitations is indisputably dishonest.

  4. The guy on has BlockBuster advertisements on the "comparison" page. The "How it works" image is linked to and other links take you to more Blockbuster advertisements. It may be that Blockbuster has a more generous affiliate program than Netflix . Mr. Acmetech does not mention which plan he uses (3 out, 6 out, etc.). He also does not include delivery time in his comparison chart.

    I must say that he has found a way to get a lot of bang for his buck. Let's hope he is not pirating DVDs.

  5. I'm not sure why you'd feel so strongly as to come to NetFlix's defense. Does it really matter whether someone chooses to rent from BlockBuster Online or NetFlix as long as they're happy with the service they're paying for? Why would NetFlix be "unable to keep up with [my] demand?" Their behavior is well documented across the web, just search google for something like "netflix throttling" and you'll find many other complaints.

    In response to the parenthetical comment "pardon me if I'm skeptical", I don't blame you for your skepticism, I probably would be too. but the case is, those things used up 5-8Gb of disk space, which is more than I'm willing to give up just to save purchasing a copy of a film. so indeed they were deleted after I finished watching them.

    For what it's worth I'm no longer doing that with the BlockBuster subscription since I've become too busy to fool with it or watch as many movies.

    I appreciate "Jonny M" offering some defense of my complaints. And in fact, my only real complaint with NetFlix was the surreptitious throttling of the dvd sending. If you want to claim my time-shifting of the films was unfair or otherwise, go right ahead, but consider that if instead I was simply watching the flicks the day they arrived and getting them back in the mail the same day, I still would have been throttled, and no where in the TOS do they disclaim that practice. That's something _I_ have a problem with. And trust in the fact that if BlockBuster starts doing it, you will see that being documented on my online dvd rental information page.

    I happen to be on the 3 out at a time plan with BlockBuster Online. I've been starting to document some of my experiences with BlockBuster's turnaround time in the comments on my blog (see BlockBuster - DVD Rental) and feel free to leave your own comments, but please keep them tasteful and in the spirit of debate or I'll simply block the posting of additional comments there. I am also not a shill or front for BlockBuster, I'm simply promoting a service I'm happy with at the moment, as you appear to be doing with your NetFlix blog. I'm also close to releasing some new pages with updated information on both services all of which comes from each service's own marketing and FAQ materials, as well as subscriber stories.

    Unless I'm somehow mistaken, the fact remains that BlockBuster is cheaper for the 3 out at a time plan, matches NetFlix pricing for 5 at a time, and is cheaper again for 8 out at a time.

    Happy DVD renting everyone.