Blockbuster’s Total Access subscription service—their bid for relevance in the Netflix era—used to ship the next movie in your queue as soon as you dropped it off at a Blockbuster store in exchange for a free rental. Now the next movie won’t ship until you return that free store rental—in other words, now it will count as the next movie in your queue. Of course, in Blockbuster marketing-speak, that’s considered a great new benefit.
Phil found out that you don’t order DVDs from websites that look like this, or that offer sets that aren’t for sale elsehwere. Now his wife is the proud owner of some homemade discs with low-quality TV footage of the series and a “TBS” bug in the corner.
If you buy the newly released “Iron Man” Blu-ray disc and pop it into your computer, and it starts trying to download some mystery content from the Internet for the next 30-45 minutes, here’s what’s happening and how to turn it off. Thanks, Paramount, for your shoddy “interactive” quiz nonsense.
I just got “The Rules Of Attraction” from Netflix and it’s a screener disc. As a matter of fact, 3 or 4 times through the movie, 5-10 minute sections of the movie have “This is the property of Lion’s Gate Films, This disc is not to be sold or rented”. Interestingly, it was a 2 sided DVD and when I watched the 2nd side, it was a test pattern. No extras, no subtitles, no language options. Just the movie with legal disclaimers overlaid throughout.
- Amazon: 37 new coupon codes for September 2008
- Google: Get Chrome for free, Google’s new super-minimal browser (still in beta, read review at Lifehacker)
- Apple: Seven refurbished Apple Aluminum iMac Core 2 Duo Desktops from $949 each + free shipping
Highlights From Dealhack
- Newegg: Nikon Coolpix P60 8.1MP Camera $150 Shipped
- Amazon: Save Extra $20 off Kellogg’s, Keebler & other Grocery Products
- 1-800 Contacts: Save $20 to $80 + Bonus $5 off Contact Lenses with Coupon
Highlights From Bargainist
- Toys “R” Us: BOGO 50% off all video games up to $19.99
- Proctor & Gamble: Free Tide TotalCare sample
- BuyCostumes.com: Sale: Up to 60% off
Highlights From Buxr
An anonymous disgruntled employee sent us a long list of complaints about Hollywood Video, which can be summed up with “we’re desperate to earn some money, so any tactic is fair game.” Among them is this gem.
Blu-ray players just aren’t selling that well, says Business Week. Maybe that’s because Sony has said that prices for players “likely won’t fall below $200 until the end of next year—at the earliest.” [Business Week]
Reader Jamie used to enjoy the convenience of those DVD rental vending machines you see in supermarkets, but that quickly changed when she was mistakenly billed $74.90 on her debit card for 2 DVDs. One would think a few calls to customer service would fix this mess but “The New Release” has left Jamie twisting in the wind. Her letter and our advice, inside…
After seeing our post where a reader raised concerns about whether Netflix DVDs he got with unofficial-looking labels and messed-up menus were counterfeit, Netflix’s VP of Corporate Communications, Steve Swasey, sent us the following lovenote to calm our fears:
There are few companies that we love more than Netflix. Usually their service and support are top-notch among DVD renters. However, Consumerist Forums reader “muffinman” has a concern. He has been receiving what he believes are counterfeit DVDs and has some compelling photo evidence. Please help us crack the case and tell us what you think. His letter and pictures inside…
Cablevision and Popcorn Home Entertainment have announced a new service that lets you watch movies immediately through Cablevision’s set-top box whenever you buy the DVD through their menu system. The DVD is mailed to you, but in the meantime you have the on-demand version for “instant gratification,” reports Reuters.
Stewart spent $105 on what he thought was a spindle of Memorex burnable DVDs. What he actually received was one burnable DVD sitting proudly atop a stack of CDs.
Silly Jason. He thought a Best Buy sign reading “2 for $25″ meant he could buy two DVDs for $25. He obviously didn’t read the part of the sign that requires customers to buy Saw IV.
Correction: A Panasonic fat cat (and probably also a big wig) wrote in to let us know that Panasonic does indeed make a Blu-ray player that can play 1.1 Blu-ray discs: “The current Panasonic model available (DMP-BD30) is based on version 1.1 (BonusView) and capable of playing Blu-ray discs offering…
After the past week, it seems more and more likely that Blu-ray will be the movie disc format of the future.
After Time Warner Inc.’s announcement today that they’ve chosen to support Blu-ray exclusively, here’s the current breakdown of studio support for each format—and things aren’t looking good for HD DVD.
On Wednesday, we posted a picture a reader sent us of a Harry Potter DVD priced at $307.06. Not only was it not Photoshopped, several CompUSA employees chimed in to let us know there was actually a very good reason for it to have this huge price. Whenever a movie is supposed to be held until a certain street date, the price for that item is set to the release date. In this case, Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire came out on March, 7th, 2006, 03/07/06. By mistake, this tag was moved out to the floor when it should have been kept in the backroom. Mystery solved!