Your Clever Netflix Plan Vs Reality

You get on the Netflix plan thinking you’ve scored such a great deal. Unlimited movies per month! By the time I’m done plundering the cinema archives, I’ll be only paying cents a film! Take that, movie theater and rental store! But then slowly your interest wanes as the novelty wears off. Soon that early Bergman flick is collecting dust and you realize you’re paying a monthly fee for a red and white coffee coaster…

If this describes you, it’s a good time to reevaluate whether you could downgrade your Netflix package to fewer discs and still be okay with life.

Mail Order Movie Rentals [Shoebox]


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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Absolutely not me. We rent 2-at-a-time, and while we don’t watch every day, we will get through at least 10 viewings a month, probably averaging 15. Then a ton of streaming content beyond that.

    • Alvis says:

      15 movies a month? Do you ever read books?

      • iamlost26 says:

        The world is changing. Instead of reading books for entertainment and art fixes, you can watch movies or play video games. They’re just different forms of media.

        • Whtthfgg says:

 will parse your renting history and tell you exactly what your monthly rate is. Im a middle of the road 4.3/month physical, and 9.7/month streaming (1 disc plan)

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Call it a product of the 21st century, or just call it how my brain is wired, but I don’t attain knowledge from books well. I do better with visual learning, but best from kinesthetics – I learn by doing or seeing.

      • The Marionette says:

        Do you every multi-task?

  2. Spooky says:

    That is why i rip every DVD i get from Netflix!

    • Bernardo says:


      Your the guy that ruins stuff!

      • Chmeeee says:

        I’m not entirely sure that it’s illegal to rip them, so long as you don’t distribute.

        • pop top says:

          How is it NOT illegal? He doesn’t own the discs so it’s not like he can say that he’s making a “back up copy” or something.

          • thor79 says:

            Yeah there’s not a single legal thing about ripping dvds from Netflix. You don’t own them so you don’t have the protection to make a backup copy. Even doing that while owning them is on somewhat shakey legal ground unfortunately.

            • jenjenjen says:

              That’s the weird part. I wanted to rip some of my own legally-bought DVDs to watch on my iPad on a long flight, and I found that in order to do this, you do need to use some basically-illegal software to break the encryption on the DVD. Once you have a decrypted copy of the contents there’s legal software like Handbrake to do the conversion to the format that the iPad wants. It seemed to me that the Linux version didn’t require the extra step while the Windows version did… didn’t make sense to me.

            • pawnblue says:

              Yes, it is illegal. But it should be legal.

              Copyright law was written before the internet (and infinite supply) existed. Requiring masses of people to pay for something that has an infinite supply is unethical. Multi-million dollar corporations bankrupting people for breaking copyright law is even more unethical.

              If Hollywood businessmen are unable to design a business model that involves selling things that are scarce, they can just wait. The model will change and rather than being a leader in the new industry, they’ll be left outside.

              Copyright law today is similar to the Buggy makers trying to get a law passed that mandated a maximum speed for cars. Except it’s already on the books. Rather than embracing the fact that anyone anywhere can now enjoy free and instant distribution, they are mentally locked into the old system. That’s the one where the musicians/actors/directors/writers worked, and the businessmen cashed giant checks.

              Currently, TV and movie makers have to give up all sorts of rights to the distributors of a movie. But now you don’t really need distributors (as much). And new financing options are available too. As more competition for eyeballs emerge, some movie makers will start to use the internet for distribution. Maybe even with direct to netflix-instant releases. The movie makers get paid, Netflix gets content no one else has. This wasn’t possible even 10 years ago. It’s possible now. It’s just a matter of time before someone figure out how to profit from it.

              • Kate says:

                What did you think book copyrights were? You can copy a book as many times as you want and it’s not legal to give away or sell those either.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          I am entirely sure. You don’t own it, and legal backup copies can only be made for items you own.

          • The cake is a lie! says:

            hey, he owns it temporarily. I don’t own my house either, but that doesn’t mean the bank can stop me from putting on a new roof or changing the color of my front room. Possession is 9/10ths of the law, so let’s see someone make the ripping of a netflix movie charge stick. it never will…

            Personally I’ll never have a NetFlix account simply because guys who rip it and then torrent them will always be saving me the trouble. ;) Also, I don’t have 30 hours of free time every month to go through ten or fifteen movies. I pity the person who does, frankly. That is a shit load of wasted time…

            • ames says:

              “hey, he owns it temporarily. “

              No he doesn’t, any more than the dude who borrows your ipod at the gym owns that.

              • RvLeshrac says:

                Speaking of which…

                Hey, 10-2, I need to borrow your car…

              • Ryan says:

                That depends, I’d have no problem giving some guy at the gym my iPod, assuming it wouldn’t deprive me of the use of my iPod. This is not a realistic scenario for iPods, however, but this is the situation with a optical media, one can make a perfect copy of the information on the optical media return the disc and both parties retain the ability to use the information. The polycarbonate disc with an aluminum coating on one side (DVD) is useful for the information encoded on it, which is infinitely copyable, and not its polycarbonate and aluminum. The DVD also becomes of no value if it is scratched in the wrong place and its information can no longer be read by a DVD drive.

                By contrast a physical iPod has Flash memory, DRAM, and CPU chips that cannot be duplicated in a gym and is thus a totally different class of object from the information on a DVD.

            • Shadowfax says:

              Legal advice from a pirate.


            • wrjohnston91283 says:

              In most cases, you do own your house. You’ve also signed a note promissing to pay back the loan you used to buy your house, and you’ve put your house up for collateral. You’re the owner, not the bank.

            • shepd says:

              Even if we did go with the argument that he owns it temporarily, on transfer of ownership all backups must be destroyed. So “backing up” your Netflix DVD (which you’d have to do outside the US) wouldn’t be useful for the purpose of watching it later anyways, since the entire time you have your backup you have the DVD as well.

        • TheGreySpectre says:

          Unless it qualifies under the exceptions it is illegal under the DMCA. Even if it is legal under that he would still be legally obligated to destroy his copies when he returned the movie to netflix. Now granted he will probably never get charged as admissions like he has put here are pretty much the only way the MPAA would ever find out, but that does not make it legal.

          • alulim says:

            I’m just guessing here, but assuming ownership is temporally transferred (ie rented) the moment the disc leaves netflix proper until it is returned, your “fair use” window increases to that amount of time. I don’t think there’s legal precedent but the MPAA only likes cases it’s sure to win.

    • TasteyCat says:

      I don’t. Here it is 2010 and Comcast has implemented bandwidth caps that make any serious viewing of HD movies potentially problematic.

      • coren says:

        Bandwidth has nothing to do with ripping, though.

      • jmhart says:

        250 gb cap doesn’t effect me at all. My wife and I solely watch Netflix streaming, HOURS a day, and *maybe* use 80 gb a month.

        When you make stupid arguments, you ruin it for the rest of us.

        • JJ! says:

          It’s a good thing that he only uses his connection to stream Netflix movies for the same length of time and in the same quality that you do, then. ‘Twould be absurd to imagine multiple people utilizing a connection in a household, or someone with more time than you.

          Yeah, you’re not very likely to hit the 250 GB cap if you stream some Netflix HD movies in the evening for a few hours a day, but you can’t make the assumption that your situation is everyone’s situation, or that because the cap doesn’t effect you, everyone else is just whining.

      • Tongsy says:

        250 GB is decent.
        Bell Canada has a 60 GB cap for users.

    • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

      Joanna: Right. It’s not yours?
      Peter Gibbons: Well it becomes ours.
      Joanna: How is that not stealing?
      Peter Gibbons: [pauses] I don’t think I’m explaining this very well.
      Joanna: Okay.

      • Spooky says:

        Stealing involves taking something, and that something is now gone.

        ripping is copying, copying is not stealing.

        No different from using a vcr or tape deck, just new technology. It was fine for me to do the same thing 20 years ago with a vcr, and now your a pirate.

        • HunterJoules says:

          Nope. It was still stealing 20 years ago with your VCR.

          • extrudedcow says:

            Yet if I was to find a way to copy your car, I would be hailed as a genius, not a thief.

            • Gulliver says:

              Actually, no, if you copied a car that had patented technology (hybrids) and did not pay to licence it, you would be a criminal. Thanks for playing

              • _UsUrPeR_ says:

                The Shelby Cobra’s recently-applied-for patent was denied because it was copied too much. I would say that the copiers were geniuses, and tough nuts to the original creator for not patenting the design earlier. It’s not fair to assume the individual was talking about hybrids. Who wants to copy a mundane gas saving technology anyway? That’s boring.

              • Jasen says:

                Fine, I only copy cars whose patents have all expired.
                Funny enough, patents last only a fraction of the time that copyrights do. I can legally copy any car older than 20 years. I can’t legally copy a music CD until 70 years after the author has died, at a minimum.

              • redhouse387 says:

                You have proof, Gullver?

          • Egat says:

            It’s still not stealing.

            It’s a *CIVIL* intellectual property issue.

            Both are illegal, but they are prosecuted (or at least should be) in different parts of the judicial system

        • vastrightwing says:

          The new definition of stealing: watching a movie too many times without paying the MPAA for each additional viewing.

        • Costner says:

          Actually in this case – yes copying is stealing. There are rules about what you can and cannot legally copy. Courts have ruled you (in most cases) can legally make a backup copy of your own software and movies that you have purchased, but when you rent something you do not own the rights to the film and thus cannot legally make a copy of your own.

          I think deep down inside most people already know this isn’t exactly legal, but that isn’t about to stop them. I actually have less of an issue with you ripping the DVDs than I do with you pretending it is legal. That is like claiming you can legally watch pirated satellite TV just because the signal is aimed at your house.

          • vastrightwing says:

            It’s much more vile than that. Truth is, as a society, politicians decide what is legal/illegal. Most often, it’s done WITHOUT due process. That is, some guy decides he isn’t making enough money selling some creative idea. Rather than make better business decisions, he discovers that by going to said politician and making his “case” {cough}bribe{cough} it’s quicker for him and more lucrative than trying to figure out how to make a living selling scarce goods to consumers. Now his business model is using law enforcement to make sure his idea or intellectual property is a cash cow. As long as law enforcement is on his side, he will profit. You can call copying theft all you want to and you can make it against the law, but it changes nothing: the artists’ associations are using the threat of law to prop up a business model that is a burden on society. I think there should be no laws which allow enforcement of abstract intellectual property. This means, no copyright and no patents of ideas. I’ll concede to allowing patents of very specific tangible designs… naw, on second thought, that’s not consistent. It’s just that we’ve all become so accustom to this B.S. that we accept it. And no, society will not come crumbling down. It would thrive. I argue that copyrights and patents have done more harm to society than any small good it has done for a few people who benefit from them. I say stop!

          • Jasen says:

            Copyright infringement is copyright infringement.
            Theft is theft.
            You can’t just rename it as a different crime because you feel like it. Hell, why stop at theft? Why not call it rape. Pirates are raping the media companies! How about murder? Pirates are murdering the industry!

    • gonzo5680 says:

      I’ve never really understood the point of ripping Netflix DVDs. You just rented the DVD and now you are saving it on your computer so you can watch it any time? Wasn’t that the point of paying for Netflix? Do you plan on ripping all the movies on Netflix and canceling once you complete it?

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    i have a disc that has been sitting on my table for a few weeks now, but I haven’t watched it because we’ve been streaming a lot – if you couldn’t stream and you had a disc lying around, then yes it would be paying to store something. But we were still taking advantage of Netflix’s service, just a different aspect of it.

    • allstar3970 says:

      Beat me to it, exactly what i was gonna type

      • VermilionSparrow says:

        Same here. The discs sit there for weeks, but I watch at one streaming title nearly every day.

        • formatc says:

          You said “discs” plural. Wouldn’t it make sense to downgrade to the 1-at-a-time plan? You’d still get the streaming and you’d be paying less for fewer coasters.

    • Brainswarm says:

      I’ve had the same two movies on my desk for the last month, because I’ve been streaming Stargate pretty much non-stop.

    • HunterJoules says:

      You are aware Netflix has a $7.99 streaming-only option with no discs?

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Um yeah, cause it was posted yesterday. That wasn’t my point – the comic makes an erroneous assumption, and I was pointing out that Netflix users can use the disc feature and the streaming feature, and just because you aren’t watching a disc at the moment does not mean you won’t, ever.

  4. ap0 says:

    I have one at a time and have been sitting on the same disc for about 9 months. I use streaming a lot, though. I’ll probably just opt for streaming only. Physical media is so 2005.

    • crazedhare says:

      Agreed. So glad I didn’t buy into the Blue Ray moneypit. What a waste.

      • Snoofin says:

        Yeah if youre into crappy subpar video signal which is what you get from streaming. We just dont have the bandwidth available to support full uncompressed HD 1080P video streamed to your living room so there for you get compressed DVD quality video. On top of that if you have an internet outage you cant even watch your movies. Physical media CANNOT go away. The problem with society these days is too many people unfortunately are willing to sacrifice quality for convenience. They rely on cell phone cameras instead of a good high quality real one, they laughably take videos with $150 point and shoot cameras just because they dont want to drag a camcorder around with them, they go out to eat because they dont want to spend the time to make the same thing at home which would taste better and cost half as much, they buy those crappy “green” light bulbs to “save the environment” that dont work nearly as well as a real light bulb, and they settle for mp3 quality music when they could be listening to uncompressed full quality audio DVDs. Hell people dont even wash their own car anymore becuase its more convenient to run it through an automatic wash that doesnt work half as well as if you spent 3 hours hand washing and waxing it. I could go on and on about the subject but it wont do any good. People just love mediocre these days I guess

        • cosmic.charlie says:

          Meh… Can you provide a summary of your post in 140 characters or less?

        • crazedhare says:

          Honestly, I think the problem today is more that there are people who are really really really REALLY worried that their TV picture isn’t clean or crisp enough. I cannot IMAGINE the horror of the picture you paint. You’re so right. I just literally shat a brick because I just realized it is conceivable that the internet go out and I might not be able to watch a movie. BRB, going to snatch back that donation to fight childhood cancer and buy a fancier movie-watching setup, FOR THE GOOD OF THE WORLD.

        • shepd says:

          Most BluRays are 25 GB, some 50 GB. Compressed with a better codec and with all extra features removed, they can come down to about 13 GB (sometimes much less) and still include DTS audio.

          With 10 mbits internet (available to many nowadays, although certainly not all) that means you can get 2 hours of full quality HDTV video in about 3.6 hours (sometimes in less than 2 hours, but not too often). If Neflix offered the option to “stream now, watch later”, you’d be able to easily have a full 1080p experience with full DTS audio, as long as you could wait 2 hours for the movie. Full 720p can be streamed on a 10 mbit connection with BluRay quality today, but that *is* fewer pixels.

          Of course, that’s not how they’re doing it, instead that’s how the pirates are doing it. As usual, the pirates are light-years ahead of the legitimates.

        • Doncosmic says:

          If you have a good internet connection you can’t tell the difference between the HD offerings on Netflix and uncompressed HD, and its better than DVD quality.

          • El Soze says:

            Yes, yes you can. And compression isn’t the point (All HD is compressed, even blu-ray).
            The difference between blu-ray & HD netflix is substantial. BR blows streaming out of the water. If you can’t tell the difference then that’s fine for you. It just means you would need a better (and probably bigger) TV and possibly glasses. On my 50″ plasma I will always opt for the BR.

        • vastrightwing says:

          You’re talking about the concept of “good enough”. I fall into this category where most things I buy are good enough. I used to consider myself an audiophile and spent thousands of dollars on hardware. While I still own that hardware, I find that I don’t use it as much as I do my $35 pair of computer speakers while watching movies on NetFlix, I do not own a Blue-ray player and I have no plans to ever buy one because streaming NetFlix is good enough for me. I only bought a 720p plasma TV because it was cheap and good enough for me. So, yea, most consumers simply want good enough. The few people willing to pay for ultra high-end is a small marginal market, I think.

    • backbroken says:

      So you are the jackass hoarding Weekend at Bernie’s 4. It’s been in my queue for 9 months now.

    • jesusofcool says:

      Eh, maybe it’s just the way I watch things but I don’t really agree. I’m all for instant gratification but I just don’t think the streaming is there yet. I don’t have wonderful internet so I’ve found it irritating if I ever want to fast forward or rewind to a particular spot. But more than that, the selection just isn’t there yet. It’s fairly random and still a lot of B movies and old stuff though they’ve made a lot of improvements. I still find a lot of great stuff to stream, but I often find myself just rewatching things I’ve already seen since they’re the only things that appeal. I’m personally disappointed that they’re raising rates on physical dvds to 9.99 at the lowest (up from 4.99 just a few years ago).

    • Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

      Physical media might be so 2005, but so is the speed of my only Internet connection….

    • Leksi Wit says:

      My biggest complaint about streaming is that for English titles there are NO subtitles.

      There are movies where it is very difficult to make out the dialogue in large parts of the film. Or even action films where you turn down the sound due to the loud explosions, but then have to turn it up for the dialogue. I also noticed when my French acquaintance came to visit me, she had a hard time understanding the films as her English reading skills are much more developed than her listening abilities. If they can add that feature along with a greater selection of recent and current TV shows, I would consider getting the streaming only option.

  5. Scurvythepirate says:

    I have found this has happened to me a few times. I use their streaming a lot and also watch the movies I get in the mail. Sometimes I will totally forget I have had a movie for about 2 weeks and end up just sending it back without watching it.

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      Yup, this. I may not get to my red and white dust catcher every week, but by god I wear the heck out of streaming Netflix.

  6. grapedog says:

    10-15 DVD’s a month. Thankfully my distro center receives and re-sends DVD’s quickly. I used to actually package them 2 at a time with one of the scan codes faced out so the workers could scan it quickly, open it up and scan the other, but then they never scanned in two movies that I sent back with two other movies that were scanned in. Now I face them together, no easy scanning.

    No streaming though, the streaming content is next to useless to me, very little to see.

  7. jbandsma says:

    Netflix and a large screen tv are almost necessities in this house. With medical problems that keep me from attending anything that draws a crowd, I don’t get to go to movies. If I wait for them on broadcast or even cable tv, most of what I want to see is so chopped up that it’s not worth watching.

    I can see how the OP’s scenario would work out for some, though.

  8. UltimateOutsider says:

    I’m on the 4-discs-at-a-time plan, and am considering dropping down to 3 or 2 now that they’ve raised the prices- but I watch at least one full-length film every other day (the days when I exercise at home), and sometimes more on the weekends. Until today ($4 price hike on my plan), Netflix was costing me less than $1 per film; cheaper than Redbox (and that’s not even counting Watch Instantly… when you factor that in, I’m paying something like 20 cents per title).

    But I will note that I prune my queue pretty obsessively (I have to, because I frequently hit the 500-DVD queue limit) and I only receive DVDs that I really want to see.

  9. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    This is why subscription pricing is a profitable business model. Most people don’t take full advantage of the offerings. Take cable TV for example. You’ve got 200+ channels available, but you only watch 5 channels regularly. Well, maybe 4 because you watch the streaming episodes while at work.

    • Dover says:

      That’s an apples-to-oranges comparison (from the company’s perspective) because the cable company is paying for the channels whether or not you watch them, Netflix only has to pay for the movies you rent.

      Subscriptions are lucrative because consumers get them automatically so that they don’t notice the cost on a regular basis and don’t often get around to changing/canceling them even when they know they’re not getting a good value.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Really? I was under the impression that Netflix streaming at least, they license for unlimit viewings, not pay a per-stream fee. That would make subscription pricing nautral to the company. The monthly fees pay for annual license fees they pay.

        But I am no Netlfix CEO.

  10. MonkeyMonk says:

    The current price change is definitely going to convince me to downgrade my 3-DVD plan down to a 2-DVD plan. I’m pretty good with 2 DVDs but that 3rd one is usually a straggler and takes too long to watch.

    Not to mention there is just more and more stuff to watch on streaming Netflix.

    • Willow16 says:

      I just went on and changed from the 3 to the 2 plan as soon as I got the email. 2 at a time will be fine for us right now. In the summer we might change back to 3 at a time when the kids are home more but right now they don’t have much time to watch movies.

  11. meternx01 says:

    But if you go too fast.. They throttle you..

    Why does my friend get a movie from my home town, and 3 days later my copy comes from one 2 states away… Oh, because I power-watch my DVD’s

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Unless you live in the exact same area as your friend, it could have to do with the distribution centers. DVDs get to me faster now than they did when I used to live in a different (nearby) area.

      • Etoiles says:

        Ours come from and go to three different distro centers, for some reason — one in Maryland and two in VA. They all seem to take about the same time, though.

      • nbs2 says:

        Also, consider what you are watching. I’ve had more than a few movies ship to our DC area location from the west coast because that’s where the discs were available. I always look forward to those shipments since they’ll usually send me a third disc to make up for the delay.

    • nybiker says:

      As Pecan mentioned, your location may have something to do with it. I’ve been a member since the summer of 2006. I have all my emails telling me something shipped and something was received. At some point I decided to flag them as ‘later’ (a netscape mail label) to indicate it arrived at my house or at NF later than expected. I have a total of 50 emails so noted. The first was in Feb 2007. And the most recent was last month. I have been on the 3-disc plan since day 1 and I watch ’em as fast as I can (generally either the same day they arrive or the next day) and drop ’em in the mailbox the same night. Fortunately, the distribution center’s zip code is virtually in the same neck of the woods as me. My zip ends in an 8 and theirs ends in a 4. So one day out and one day back. That is why, for me, the loss of any delivery day by the USPS would mean a slight reduction in my disc volume for the month.
      Also, and I don’t know if this has any effect on things, I don’t put the latest and greatest at the top of my queue. I don’t mind the wait. But, o/t, I do mind the lack of bonus features on ‘rental’ versions of a disc.

  12. ExtraCelestial says:

    This is so me. I finally had to stop Netflix for a while after I realized I had the same dvd out for literally over 4 months and still hadn’t watched it. I have to be in the mood to watch certain genres. Now that Netflix is somewhat Mac friendly I can at least benefit from the streaming so I signed up again.

    • Spaceman Bill Leah says:

      Totally. Back in the dark ages before wii streaming, I sat on Hotel Rwanda for about four months before the SpaceHusband finally canceled Netflix on me.

  13. ElleAnn says:

    We’re probably Blockbuster’s last remaining customers. We go through stretches when we watch a movie a week and other times where we go 6-7 months without renting a dvd. It’s convenient to pick up a movie after the gym. I justify it that we’re probably saving money this way since it’s not a monthly bill.

    • halo969 says:

      I still use Blockbuster too because I don’t like the idea of getting a movie from my “queue” that I’m not in the mood to watch. At this rate we will be forced to use Netflix when Blockbuster finally goes out of business. I fear it’s only a matter of time.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        But at least it’s available. At Blockbuster, circa 2005 (which is about the last time I used it), I always had problems with movies being out of stock.

    • damageinc says:

      I still use blockbuster because there is one across the street from me. I used to do the by-mail with in store exchanges, but found out the store only unlimited rentals place was about the same price. Its only 1 at a time, but I don’t need 2 or 3 out when I can walk out my front door, turn the corner and get a new one (I live in the city)

  14. Rose says:

    No, we rent alot of educational stuff and force our kids to watch it, so the 3 discs at a time plan works for us.

    Well, it will until January, anyway. Then we’ll downgrade.

  15. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    I was doing really well with watching all of my DVDs within days of recieving them until recently. My husband moved his computer into the living room and hooked it up to our HGTV, which means I have less time to sit around and watch movies. Another corallating fact is that I got through most of my queue and it’s shrinking down to the “I’d watch that if I was bored” levels.

    Apparently, I haven’t been bored enough. lol.

    But yes, given the new pricing scheme, I will definitely be shrinking the number of DVDs I recieve, at least down to 2 from 3. That price increase for 3 out-at-a-time is really brutal, and not worth it in my opinion. This is the first time I’ve felt negative about Netflix since I signed up.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      My husband moved his computer into the living room and hooked it up to our HGTV, which means I have less time to sit around and watch movies.

      All those home improvement projects must be keeping you really busy.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        LOL. Gee… what a slip. HDTV.

        Um….. *sheepish* I don’t watch HGTV all the time…….. (I also watch Food Network. LOL)

  16. Straspey says:

    My wife has a 3-disc per month plan.

    She is continuously updating and refreshing her cue online and can easily watch between 15 – 18 movies in a month. She will order a TV series with five or six episodes on one disc and will watch all of them in one sitting and then return the disc the very next day.

    We *never* have a disc sitting around for more than a few days.

    Compared with the cost of going to see many of the horrible films in the the theaters these days, the return value on our Netflix expenditure is outstanding.

  17. iggy21 says:

    I looked at one of those netflix calculators that figures out your average cost per rental: 14 cents.

    I’d say my ‘Plan’ and my “Reality’ Line up pretty close.

  18. Mulva says:

    We’re downgrading to streaming only – we realized we had the last DVD for 8 months. Oops. If it’s THAT IMPORTANT of a movie and we somehow didn’t see it in the theater, we’ll rent it through Apple TV when it’s released.

    Tiered streaming prices are the next wave. Higher price for newer releases available to watch immediately, lower price to wait until it joins the library.

  19. CrankyOwl says:

    I have the 4-disc plan. I’ll probably downgrade to the 3-disc one when the price goes up. But I actually watch all the DVDs I get, although my queue is so long I frequently get a movie I put in the queue many months ago & wonder what I was thinking of at the time(for example, “Sauna”, an awful Finnish horror movie. Take my advice & skip it.) But I watch all tv shows on DVD & there’s just so darn many I want to see!

  20. thor79 says:

    Never had a disc longer than a week…typically they stick around no more than 4 days…and frequently are gone in 2. I know what’s coming because I aim my queue to deliver what I’m in the mood for. So when I get them I watch them that night, maybe hold one over a night or two, and then they’re both off in one batch.

    yeah I’m on the 2 disc plan.

  21. Etoiles says:

    not movies. TEE VEE. I’ve seen about 5 years’ worth of television in the last 18 months thanks to Netflix…

  22. cameronl says:

    Good Lord, some of you need to turn the TV off once in a while!

    I dropped down to one-at-a-time because I stream mostly. I like the blockbusters on Blue-Ray for the better pic and sound quality.

  23. Spider Jerusalem says:

    We just got Netflix, but the minimal one so we could stream on the PS3. We have very few delusions about how many discs we intend to consume though.

  24. JulesNoctambule says:

    The spouse and I get through three to four discs a week and sometimes as many as five, depending on how we stagger them. So far, so good!

  25. theblackdog says:

    If you’re a feedflix user, you can see stats on your account, including how much you’re paying per disc per month for your rentals. It also will calcuate how much you’re paying when you use both discs and streaming. It comes in handy for figuring out if you’re paying too much.

  26. BrooklynKnight says:

    I’d be fine with an Internet Only Netflix tier.

  27. TheGreySpectre says:

    I have the 4 disc plan and I watch what I get. This price change though has made it easier to decide against the 5/time plan.

  28. Portlandia says:

    One thing I LOVE about living in downtown Portland is the Giant mega Post Office hub that’s less than 10 blocks away. Virtually everything people send me gets to me in 2 days. Netflix gets me stuff in 1 day, virtually always.

  29. Pandandrum says:

    I am in a seemingly unique situation in which I don’t have TV (can’t get the digital signal), refuse to pay for cable or internet, so my at-home entertainment exists exclusively in DVDs.

    For that reason, I’ve been grateful for Netflix. I do the 3-at-a-time plan, and when I get a DVD, I watch it and return it the next day. With that system, I can usually get a disc every day, and felt like I was getting my money’s worth out of the service.

    Sometimes, I get burned out and put it on hold, as I get a lot of enjoyment rewatching some of the TV-on-DVD that I own, and there’s no need to pay to rent DVDs if I already own something I’d rather be watching.

    That being said, I already thought the pricing was a little steep, and my plan’s increase is $3, which will certainly cause me to put my plan on indefinite hold. I understand that the option for streaming-only is very attractive to many customers who were frustrated about having to pay for discs by mail when they weren’t watching them. I, too, am frustrated, because I feel like I am paying for streaming service that I don’t use.

    Oh, well. I’ll be putting my account on hold and saving myself $20/month watching DVDs I already own. I hope they will adjust the pricing to something more favorable down the line.

  30. Burzmali says:

    When Netflix offered MST3K for streaming, I immediately joined with 1 disc at a time. I only wanted the streaming, so that first movie sat around for a very long time. I joined some time last year and we just sent the first disc back a few weeks ago. So, yeah, that was me, sort of.

  31. diasdiem says:

    1 Disc at a time. Still sits on the table for weeks. Totally made up for by my online viewing.

  32. framitz says:

    If or when I get to a point where I can’t find anything streaming that I want to watch on Netflix I will close my account.

    I took advantage of the streaming only option immediately upon reading about it.

  33. Ecurb says:

    I’m a sci-fi nut, so I’ve subscribed to Netflix a few times and immersed myself in every sci-fi I could find. Once I scoured their collection, I cancelled – and then came back one time to see if I missed anything (many are hidden under comedy I’ve discovered).

    I’d love to replace cable with netflix and web-streaming from the networks. We never watch anything, except live sports and news, at the time it is cable broadcasted. The cable approach seems obsolete, inflexible and excessively expensive.

  34. roguemarvel says:

    yeah when he first got it we watched movies all the time then it dropped a bit and we moved and dropped cable for 6 months and watched a movie or series dvd almost every night. Then my husband started grad school and we almost only watch streaming (mostly just me) and then only a few times a month. Sometimes there is a series we burn threw but for the most part my husband doesn’t have time to sit down and watch movies with me, or we just catch up on the dvr shows when he has free time.

    I moved us down to the new streaming only and maybe when he is done with school we will change out plan back with dvds.

  35. sugarplum says:

    I always have just kind of accepted it as my anti-Blockbuster tax.

  36. marillion says:

    The new Netflix plan wouldn’t be bad if they actually streamed most NEW movies.. I’m enjoying watching tv shows and such, via my blu ray, but I’m having to keep my mail-a-disc service to watch anything current.

  37. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    My Netflix account turns 11 years old next month, we ebb and flow. I probably could have purchased every disk we have rented for what we have paid though. I have a grandfathered 4 for the price of 3 account, which has influenced us. If we change our plan, I can never get it back.

  38. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Except on rare occasions I receive my 3 DVDs on Wednesday, watch one that night and drop it in the mail the next morning. Most of the time Netflix receives the return on Friday and sends another one the same day, which I receive on Saturday.

    That works out to 16 DVDs a month for (what used to be) $16.99 a month, or $1.06 per rental. Combine that with being able to find rare and obscure films, TV series, live concerts and great documentaries and I think it’s a very good deal.

    With the rate hike I’ve cut back to 2 at a time for $14.99, which gets me 12 DVDs a month (based on my current habits of Wednesday movie nights), or about $1.25 per DVD. Still a good deal.

  39. Suburban Idiot says:

    I’m on the three-at-a-time and average at least three discs a week. If I can’t motivated to watch something after two weeks, I send it back unwatched… but that actually doesn’t happen very often.

    I hardly ever use streaming, though (I don’t like to watch on the computer, and I don’t have anything currently hooked up to my TV that streams Netflix), so I’m not getting the most of my subscription.

  40. PLATTWORX says:

    “I’ll be only paying cents a film! Take that, movie theater and rental store! But then slowly your interest wanes as the novelty wears off. Soon that early Bergman flick is collecting dust and you realize you’re paying a monthly fee for a red and white coffee coaster…”

    That would describe a very very stupid consumer and clearly not someone who would read this site. The moment I had enough of Netflix, my subscription was canceled.

  41. andrewe says:

    You should try Netflix Canada. There’s nothing in the library to plunder. That first free month offer is nice because you’ll easily run out of good titles in a week.

  42. kcarlson says:

    Anyone can temporarily suspend their Netflix account online if they find they’re not watching movies for a while…

  43. Invader Zim says:

    I couldnt understand how they were making a dime on me. They earned the extra dollar. For once I can say that a big company gave me a lot for very little and did it well.

  44. Chaosium says:

    True, but still cheaper than buying movies when you consider the streaming.

  45. BytheSea says:

    Um. No. I get at least two disks a week and I stream something evey day, if not more. I usually get on a tv series kick and watch a few eps a day.

  46. IvansMom says:

    I think I am doing ok. I signed up for the $8.99 plan for my mom. She probably watches 1-2 movies per week. I live in another state and I use the same account to stream TV shows. I am probably the youngest person to have seen the complete first season of Murder, She Wrote, but I find it soothing at bedtime.

  47. The Wyrm says:

    I used the 8 at a time when I was in the Army, both in Korea and Iraq. Since they were light mail they went on the plane instead of the boat, and your mailing address was a post office box in the states (CA and NY for Korea and Iraq).
    Now I just use 5 at a time, but I watch a lot of movies. If a movie sits unwatched for 3 days, I mail it back and just stick it to the end of my queue.

  48. discounteggroll says:

    I had “The One” survive 2 moves of mine (~1.5 years) before finally returning it. What’s even more embarrassing is that I actually bought a copy of it on Blu-Ray during the time I had been using netflix’s SD copy literally, as a coaster.

  49. Greg Ohio says:

    I, too, have let Bergman films sit unwatched for months. The solution is really quite simple: if you don’t feel like watching the film you have, send it back unwatched and get something else. When you finally are ready to watch it, rent it again.

  50. Jabberkaty says:

    We don’t have conventional TV (the digital switch hosed us, and since we live in the boondocks there’s no cable option. We tried satellite, it’s just meh.) So Netflix is great. We’ve been going through Seinfeld, with movies here and there. I also get a decent crime-drama fix.

  51. rooben says:

    After sitting on a DVD for a month that I was going to get to eventually I realized something about Netflix – its NOT BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO!
    If you aren’t going to watch the DVD today, tomorrow or the next day…simply send it back! You can add it back to your queue to watch later.
    I was still operating under the idea that I had rented a single disk..when I’ve been paying $15 a month to have access to their library.
    That concept freed me from the obligation to watch a movie before sending it back, and feeling like I was somehow paying wasting money.

  52. Npakaderm says:

    I’ve had the same two movies since October 2008. :( I have been using the streaming quite a lot though so I don’t feel too bad. I

  53. lim says:

    I’m hoping that the change in pricing will help prevent this hanging on. There are some shows that I keep having to move down my queue because disc 1 is a long wait and Netflix will send me disc 2 first. If you aren’t watching it then for the love of chronological order please send them back!

  54. Tokarev_Makarov says:

    In principle, I love the streaming, but is anyone else here annoyed by the fact that there are still a HUGE number of titles still available only on DVD and not digitally?
    I mean older, catalog titles – new ones, I can understand there’d be a “window” to allow DVD sales to own the home distrib channel for a while.

  55. HogwartsProfessor says:


    They’re finally releasing The Six Million Dollar Man on DVD! I dearly hope Netflix gets this and puts it on streaming. If they do, I’ll stream like crazy!

    That was one of my favorite shows as a kid. :)

  56. dush says:

    This is why I wait for my once a year free trial.
    Watch all I want and then cancel.

  57. Smultronstallet says:

    I’m on the tail end of a free trial right now. I have watched 20 movies via streaming in the past 3 weeks. Many of those films I never knew existed until Netflix recommended them! For all of my adult life so far, I’ve relied exclusively upon bittorrent and occasional trips to the local art theatre for all of my movie watching needs. Netflix may have changed my ways, as I am seriously considering paying $7.99/month for the streaming only plan. Now that I’ve voted on nearly every movie I’ve ever seen, the “movies you’ll love” are always spot on. The extent of Netflix’s awesomeness is uncanny.