For movie fans, there is that odd stretch of time between a film’s initial release and when it hits the DVD/On-Demand market. Maybe it’s playing in a second-run theater or maybe it’s just in limbo. Regardless, DirecTV is betting that customers would be willing to pay a premium to watch movies during that lame-duck time period.
Earlier today, we wrote about the numerous complaints we’d received about some shady dealings over at Walmart.com. Seems that many, many people had been lured into pre-ordering the Blu-ray/Standard DVD/Digital Copy combo pack of Iron Man 2 at the price of $15, only to then receive an e-mail from Walmart that their orders were canceled “due to limited availability.” This struck many people as odd, since Walmart was still taking orders for the same item, but at a much higher price. And guess what — you were right.
Why rent the cow when you can borrow the milk for free? That seems to be the mindset of many Americans, as a new study claims that more DVDs are borrowed from libraries each day than are rented via Netflix, Redbox or Blockbuster.
We know that Consumerist has readers in Canada; we can hear them gloating every time we write about health care. But for years, we’ve had something our neighbors to the north (unless you’re reading this in Alaska) have been coveting — Netflix. Alas, that piece of Americana is soon to go international when it launches a video-streaming service in Canada later this year.
As anyone who has followed the nosedive of Blockbuster knows, it’s dangerous for a company in the video business to be too staid. Thus, DVD kiosk company Redbox is dipping its toes into the video game market at the same time it’s also testing out higher price points in some areas.
A bit of advice to school teachers out there. If your husband likes schoolgirl-themed pornography, keep it away from the class’ video yearbook. Unfortunately, the internet was not able to administer this advice before one Florida teacher swapped a porn DVD for the yearbook and gave it to a second grader. The mother is understandably upset.
Remember a few weeks back when we wrote of the Colorado teen who was arrested for an overdue DVD from his local library? There’s an update — the judge who issued the arrest warrant in the case has been fired.
Because James Cameron’s Avatar — that little indie film about indigenous people fighting against corporate greed — apparently didn’t make enough money at the box office, Twentieth Century Fox has decided to come out with three different DVD versions of the flick.
A 19-year-old was pulled over at a traffic stop in Colorado a few weeks ago and quickly found himself arrested on an outstanding warrant. The charge? Not drugs or murder or even tax fraud. No, the perp was picked up because of an overdue DVD from his local library.
Earlier this month, Netflix made a deal with Warner Bros. to delay new DVD releases for 28 days. Over at Hacking Netflix, the CEO of the company goes into some detail on why he approached Warner Bros. to begin with (it was his idea, not theirs), and why he thinks it will work out better for everyone except those customers who signed up expecting all new releases all the time.
Netflix has agreed to terms with Warner Bros. that will delay rentals of new DVD releases for 28 days. Warner Bros. has unilaterally imposed the same restriction on Redbox — and those negotiations were apparently much less friendly and involved more lawyers.
If you’ve found Netflix’s pricing pyramid a bit tough to unravel, you’re not alone. The cost of renting 3 DVDs is $17/month, whereas 6 DVDs is $36 (16.99 and 35.99, to be precise, but we don’t count pennies here). Similarly, 4 DVDs is $24/month, 8 is $48. By traditional economies of scale, this may not make much sense: Getting 6 DVDs costs MORE than getting two 3 DVD subscriptions. And getting 8 DVDs isn’t any cheaper than getting two 4 DVD plans.
With its ubiquitous DVD rental kiosks, Redbox has been known to toy with our emotions. The machines have taken up all the choice grocery store spots where your favorite stale gumball machines used to sit. And company execs taunted us by dreaming up that awesome Free Movie Mondays promotion only to vow to take it away by the end of the summer.
Reader Erin writes in to warn readers that Best Buy is offering a thirty-dollar firmware update to certain Blu-Ray players, and warning that without the update, some newer titles might not work. Erin checked the manufacturer’s website and found no announced firmware updates, and the newer titles play just fine.
Reuters says that Blockbuster will begin offering 99 cent rentals for the first time ever, according to CEO Jim Keyes. The details of which movies will be 99 cents have not been announced, but Keyes did say that the price point would include “thousands of DVDs, including many classic older movies.”
Netflix will be start charging you $1 more per month to offset the costs of Blu-Ray movies, starting November 5. You have to opt-in to the Blu-Ray access, and the $1 surcharge, by going to “your account” and “add Blu-Ray access.” If you don’t already have Blu-Ray access on your account, then your membership price stays the same. Sounds like they needed to invent a way to make more money and this fee, admittedly small, seemed the best way to go about it. Copy of the email they sent subscribers, inside.