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.
Redbox rents DVD movies via vending machine in drugstores and supermarkets throughout the country, and on Friday they announced that they’d found credit card skimmers attached to three of their kiosks. What’s surprising is that they ‘fessed up so quickly, and in a highly public manner—they’ve got the text “SECURITY ALERT” at the top and bottom of their website, and the email they sent to their members is detailed, forthright, and helpful, and reposted in its entirety—along with photos of sample card skimmers—on their site. Attempts at identity theft no longer surprise us, but a competent handling of the issue by a company is pretty amazing.
You don’t become the number one retailer of electronics to American consumers without getting a few things
right awesome, as Daniel shows us in this letter of compliment he sent The Conglomerist about a recent experience at Best Buy:
I stopped in the other night because my old HD DVD player died so I went in hoping to get a deal. On the shelf I found 2 open box Toshiba HD-A30 HD DVD players. Looking around I found the department head Derrik and we went back over to the DVD player aisle.
A reader tried to send in his shipping info to Monster Cable yesterday to receive their free HD informational DVD, The Higher Definition Home Theater Experience (see second to last paragraph), and discovered the address wasn’t working. Now it is, so if you got your email bounced back, try again.
Another nail in the coffin of the format war: top DVD rental service Netflix has announced that they will be going Blu-Ray exclusive.
DVD sales slipped for the first time since the format was introduced in 1997, says USAToday.
After getting my items added with the sales rep on the phone, when it was time to use the coupon I was again told that it was invalid – this time, however, I was a given a reason. The sales rep told me that the coupon was not good for video games or movies (I was ordering a game and the flight of the conchords DVD). I told the rep that the coupon stated neither video games OR movies as restrictions for use and he got a manager. Three managers and supervisors later, they wouldn’t budge. Needless to say, I didn’t make the purchase through them. I told them that I had previously worked in retail, knew that they had the power to manually take $15 off of my purchase if the coupon wouldn’t go through, and would not be making my purchase unless they honored the coupon as it was stated in their own promotion.
We’re ready to call Netflix the winner of this battle of the video war, based on Blockbusters remarkably sad third quarter numbers and the flood of pissed off emails we’ve been getting from Blockbuster’s (former) customers.
Those of you with PS3s notwithstanding, there has never been a better time to stay out of the format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray.
Remember Lara, whose self-portrait was stolen from deviantART and used as the cover of a porn DVD? Yeah, she’s suing the shady pornographers.
Sony’s latest bright idea was to issue DVDs with DRM that made them unplayable in their own DVD players. Yes, they’re just that committed to you, their valuable customers. Anyhow, they’ve decided to recall the discs. From IMDb:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has discovered the source of a problem in their recent DVD releases that prevented them from being played on some players, including some manufactured by the consumer electronics division of Sony itself. The company said the problem was caused by an update of its copy-protection system, which it continually updates in order to derail potential hackers. Among the DVD movies affected were the new James Bond film Casino Royale, The Pursuit of Happyness and Stranger Than Fiction. Sony said that anyone who had purchased one of the discs and has experienced problems playing it may receive a replacement disk free of charge by phoning 800-860-2878.
Reader Mick will be happy about this, as he started a blog about the issue. The recall is probably due in part to his reporting. Good job, Mick! —MEGHANN MARCO
I made sure she knew they were buy one get one free. She told me the total was $43.xx. I was like, they’re buy one get one free. She told me that the discount was split between the two, then the tax. Being almost late for work with a line behind me I didn’t feel like starting a fight.
For the first time, more Americans have a DVD player than have a VCR says Nielsen Media Research. People aren’t throwing out the VCR: They’ve lost only 1/10th of their popularity, while DVD players are 6 times more popular than they were 6 years ago.
Are brand-name items any better than no-name ones? It’s a question that shoppers have been asking themselves since before the markets were super. DigitalFAQ.com has endeavored to enlighten us as to the ways of the blank DVD. Where do they come from? Who makes them? Why are they purple?
After Meghann pitched her woe about getting a Woot!ed DVD player that wouldn’t turn on, we tried to convince her to do ship it back to Toshiba.
We’ve been a member of Woot since Feb ’05, but until the other day, we never saw anything we needed. Then our DVD player broke, and Woot had one, and it was like 40 bucks, and so we finally tried Woot!
“The fight between Blu-ray and HD-DVD, reminiscent of the 1980s battle between Betamax and VHS tape formats [is] shaping up as a business disaster for movie studios, electronics companies and retailers that had counted on a robust holiday selling season for the fancy new players – which cost $500 to $1,000 – and movies to play in them.