Comparison of Blockbuster Online vs. Netflix DVD Rental Programs

In several previous posts (shown at the links below) on this blog, I have discussed how I am a big fan and user of Netflix’s monthly DVD subscription service. By using this instead of cable, I am able to save myself hundreds of Dollars every year.

Update on 18-July-2010 – It is also interesting to note that in an article on about this same topic, the author ultimately decided to go with Netflix as well. See the following link for more details. – Netflix vs. Blockbuster Online

However, the decision to use Netflix didn’t come easy. When I first started out in the DVD-by-mail world, I subscribed to Blockbuster Online.

Therfore, in today’s post, I wanted to walk through a comparison of the two principle DVD-by-mail service providers so that you all can make an informed decision as to which best suits your needs.

Let’s get started!

The link below from gives a great overview/comparison of the features offerred by both Blockbuster and Netflix. – Comparison to Netflix
In looking at the link above, I identified the following key features:
Blockbusters Key Features
  • Offers DVD’s either by mail only or a small alotment of monthly in-store exchanges.
  • Able to return DVD’s by mail or at Blockbuster stores.
  • Ships DVD’s by mail in ~1 business day.
  • Able to download movies online for a rental charge.
  • >95,000 movies and TV shows.
  • Blue-Ray movies included in monthly rental subscription program FREE of charge.
  • Pricing
    • 1 DVD rental a time = $8.99 ($11.99 with 5 in-store exchanges)
    • 2 DVD’s = $13.99 ($16.99 with 5 in-store exchanges)
Netflix Key Features
  • DVD rental by mail only.
  • >95,000 movies
  • Ships DVD’s by mail in ~1 business day.
  • Blue-Ray movies not included in regular program. Additional $2 per month fee charged.
  • Able to stream good, new movies and TV episodes for free with your paid subscription on an unlimited basis using their online viewer.
  • Pricing
    • Same pricing as Blockbuster mail-only fees listed above.
    • No in-store exchanges.
What’s the bottom line – how do you decide between the two?
Like so many topics I have discussed on this blog, the decision ultimately comes down to personal preference.
I would recommend using Blockbuster for people who….
  • Enjoy going out to a brick-and-mortar movie rental store and being able to physically look at all of the selections.
    • For me personally, I have very found memories of going to the movie store as a kid. It’s a fun activity, after all! But, that was before online movie rental became big!
  • Demand on viewing Blue-Ray versions of movies (since this is offerred at no extra charge with Blockbuster).
  • Click on the following link to check out Blockbuster’s website – Blockbuster Video
I would recommend using Netflix for people who…..
  • Enjoy watching a good variety of quality, new and vintage movies in regular DVD format.
  • Enjoy having a wide access to even more movies and TV episodes that you can stream instantly online.
    • This was the biggest selling point for me in my decision to go to Netflix. It is the same price as Blockbuster, but I am able to stream many shows and movies online. In fact, at home right now, I am watching Karate Kid II instantly!
  • Click on the Netflix image below to view a full listing of pricing and features (free trial also available).

How about you all? Do you use Netflix or Blockbuster? Which do you find is better suited to your needs?

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  1. This is an excellent comparison! I started up with Blockbuster not too long ago when my employer, DISH Network, acquired Blockbuster. I find it to be very convenient that I have access to a large assortment of classic movies, new releases and video games. Blockbuster has lowered their prices and DISH is offering 3 months free of Blockbuster’s newest services. This is definitely something that any movie or game lover would appreciate.

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