Netflix subscribers, you're gonna wanna pay close attention, because the company has announces some new plans and price changes that will affect everyone. Here's the long and short of it--Netflix has decided to split their DVD rental service and Watch Instantly streaming service into two separate offerings, each with their own pricing models. First, Netflix Watch Instantly unlimited streaming now costs $7.99 per month, and that does not include any DVDs by mail. Unlimited DVDs now start at $7.99 per month, 1 out at-a-time, and it does not include access to Watch Instantly. In fact, none of the DVD plans include Watch Instantly access. Access to each service now starts at $7.99 per month, so if you want both, it will now cost you $15.98, which is up from the $9.99 that it would have cost you yesterday.
The new pricing goes into effect today for new customers, and existing Netflix members will see the new pricing go into effect on or after September 1.
Read More | Netflix Blog
Hey, remember when we told you that Redbox was testing video game rentals? Well, it looks like those tests were a success, as the company is now stocking games in their red kiosks nationwide. They've got new titles like Brink, Dirt 3, and Duke Nukem Forever waiting for you to rent today. You can find Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii titles available in Redbox kiosks, and they'll all cost you $2 per day.
Read More | Redbox Games
In a somewhat surprising move, DISH Network said Wednesday that the company had been selected as the winning bidder in BlockBuster's bankruptcy auction, and will acquire BlockBuster's assets for about $228 million after various cost adjustments.
The total bid was $320 million, DISH said. The acquisition is expected to be completed during the second quarter, the companies said, if the bankruptcy court approves the deal.
DISH, a satellite provider, didn't say why it wanted to acquire BlockBuster, with 1,700 physical stores and a streaming service on top of it. But DISH has recently made moves to acquire licenses to content, enhancing its video-on-demand services with a deal with EPIX on Tuesday to bring its movies to DISH's online service, DISHOnline. DISH extended remote streaming to the iPad in December.
Adding a chain of stores and BlockBuster's existing relationships with content providers will help facilitate DISH's transformation into more of a provider of on-demand content than simply a "linear" provider of scheduled broadcasts.
You know that D-Link Boxee Box that launches on November 10th? Well it just got a little more awesome, as the best HD streaming rental service out there, Vudu, will be included on the device. That's 1080p rentals and sweet Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound. In addition, Vudu will be available on the PC and Mac as well. It all goes down next month.
While they originally started testing out a video game rental service in August of 2009 at select Redbox kiosks, the DVD rental giant is seeking to take their video game options nationwide this week. Added markets include those in the West, Midwest, and Atlantic Coast. A look at Redbox's website shows a large offering of video games on the Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, PS2 and Nintendo DS. One rental will cost $2 per day. This may seem like a bit much, considering I remember a time when I could rent a game for a week from Blockbuster for just five dollars. Perhaps a set weekly rate would help their cause much more. Would you rent video games from Redbox for $2 per day? Or would you prefer they have a set weekly rate instead?
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It seems Redbox is finally catching up with the times, as they are now offering Blu-ray rentals in 13,300 kiosks. They plan on having Blu-ray availability in all 26,000 Redbox locations by the fall, but for now it seems those on the West Coast are in luck. We’ve seen a bunch of California and Seattle-area zip code kiosks stocked and ready to serve up that high definition 1080p rental goodness. Among the launch titles available are The Book of Eli, Green Zone, and Bounty Hunter. If you want to check and see if any Redbox kiosks near you are offering Blu-ray titles, they’ve got a way for you to check for that, but it won’t tell you which specific titles are available.
If you are a current Netflix subscriber, you’ll likely recall that they decided to enter into an agreement with Warner Bros. back in January that would delay Netflix from making new films from the studio available to subscribers for 28 days from the in-store release date. Well, it looks like more studios are jumping on board, as both Fox and Universal has now come to similar terms. What’s the upside for Netflix subscribers? More streaming movies.
For example, with the Fox agreement, you’ll need to wait 28 days before you’ll be able to get a movie like Avatar in the mail, but in exchange you’ll find streaming titles like 24, Bones, Lie to Me, Arrested Development, Prison Break, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. With Universal, you’ll have to wait a bit longer for movies like It’s Complicated, but don’t fret, because Billy Elliot, The Pianist, and Being John Malkovich (among others) will be at your instant streaming disposal.
Expect more of these deals to be made, as Netflix is banking on streaming movies as the future of distribution (we agree,) and they are of the mindset that having customers wait an extra 4 weeks to get new discs is worth it if it means greater access to streaming rights. Let’s see how this all plays out. Anyone upset about this?
Read More | Netflix
Blockbuster isn’t doing so hot these days, as they are in the midst of closing up shop on another 500 retail locations. They realize that they need to figure out ways to make money with their highly outdated model (rather than quickly adopting the Internet to its fullest capacity,) so they are bringing back late fees! That’s right, the late fees that Blockbuster did away with five years ago are back, although some would argue that they never went away in the first place, they were just renamed. We digress.
From here on out, you can expect to pay $1 per day in late fees when you rent a disc from your local Blockbuster, with the cap being $10 after 10 days. We bet at that point, they just charge you for the full price of the disc and call it a day. Yeah, this is why we stick with Netflix.
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By now, I am sure a lot of you are enjoying the wonders of Redbox with their wondrous DVD rental kiosks. It has been rumored that the company would be offering video game rentals, and it would appear that these rumors are true. Redbox is currently offering video game titles in Reno, Nevada as a trial run. Sadly, they only have 13 Xbox 360 games for now, but there are plans to branch out with titles to the PS3, Wii, and PS2. The prices are currently $2 a night for gaming action, but we’ll see if the prices change or not.
Oh, and let us know when Redbox is offering Blu-ray titles, then we’ll talk.
Read More | ZatzNotFunny
Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos of Netflix says that subscribers added almost 2 million movies to their queues during the 3+ hour Academy Awards. The top movie placed was Slumdog Millionaire, but more than 56,000 different titles were also entered. We can see that happening if you were watching during the show and computing at the same time. Not only would you want those titles, but you would be tempted by every movie made by the actors in the front row.
Read More | Hacking Netflix