Mad About Netflix Prices? Here Are Some Alternative Services

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Mad at Netflix over the recently-announced price hike? You’re not alone. To recap, here’s what’s happening:

On September 1, Netflix will do away with its combination DVD-by-mail and instant streaming offering, currently available for as low as $10 per month which includes one DVD out at a time and unlimited streaming.

(MORE: Why Netflix’s Price Hike Doesn’t Bother Me)

The DVD-by-mail and instant streaming packages will be split into two separate offerings, both available for $8 per month each. The $8 per month DVD plan includes one DVD out at a time; the streaming plan is unlimited. This new pricing structure takes effect immediately for new subscribers and kicks in for current subscribers on September 1.

One of the big issues is that the catalog of movies available for instant streaming via Netflix isn’t nearly as large as the selection of available DVDs. Therefore, many Netflix members use the current DVD-by-mail and instant streaming combo plans to make sure all their bases are covered. To continue to do so will cost them at least $16 per month now, instead of $10.

(MORE: Why Customers Are So Angry over the Netflix Price Hike)

Here’s the breakdown when it comes to the new Netflix prices if you want both DVDs by mail and unlimited streaming:

– Unlimited streaming + 1 DVD out at a time: $16 per month

– Unlimited streaming + 2 DVDs out at a time: $20 per month

– Unlimited streaming + 3 DVDs out at a time: $24 per month

– Unlimited streaming + 4 DVDs out at a time: $30 per month

And here are some alternative services:

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BlockBuster by Mail (link)

BlockBuster by Mail is a DVD-by-mail service with the added bonus of being able to swap out rented discs at BlockBuster retail locations (up to five per month). It touts “many new releases available 28 days before Netflix and Redbox” as well. Video game rentals are included, too.


– One DVD out at a time: $12 per month

– Two DVDs out at a time: $17 per month

– Three DVDs out at a time: $20 per month

Redbox (link)

It’s not exactly DVD-by-mail, but Redbox rental kiosks can be found at over 27,000 retail locations across the country. Pricing for DVDs starts at $1 per day, with rentals due back by 9pm the next day. Blu-ray movies start at $1.50 per day and video games start at $2 per day.

Hulu Plus (link)

Hulu Plus is a streaming service that costs $8 per month and skews heavily toward TV shows, offering “over 1,000 seasons of current and classic shows.” It’s got a handful of movies—”hundreds of movies and documentaries”—as well as “hundreds of exclusive films from the Criterion Collection.” Despite the subscription fee, however, TV shows feature “limited advertising.” The service works with several devices and set-top boxes.

Amazon Prime Instant Video (link)

Amazon shoppers can pay $79 per year for free two-day shipping on many of the products sold by Amazon. As a perk, Prime members also have access to free movies and TV shows through Amazon Instant Video. However, the selection is currently limited to just 6,000 movies and TV shows, most of which aren’t exactly big-name titles.

On-Demand Streaming Services

If you want the widest selection of stream-able content and are willing to pay a bit more, several services offer on-demand streaming rentals starting at around $2-$3 apiece for movies and $1 for TV shows.

There’s the aforementioned Amazon Instant Video, BlockBuster On Demand, Apple’s iTunes service, VUDU, YouTube movie rentals, CinemaNow and several other services—including any on-demand TV shows and movies made available by your cable or satellite provider.

Other Options

If those of you who are thinking of leaving Netflix or who don’t use any of the services listed above, let us know if you’ve found any other good options!

MORE: Netflix Shakes Up Plans: $8 for Streaming, Another $8 for DVDs

Doug Aamoth is Techland Editor at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @daamoth. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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