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Customer Discussions > Blu-ray forum

Where to rent blu rays in this day and age!?


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Showing 1-25 of 37 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 22, 2011 8:38:42 AM PST
Monika Grass says:
I'm going nutso. Hollywood Video is out of business and Blockbuster isn't far behind where I live. I refuse to rent from the Red Box: crappy to non-existent selection, long lines, total waste of time. The only outlet left seems to be Netflix, and now they are talking about winding down home delivery due to future post office service cutbacks. What are you guys doing if you want to rent an actual physical blu ray disk?

Posted on Dec 22, 2011 10:21:20 AM PST
MC Gros says:
If you've got a Hastings, it's 1 dollar a week for most blus, and 2 for recent releases. If you return them the next day, then you're credited half of what it cost originally.
It used to be more expensive, but recently (at least at my hastings) the price was lowered to this.

Posted on Dec 22, 2011 10:29:53 AM PST
Monika Grass says:
There is no Hastings where I live. Thanks for the post, anyhow.

Posted on Dec 23, 2011 10:51:25 AM PST
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Posted on Dec 23, 2011 1:46:05 PM PST
Monika Grass says:
Why in the world would somebody rent something on DVD and then buy it later on BD? Isn't one of the points about blu-ray is that we don't have to bother watching those inferior DVD's again? I want to rent on BD first, then buy on BD later. And how am I supposed to care about a movie without seeing it first? And finally, even if I were to rent on DVD first, my problem is exactly the same: diminishing rental outlets.

Posted on Dec 23, 2011 2:18:14 PM PST
Unfortunately, Red Box is the only outlet I can think of that I occasionally use; with all the codes floating around online it's practically free. Blockbuster still exists if you can find one, they haven't gone out of business yet. I don't think anyone is in a hurry to replace Blockbuster's business model, with the advent of Netflix or Hulu streaming services. The only solution if you want physical discs but don't want to pay retail, is just to buy them used, and trade them locally or online (but, that's a bit of a hassle).

If you don't care for owning it though, why would you care if you get the physical disc or digital streaming? The content is the same. Many rental discs have special features stripped out anyways.

For some movies I don't care to buy, I watch it on Youtube, or where ever I could find it, although that is quasi-illegal.

Posted on Dec 25, 2011 5:25:49 AM PST
Cavaradossi says:
Monika Grass

If you're concerned about Netflix, you might consider Blockbuster's mail service, which is still in existence. BTW, Netflix isn't dropping their mail service any time soon. Your access to rental BDs is assured for awhile through these two services. Try one. I don't believe Blockbuster charges extra for BDs, unlike Netflix which does. Merry Christmas.

Posted on Dec 25, 2011 6:16:34 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2011 7:53:26 PM PST
A. Dustin says:
get a Netflix account...one DVD at a time.Make sure you get the bluray movie.I think you will enjoy this. Good watching !!!!

Posted on Dec 27, 2011 7:12:02 AM PST
Monika Grass says:
Got Netflix. Will travel. Thanks for all the posts.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2011 11:42:41 AM PST
Tim Schaffer says:
Blockbuster online is the best and I have no problem, was a loyal NETFLIX ever since they started but now there is so many more even Walmart.com Cinema Now there is unlimted resources for renting and dowloanding and instant streaming

Posted on Dec 30, 2011 2:37:31 PM PST
M. Lawrence says:
It's not just renting blu-ray discs that a challenge - the challenge is for all of us who enjoy quality!

The following statement reflects a common myth about digital streaming. In fact, the best quality available (described as "HD") has less than one third the information of blu-ray.

"If you don't care for owning it though, why would you care if you get the physical disc or digital streaming? The content is the same. Many rental discs have special features stripped out anyways."

Rental stores could make a grab for the high end right now, since the quality they can offer with blu-ray discs far surpasses what's available online, but for some reason I don't see any franchise stepping up to do this. Don't expect digital streaming to improve, either. The companies involved are uninterested in delivering a better quality product (just ask their software engineers). They insist that most people won't notice the difference - and with the decreasing availability of quality video and audio on blu-ray disc, they'll soon prove themselves right!

For the forseeable future, physical media (in the form of blu-ray disc) is the high end. I prefer to rent, but I'm now purchasing what I can on blu-ray.

Posted on Dec 30, 2011 2:52:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 30, 2011 2:54:17 PM PST
Cavaradossi says:
M. Lawrence

With so many people, particularly younger ones, preferring to watch video material on small and smaller mobile devices, the engineers you mentioned are very likely right. Can you really tell the difference between standard video and high def on those tiny screens? I don't see how it would be possible. It's just sad that after so many years of progress in the audio and video fields, because of these preferences of so many of the next generation, those technological gains may be lost and reversed. Even twenty years ago we could never have imagined where we are now in these fields. Who knew then that when the future arrived and audio and video had achieved an unbelievable splendor, so few would care ?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2011 3:39:49 PM PST
" Don't expect digital streaming to improve, either. The companies involved are uninterested in delivering a better quality product (just ask their software engineers)."

Rather than uninterested, they are incapable, because the internet speed in this country is years behind other developed countries. It would be impossible to deliver a video stream greater than 5-6mbps to an impatient audience that wants it "now". I am sure digital streaming customers are much more interested in this convenience than having to wait an hour for a video to buffer before they could watch it in slightly higher quality.

"Rental stores could make a grab for the high end right now, since the quality they can offer with blu-ray discs far surpasses what's available online"

There is Netflix. But to keep a retail rental store open is to pay rent which adds to the overhead considering the declining market with tough competition. This isn't the old days where you could pay more than $5 per rental with strict rules for return and late fees. These days people expect to pay $1 with little to no late fees. In addition, studios make agreements with rental chains to gimp rental movies, remove extras, or produce cut versions compared to the retail (e.g. Sucker Punch).

The average person who cares about quality, that has thousands of dollars invested in a high end HDTV with accurate colors, and thousands more invested in a surround system to take advantage of 7.1 lossless, isn't in the rental market. In fact, he isn't an average person at all.

Posted on Jan 1, 2012 9:28:06 AM PST
Cavaradossi says:
Jonathan A. Chang

What you have to say only adds to my concern that the visual/audio splendor we have now is going to disappear, or become the sole Interest of just a few high end fans. How did we get to this disagreeable point? It was less than ten years ago the fans were all agog and excited over the wonders of the DVD and the new digital TVs, with the occasional 720p and 1081i widescreen HDTVs. Things seemed poised to become even more amazing with the arrival of true Hi Def with 1080p sets and the excitement over the new HD DVD and Blu-ray formats. The glory days are about to arrive, we thought. Who could have guessed just so recently that when they did arrive they would be greeted, not with cheers, but near silence and disinterest? How did the preponderant interest shift from HDTV and BD to streaming and viewing and listening on the smallest devices possible so unimaginably fast? Where did the fascination with getting rid of sizable physical devices and hold-in-the-hands collections come from? How did it take such a strong hold on the imaginations of so many consumers who are the future of the business? How did 'have it immediately" win out over "have it excellent?" How did "have nothing" win out over "pleasure in owning?"

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012 4:50:06 PM PST
Cavardossi, the question you ask could be answered from many angles, but in my opinion, this is the industry's own fault. It used to be common understanding that when you buy a product, it is yours to keep, yours to copy, yours to give away; as long as you are not reselling them, or distributing them en masse, it is fair game. Then came the internet, and the entertainment industry's response to the internet is what brought down this idea of product ownership.

Long story short, they introduced the concept that what you buy isn't really the product, but a license to use that product in a very particular way. The pirates cast the first stone, sure. But it was the industry's decision to mock buyers with the FBI logo, and then the "you wouldn't steal a purse, would you?" commercial, and then DRM, which gimps the product compared to the pirated version.

Nowadays you can easily go online and find a FLAC lossless version of a CD, but why can't you buy one, even if you wanted to?

But the industry didn't stop there.

CD's came with less and less liner's notes.
DVD, and then Blu-ray, keep cases became worse and worse in quality.
Somewhere along the line, some genius studio exec examined past sales data and figured, "Hey, if we trickle these special features out to the consumers in successive releases, we can force them to buy the same movie 4 times!"

Basically, what I'm saying is this: You know that special feeling when you buy something new? You open the wrapper. You examine the contents. Maybe that limited edition record sleeve. Maybe it's that 50-page Criterion edition booklet. But instead, when you open a Blu-ray disc, rip off the security sticker on 3 sides, all you find is a measly RFID chip inside, and big holes in the case, in a recycling symbol, the soft plastic feels like it could break in your hands if you twist it just a little. You pop in the disc, and you're forced to watch a bunch of trailers, and worse -- commercials.

In my opinion, it was the industry that destroyed this concept of ownership. Piracy set people up for the idea, and the industry, through all its bad decision making, pushed what it had left to the other side.

Also, if you haven't noticed, we're in a recession. Home theater was already the sole interest of people with more than a little money to spare. Legal online streaming allows people access to a database of hundreds, if not thousands, of movies and shows, with little to no initial payment. If you had to buy every movie you're interested in, like I have, then you've probably spent thousands on Blu-ray discs alone. Even if Netflix is $15 a month, you could use it for more than a decade before you've caught up to what a Blu-ray collector probably spends in a year.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012 4:56:46 PM PST
I'm in the 1% of the population that has a projector. If I had a 50" TV, I probably wouldn't mind Netflix. It's not blu-ray quality, but it's very watchable. Right now, I'm in the process of burning all my blu-rays to a computer, so I could use it like an HTPC. I don't mind a lack of the physical product. I don't have a ritual to put my disc in the player. The ideal goal would be like a local version of Netflix, but in full blu-ray quality. Movies could be searched, ordered, filtered, and detailed summaries, actor information, and reviews, could be pulled directly from IMDB. Look up XBMC on Youtube.

Posted on Jan 2, 2012 3:30:08 PM PST
JMM says:
Cavardossi -- Like you, I enjoy owning movies. In my opinion, BD quality far exceeds the quality of HD streaming. Yes, I have Netflix and stream a lot of movies. But if I like a movie and plan to watch it multiple times, I always buy it and add it to my collection. Still, I can understand why streaming is appealing to some consumers - it's cheaper than buying and it saves space compared to owning a physical disc.

I don't think physical media is going away anytime soon (Netflix tried this and failed), but I wonder what formats we will have 10 or 20 years from now... do you think we will even be given the option to own a disc, or do you think it will all be digitally delivered goods?

Jonathan -- As a collector who likes to own movies, I think that there is no comparison between streaming/renting a movie and actually owning it. A good example is the new UltraViolet format, where the movie is added to a "digital locker" - but the fine print says that you rights to the movie expire in 3 years. With a blu-ray, I own it forever in the highest quality available.

Still, the financial savings in renting vs. owning is substantial. I agree with you that the ideal scenario would be a Netflix-type service that had full blu-ray quality. But even then, I would still purchase the movies that I loved.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012 4:10:56 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2012 4:11:33 PM PST
I agree with you mostly. But a pirate who has downloaded all his movies online for free arguably has a superior product to our Blu-rays. Not only does he have Blu-ray quality, but a smaller file size, with the ads, trailers, and stuff he doesn't need ripped out, and accessible through a digital media library. He could even set up a file server to stream all his movies to anywhere with internet without having to worry about UV that people who have bought the movie have to worry about. You have to appreciate the irony, even if piracy is wrong.

This is why I spent $100 on AnyDVD HD to "illegally" rip all my Blu-rays into unprotected ISO, and if I ever needed a DVD version to take on the road, I could easily make that as well. I do not plan on sharing these online, these are for my personal collection. This is my best of both worlds -- I own my digital locker, sitting in a computer server besides me. It will never expire.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012 5:20:45 PM PST
JMM says:
I've heard of AnyDVD, but am not very familiar with it. May I ask how long it takes to rip an HD movie?

If you are ripping movies you own, then isn't it just easier to insert the blu-ray into a player? Unless you sell the blu-ray after ripping it. I guess if you rip movies you don't own, like rentals, I could see a benefit.

Personally, I like owning hard copies of the movies. I know that the real value is in the content - the movie itself - but I guess I'm just used to seeing the blu-rays on my shelf.

But I do think that studios should ditch nonsense like UltraViolet and just offer a straight HD download with every blu-ray purchase.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012 5:58:50 PM PST
douglasG says:
"If you are ripping movies you own, then isn't it just easier to insert the blu-ray into a player?"

Yes and no. If you have your movie right there than yes if not than no. If you have a lot of dvds and blu-rays ( I own thousands of dvds) you may not have the room/space to put them near your TV where you can easily grab and watch them. (Most are in storage in another room/attic.) Copy a lot/all of them on to an external hard drive and using an external media player you can scroll to what ever movie that you want and play it off the hard drive, plays with menus and all just as if it was playing the disc. The media player and hard drive take up very little space and is very covenant to have all your movies in one place. Remember when there were dvd players that could hold up to 500 dvds? This is virtually the same thing only much much better.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012 7:08:06 PM PST
"If you are ripping movies you own, then isn't it just easier to insert the blu-ray into a player?"

I have about 300 Blu-rays, and that's not counting how many DVDs I had before that, but imagine if you had access to them all with an iTunes-like interface. I mean, type "R" in the search bar and have all the movies beginning with "R" filtered, and you can sort by release year, genre, length, director, and anything you like. These are but some of the advantages of an HTPC-based setup. If a Netflix user wants to watch comedies, he selects the genre in a menu, and is shown cover art for every title in a clean interface. With discs, you go into your cabinet, and when you find what you're looking for, you squint as you try and read the small font of plot summaries, length of movie, or actor information, on the back of the cheap plastic keep case.

It takes about 45 minutes to rip a movie. I pop it in, press "rip", and check email, shop around Amazon, make a coffee. When I come back, it's done. Sure, it's a bit more work at first, but the trade off is worth it.

You can also, of course, rip movies you don't own, if you don't mind heading a bit further to the dark side. You could rip movies you borrow from friends. You could rent a movie from Redbox and rip it. But it's not even about the cost benefit (although it could be).

Posted on Jan 2, 2012 11:33:20 PM PST
Georgedc says:
Netflix is still your best bet right now.

Posted on Jan 3, 2012 6:52:15 AM PST
SuburbSteve says:
First, Jonathan I like your comments, they are insightful.
You can also try blockbuster on-line for the Blu-Ray disks in addition to RedBox. I don't think BD is going away I think it will become more popular as people replace their 720p TV's with 1080p. When you have a 1080p set you really want to see things in 1080p, that sound and video is fantastic. VUDU is a good try but the bandwidth on Blu-Ray can not be matched with any streaming service.
I was using Nexflix streaming and I found the selection lacking compared to what I can get on disk, the Amazon prime streaming is pretty good quality but the selection is a joke.
I think apple will never support BD, they want people to buy though the Apple store and Microsoft is still sore over losing the HD DVD battle as Blu-Ray uses Java for the custom programming, If you only want to watch on a protable screen Blu-Ray is a non starter but I think the big screen will always have its place and BD with 1080p and beyond is there.

Posted on Jan 3, 2012 1:04:26 PM PST
Monika Grass says:
I'm sticking with Netflix for now. I was one of those who didn't freak out when they raised their prices. VuDu is the best streaming I've encountered so far. I haven't tried HULu because I detest their web site.
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Discussion in:  Blu-ray forum
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Initial post:  Dec 22, 2011
Latest post:  Jan 27, 2013

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