AfterDawn: Tech news

Blockbuster gets new ammo in Netflix battle

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 09 Aug 2007 5:11 User comments (26)

Blockbuster gets new ammo in Netflix battle Blockbuster, the biggest brick and mortar video rental chain in the U.S. acquired movie download provider Movielink. They're also planning to have rights to provide the files of the service's previous owners, including Warner Brothers and MGM.
It immediately puts us in the digital download business,” Blockbuster’s chief executive, James W. Keyes, said. “Clearly, our customers have responded favorably to having other convenient ways to access movies and entertainment.”

Unlike Blockbuster, Netflix has added Streaming video to their subscription plans. Netflix customers can stream a predetermined amount of video that increases with higher priced subscription plans.

Movielink doesn't currently offere streaming services. However, standard downloads are a better deal for customers with slower internet connections, as it gives everyone access to video with the same quality.

In order to stream movies from Netflix at full DVD Resolution requires an internet connection capable of sustaining 3Mbps downloads. Even broadband plans that advertise speeds that meet or exceed this requirement don't guarantee speeds in this range and frequently don't support maintaining them for extended periods.

Source: New York Times

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26 user comments

19.8.2007 7:50

This seems to add fuel to the fire with the whole P2P thing. So instead of renting a movie and ripping it, Blockbuster takes the liberty for direct file download. How will the average Joe Smoe learn how to get this to work on their Tvs? Can't imagine a lot of internet subscribers have 3Mbps.

29.8.2007 8:03

Isn't it funny Blockbuster can't think of ANYTHING original on it's own. Hollywood did the 5-day rental, blockbuster copied it. Netflix started home delivery, blockbuster copied it. Netflix did online streaming, Blockbuster "buys" somebody to do it for them. They suck. The only thing they've ever come up with on their own is how they rip off customers with excessive late fees. And over cahrge people for movies they only can keep for 2 days.

How do these douche bags stay in business? Everyone else is doing it better and has a much more original business model than Blockbuster.

39.8.2007 8:14

How about something original, like actually having a new release in stock on anyother time besides Tuesday morning before the store opens? With the 5-day no late fee policy most people seem to keep their movies out from Tuesday until next Tuesday. Forget going into a store on Friday unless you want an older classic.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Aug 2007 @ 8:16

49.8.2007 9:35

BadBuster is just like Microsquish in that manner buys someone out so they can keep up with the Jone’s only MS steals from others as well. Then after they acquire a good company they turn them into sh@t.

I have yet to see someone who has broadband that actually gets more then 1Mbps download rate. I’ve had people swear they do but when I quiz them or check out their connection speed I find they don’t. Even though ComCast says the offer 6 or 8Mbps they are just spewing marketing lies, they don’t even come close nor can they. If you’re lucky you might get above 768kbps. With this in mind downloading or streaming is just crazy I have better things to do with my time.

59.8.2007 9:45

Originally posted by jookycola:
Isn't it funny Blockbuster can't think of ANYTHING original on it's own. Hollywood did the 5-day rental, blockbuster copied it. Netflix started home delivery, blockbuster copied it. Netflix did online streaming, Blockbuster "buys" somebody to do it for them. They suck. The only thing they've ever come up with on their own is how they rip off customers with excessive late fees. And over cahrge people for movies they only can keep for 2 days.

How do these douche bags stay in business? Everyone else is doing it better and has a much more original business model than Blockbuster.

word up! man speaks the truth

69.8.2007 15:14
japhy
Inactive

They may not be them most original but like Microsuck they do a good job of copying other peoples work.

Got to say I use them to death. Esp. the game rentals for a month for free then return them with a 1.50 charge. Quite a bargin

79.8.2007 18:03
Ludikhris
Inactive

Originally posted by jookycola:
Isn't it funny Blockbuster can't think of ANYTHING original on it's own. Hollywood did the 5-day rental, blockbuster copied it. Netflix started home delivery, blockbuster copied it. Netflix did online streaming, Blockbuster "buys" somebody to do it for them. They suck. The only thing they've ever come up with on their own is how they rip off customers with excessive late fees. And over cahrge people for movies they only can keep for 2 days.

How do these douche bags stay in business? Everyone else is doing it better and has a much more original business model than Blockbuster.

Take a look at business history. Almost every company that has a revolutionary idea is not the one the champions it. Microsoft has next to no original ideas. The whole thing is about finding a good idea that has no patent and marketing the crap out of it. Who the crap cares who did it first. The anticipation is in who does it BEST.

89.8.2007 19:20
OhCrap
Inactive

Originally posted by jookycola:
Isn't it funny Blockbuster can't think of ANYTHING original on it's own. Hollywood did the 5-day rental, blockbuster copied it. Netflix started home delivery, blockbuster copied it. Netflix did online streaming, Blockbuster "buys" somebody to do it for them. They suck. The only thing they've ever come up with on their own is how they rip off customers with excessive late fees. And over cahrge people for movies they only can keep for 2 days.

How do these douche bags stay in business? Everyone else is doing it better and has a much more original business model than Blockbuster.
Who freaking cares who they copy as long as it's convenient and what the customer wants. Originality has nothing to do with it when it comes to renting movies and getting your moneys worth. After being a long time avid netflix customer and switching to blockbuster it's like night and day. I get all the new releases wether they come in the mail or from the store at a decent price, no late fees for in store rentals, and now they're going to add streaming downloads. Well that's just a cherry on top. There shouldn't be any complaining just alot of happy customers with this battle.

Oh and blockbuster doesn't throttle like neflix does. I mean it got really bad with netflix, really bad.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Aug 2007 @ 19:23

99.8.2007 19:46

I use Netflix and Blockbuster online. Blockbuster has no clue what they are doing. They keep trying to change their business model, changing rates, adding features then realizing it was a big mistake so they take it away. Thank goodness I'm grandfathered in and not affected by the crap they are pulling.

I pay $17.99 per month for three movies at a time. Every month I get two coupons for free movie or game rentals. I rent two games every month for free (worth $16). Then I bring every movie I get in the mail to a local Blockbuster and get a free New Release for each envelope. I get about 10 movies for free each month (worth $40).

They know they messed up and are trying to limit in-store exchanges, they also DO NOT SEND YOU A NEW DVD WHEN YOU RETURN ONE TO THE STORE (they use to). They have a new trick where they show you returned the movie in your queue, but they don't send a new one for almost 48 hours. I sent them an email stating I knew they were purposely slowing down the turnaround time.

Netflix has more DVDs available and MUCH faster shipping times. When new movies come out, often BB shows them as coming soon, while Netflix has them in stock.

Copy - Copy - Copy, yes that's their motto. Except for delivering a steady quality service. I am not a Netflix diehard, I just use both services and I am giving my honest assessment of the services.

As far as downloading movies, I use TiVo and Amazon Unbox to download and watch movies.

1010.8.2007 0:33
fgamer
Inactive

Yea I don't like blockbuster that much..they over-charge too much for 360/PS3 game rentals.

1110.8.2007 4:46

Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
BadBuster is just like Microsquish in that manner buys someone out so they can keep up with the Jone’s only MS steals from others as well. Then after they acquire a good company they turn them into sh@t.

I have yet to see someone who has broadband that actually gets more then 1Mbps download rate. I’ve had people swear they do but when I quiz them or check out their connection speed I find they don’t. Even though ComCast says the offer 6 or 8Mbps they are just spewing marketing lies, they don’t even come close nor can they. If you’re lucky you might get above 768kbps. With this in mind downloading or streaming is just crazy I have better things to do with my time.
You do realize that 768kbps means a download speed of 96k/s don't you?

1210.8.2007 9:50

Oh come on bomber991 you know what I'm saying 768K/s would it please you more if I put it this way 768KBps, excuse me, wow are you smart.

1310.8.2007 12:42

Quote:
Thank goodness I'm grandfathered in and not affected by the crap they are pulling.

i think your gonna get a big surprise when the end of this month comes. i asked about that cuz i currently do the 4 out at a time online. this is the email i got asking if i was grandfathered in...

Quote:
Like all retail businesses, we must periodically review our pricing structure. In introducing a wider range of subscription plans, we considered a number of factors including the number of in-store exchanges on a given account. We’re giving our most frequent renters like yourself the option of either continuing with unlimited in-store exchanges at a higher price point or moving to a plan where the number of in-store exchanges is fixed if you'd like to continue with the same rate.

We feel we are still delivering a great consumer value and encourage you to continue your membership by selecting one of the new plans we offer. You can find the details of what is available via "My Account" in the "Subscription Plan" area. Please remember that if you do not select one of the new plans we have to offer before your next regular billing date, we will not be automatically renewing your membership. Thank you very much for your inquiry.

Have a nice day.

Always here to help,

Ryan
Customer Care Associate
BLOCKBUSTER Online
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Aug 2007 @ 12:45

1410.8.2007 14:00

Originally posted by OhCrap:
Oh and blockbuster doesn't throttle like neflix does. I mean it got really bad with netflix, really bad.
Uh....i think you need to read 5 posts down the e-mail that "Probin94" got from BullBuster Video about slowing down rentals by charging you extra for in store returns. Yeah that's a GREAT deal. Just FYI...That IS throttling, and as a bonus they're making YOU pay for it. Again as I said, the only original idea Blockbuster has ever had is how to rip people off.

1510.8.2007 14:48

lately they havent been throttling me. havent in awhile actually. all there basically saying is that the plan im on isnt gonna exist any longer. so i need to choose a new plan...well the new plan is 3 movies at a time with unlimited in store...but its a dollar more for one less movie in the mail. so by the end of the month if i dont choose a new one plan with less movies and more money per month im no longer an online customer of bbuster. yeah a dollar may not seem like much...but one less movie for more money is bull in my book. prob lookin at a new netflix subscriber here. like stated already.....they relaized they messed up with the plans they had...now there changing it and screwing there customers over for it.

1610.8.2007 15:30

I love how their email states that they want you to pay more money to keep your current plan, and then in the next paragraph they are prasing themselves for providing you their services.

1710.8.2007 17:26

well just cuz im trying to clarify things on the topic.....

Quote:
I love how their email states that they want you to pay more money to keep your current plan

they dont want me to pay more to KEEP my current plan. i do the 4 out at a time for 23.99 with unlimited in store rentals. they are now saying that if i dont switch to the new plan of 3 movies at a time for 24.99 with unlimited in store rentals or switch to any other plans they offer....they are going to cancel my account at the end of this month. thats pretty much the best deal for unlimited rentals in store with the online plan. so they are jacking up the prices and making the plan options worse.

1810.8.2007 21:48
OhCrap
Inactive

Quote:
Originally posted by OhCrap:
Oh and blockbuster doesn't throttle like neflix does. I mean it got really bad with netflix, really bad.
Uh....i think you need to read 5 posts down the e-mail that "Probin94" got from BullBuster Video about slowing down rentals by charging you extra for in store returns. Yeah that's a GREAT deal. Just FYI...That IS throttling, and as a bonus they're making YOU pay for it. Again as I said, the only original idea Blockbuster has ever had is how to rip people off.

Well I remember a few years back before all of this online renting was going on and what it cost me in late fees and rental fees per month and it was alot more than 20 bucks. I also know for a fact that netflix got to the point where I never received new releases, and after reading a story on them in my local paper about throttling and realizing it wasn't just me. I only do the two at a time online with the total access and its tons better to me than netflix. Not to mention the fact that they just opened a distribution center in my home town of pensacola. I'm pretty much in renters heaven right now. This whole war is far from over and it will be interesting to see what everything is going to be like when the dust settles. But neither company is going anywhere.

1914.8.2007 15:02

It wouldn't surprise me if they tried to force me to change my plan (per the email probin94 received).

They really messed up (or maybe they didn't - wait a second - maybe, just maybe this WAS the plan: adverstise this plan on TV so the world thinks how great BB is, then stick the users through nice quiet emails). Now that's a Marketing plan if I ever heard one.

Actually I think you have to be one of the original online BB members to be grandfathered. All others are subject to rate plan changes. Possibly some loyalty to long-time members.

probin94 - Do you still get free "MOVIE or GAME" rental coupons, or do you just get "Movie" coupons?

Also, if you started on 3-at-a-time, then changed to 4, you may have given up your rights to be grandfathered. I change my Netflix account at will - whatever suits me at the time. I am very, very careful not to ever change my BB plan.

2014.8.2007 15:59

well as of current i still get the free game or movie. ive been using there online service now for over a year...so i would think id be grandfathered in. i started with the 4 at a time.....never changed. either way im losing the 4 at a time. basically they can do this to everyone...cuz well...theres no contract between you and the company...its cancel at will...so they can change it at will. you might want to send them an email and ask them if your grandfathered in...or wait and see if it changes on its own. either way best of luck, keep us updated.id like to know if they switch it on you.

2115.8.2007 10:25

I will keep you informed. If they do, I guess I will re-evaluate the situation and take it from there.

You are correct, there is no contract and they have the power to change their plans. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

We watch a lot of movies at our house. Not sure how normal we are compared to the rest of the world. I have a home theater and that's the one chance the whole family can get together and enjoy the same thing. We watch two to four movies every weekend.

With the free game rentals we also have an advantage there because we have an Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, and a Wii. So there is always something worth renting.

Maybe I do have it good with BB and should stop complaining???

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Aug 2007 @ 10:28

2216.8.2007 22:50

I used netflix for several years when they started, in the beggining they were ok, than they started to slip up, throttling, no support responce, sending bad dvd's, forget it, went to blockbusted, sure they have thier quirks also, but every tue I go to the store, I turn in my 3 on line dvd's, every month get a coupon plus free rentals after so many payed rentals, I average around 8 dvd's every tue. and mostly never pay more than $8 something, and dont forget with the 8 it does include if you rent one by paying, you get a free non new realese, works great for me every time, netflix can't touch that.

2317.8.2007 17:44

I feel that consumers as long as they get what they want and even if u can download it consumers will find a way how to rip it like they did with netflixs.

2427.8.2007 19:50

FredBun - I have rented for so long from BB that the non-new releases I haven't seen are hard to find. I always got the free non-new releases on Tuesday's - sometimes 5 paid, 5 free.

Some BB's won't allow you to get free non-new releases when you rent a movie with a returned mailer.

2527.8.2007 20:13

I never got a non new release with mail-ins, they dont do that, only if you rent one with cash, anyway, blockbuster has changed there policy which really got me pisses, no more unlimited mail-in exchanges, got a e-mail from blockbuster stating if you want non limited ex. you need to pay $25 per month now, or stick with the $18 plan and only get 5 per month on line ex. that sucks, I might be saying bye to BB. Has anybody else get the same e-mail from them?

2627.8.2007 21:01

Well, it may not be consistent, because I have gotten many free non-new releases with my mailers. Some clerks do it and others don't. I try influencing their decision when possible.

BB is tighting down every way they can. They opened the flood gates and now are sticking fingers in the holes to save revenue.

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