Tuesday's surprise announcement by Netflix of higher prices has left many customers threatening to quit the service. If you number among them, where should you turn? Here are five possible names to consider.
You can stream movies from Amazon if you pay $79 for a Amazon Prime membership. The biggest benefit is free two-day shipping but it also entitles you to stream to your heart's content from a selection of movies and TV shows. The biggest rap against the service has been that it offers a limited selection. However, Amazon last month said it planned to add 1,000 additional "free" Prime Instant movies and TVs shows.
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With buyout rumors swirling - the latest rumored suitor being Google - Hulu is fast closing in on its one millionth subscriber. This video portal backed by Disney, Fox, and NBC Universal is Netflix's most serious rival and Hulu offers a competing $7.99 monthly streaming service which includes TV shows and movies.
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This may not be one which appeals to the masses but we must confess having a soft spot for GreenCine offers rent-by-mail plans that range from one DVD at a time for $9.95 to eight out at a time for $49.95 a month. Although it's beaten by Netflix on price, the website prides itself on its collection of "independent, international, and documentary films." It admits that some of the titles in its 30,000 collection probably aren't on your radar. "We have the movies you love, movies you've heard of, and a whole library of others just waiting for an introduction."
Monthly price: $9.95-$49.95. DVD in the mail: Yes. Streaming: No. Devices: DVDs only. Perks: Lots of independent, international, and documentary films.
Blockbuster, now owned by Dish Network, lets you order discs from Blockbuster by Mail, whose pricing includes $11.99, $16.99 and $19.99 offers. The company's claims that it receives "many new releases available 28 days before Netflix and Redbox." It also offers games and Blu-ray rentals for no extra fee. Biggest negative: No streaming (yet).
No streaming but you can rent DVDs for a buck (Blu-ray discs cost $1.50, and games another 50 cents.) But if you choose to keep the titles longer than a day, the meter is running.