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Well that’s not really a surprise

Netflix backtracks on Qwikster, will keep DVDs and streaming under the same URL

The link’s title pretty much says it all.  Netflix once again says that they are really sorry, and they won’t be splitting up the company into two different sections, one named “Qwikster”.   ::eye roll::

However, for us I’m not sure that will save them.  Oh, we’ll keep the streaming.  That’s too useful, and it’s definitely worth the price.  But the discs…..  I used to say that we’d probably keep that over the streaming, because you can get anything you want on disc but streaming is limited.

Things have changed, though.  Oh, the streaming is still limited.  There is a lot that you can’t get via streaming.  To be fair there is a lot available (especially TV shows), but there are many movies and TV shows that just aren’t available.  No, what’s changed is our time.  We just don’t have the free time anymore to sit and watch movies whenever we want like we used to.  It used to be that we could watch 2 or 3 movies a week.  Now, though, we watch maybe one or two movies every couple weeks.  It’s not that we aren’t interested in watching movies, rather it’s more that we are just choosing to do other things with our free time (writing, reading, playing video games, etc.).

As such, when we do get discs from Netflix they tend to just sit there for a while.  We don’t send them back because we do want to watch them…….eventually.  We don’t watch them right now because there are other things we want to do.  And when we finally do sit down to watch movies, you know what?  Those aren’t the movies we are in the mood for.  The two movies we have right now are both excellent films; there is nothing wrong with either of them.  But since we didn’t want to watch them, they are still sitting there.  And unless we do something, they will probably still be sitting there a couple weeks from now.

Those two movies were sent to us on the 15th and 19th of September respectively.  That means in a few days we will have had one of those movies sitting there for a month.  We currently pay $15 a month for the DVD/Blu-ray portion of our plan.  Now technically neither of these movies are available for rent via the iTunes store, and if I wanted to purchase them it would still cost more overall ($39.98 for DVD, $65.80 for Blu-ray); to be fair that isn’t normal, since I just happened to choose two discs that are rarer than normal and the discs are expensive re-released remastered versions.

So yeah, it’s still cheaper…..except for the fact that I’m about to send the movies back completely unwatched since we want movies that are next in our queue.  And there is the rub about using Netflix’s disc rental:  if you don’t want to watch what you got, yes, technically it’s your own fault, but it’s basically just giving money to Netflix.  For the money we payed to keep those discs in our possession this last month, I could have either purchased a movie that we did want (maybe two, if I got them on sale), or we could have rented 3 top-listed movies from iTunes (4-5 or more if they had been out for a while).

You might ask why didn’t we have the movies that we wanted to watch, which is a fair question.  As mentioned above, I will be the first to admit that what you get from your queue is your own fault…………unless you can’t get the movie yet because Netflix brokered a deal that delays the release so they could get more streaming content.  Yep, that’s what they’ve done.  The two movies that we really wanted to watch aren’t available right now.  Oh, you could walk into a store and buy them; you could have done that for a little while now.  But in order to boost their streaming content Netflix is holding these new releases back.  I’ve mentioned in a earlier blog post that I don’t technically mind waiting, which is still mostly true, but it is rather annoying.  But we can rent them from the iTunes store…..

To be clear, this isn’t a post about Netflix being too expensive.  I think if you have a decent turnover of discs they are a great service.  But we are definitely rethinking using Netflix for disc rentals.  Purchase or streaming, either one offers a much quicker way to get the movies or TV shows that we want.  And with all the crud that’s been happening at Netflix lately (price hikes, name changes, delayed new releases, etc.)…..  I think we might just swap to streaming only.