July 25 2011|08.00 AM UTC

Alex Gutow

Planning a Movie Night: Kiosks vs Digital Services

Category: Personal FinanceTags: , , , , , , ,


A movie night can be a great way to spend an evening. However, there are now more options than ever when it comes to how you will find and watch your movie. Movie kiosks, such as Redbox or Blockbuster, and digital services, such as Netflix and HuluPlus, each have pros and cons. We are here to help you decide what to choose when movie night rolls around.

Movie Kiosks

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Movie kiosks like Redbox and Blockbuster are great because of their convenient locations. You can find them in grocery stores, at gas stations and many other places that you might frequent. They are also extremely easy to use. All you need to do is swipe your credit card and choose your movie. These kiosks usually offer 15-20 of the newest releases and often carry both Blu-Ray and DVD.

These kiosks will cost you $1 per a day until you return the movie, which is a pretty good deal compared to many of Blockbuster’s brick and mortar prices. However, it can be easy to forget to return the movie or not have time to do it the next day so the dollars can start to add up. Once using these becomes a habit though(and once you see the bill after a few forgetful times), you should be able to keep costs at $1 per movie.

Digital Media Rental

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Netflix and HuluPlus are the two main options when it comes to renting digital media. Rather than charge per movies, these services have a monthly fee of about $8. This $8 will get you unlimited streaming for all movies and TV shows and, since it’s digital, you don’t have to worry about returning the movie or any late fees. These services also offer a much wider selection than kiosks because they’re not limited in space by the size of the kiosk. This means you can find some obscure offerings that you would have otherwise never heard of .

Netflix does have an advantage over HuluPlus though because, for only a few more dollars a month, you can also get DVDs through the mail. Netflix also offers a much larger selection of movies with over 20,000 titles. On the other hand, HuluPlus offers popular television shows as they air, so you can keep up with Dancing with the Stars without paying for cable.

Ultimately, the option that is best for you depends on your viewing habits. If you only rent one or two movies each month, kiosks will be the most affordable option. If you’re more of a movie buff (or prefer foreign films to blockbusters), Netflix will be your best bet. Finally, if you prefer TV to movies or are looking to eliminate cable, HuluPlus will let you watch your favorite TV shows and offer enough movies for you to enjoy your movie night at no extra cost. If you don’t know where you fall, give them a try. With everything under $10 a month, you can afford to experiment to find your perfect option.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jacklyn - Chicago July 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Another option is the TVDevo website which lets you watch TV over the internet from around the world. They also have on-demand TV shows.

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