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Fed up with Netflix? Consider these nine alternatives

If Netflix's price hike is causing you to reconsider your subscription, CNET blogger Ed Rhee provides information about nine alternatives that are available.

The Netflix announcement about its upcoming price increases has been the topic of much Internet fodder and subscriber complaints this week. In case you missed the story, ZDNet blogger Rachel King summarizes the upcoming changes to Netflix's pricing plans:

"For subscribers who still want both unlimited streaming and at least the unlimited one DVD out at-a-time plan, they'll have to fork over $15.98 per month (thus, $7.99 + $7.99). For reference, up until now, the rate for the comparative unlimited DVD and streaming plan has been $9.99 per month."

If the price hike is causing you to rethink your Netflix subscription, CNET blogger Ed Rhee has written about nine alternatives. For this Geekend post, I'm just listing this information from his post: the alternatives, the costs, and whether the options are available for mobile apps; Ed provides more details about the services in his CNET post.

DVD rental

  • Redbox Mobile apps: iPhone and Android for reservations Cost: $1 plus tax, per title
  • GreenCine Mobile apps: N/A Cost: From $9.95/month for one DVD out up to $49.95/month for eight DVDs out
  • Blockbuster Mobile apps: Certain Android devices for downloading over Wi-Fi only. Cost: From $11.99/month for one DVD out up to $19.99/month for three DVDs out. Up to $3.99 for on-demand videos.
  • Public library Mobile apps: N/A Cost: Free

Streaming

  • Hulu Plus Mobile apps: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android Cost: $7.99/month
  • Amazon Instant Video Mobile apps: N/A Cost: Up to $1.99 for TV episodes and up to $3.99 for movies. Amazon Prime Instant Videos are free with $79 annual membership to Amazon Prime.
  • CinemaNow Mobile Apps: N/A Cost: Up to $3.99 per title
  • Comcast Xfinity TV Mobile apps: iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch for viewing and DVR controls. Android for DVR controls only. Cost: On Demand rentals up to $5.99. Wide selection of free TV shows and movies (with Comcast service) and premium network content available only with network subscription.
  • HBO Go Mobile apps: iPhone, iPad, and Android Cost: Free to HBO subscribers on the list of approved providers.

Your feedback

One alternative I'll add to Ed's list is locally owned DVD rental shops. Tell us about other Netflix alternatives in the discussion.

At this point, I think I'm going to keep my Netflix streaming plan and drop the DVD plan, but I'm curious to hear TechRepublic members' thoughts on this topic. Do you plan to cancel your Netflix subscription? If so, what alternatives you're considering?

Related stories:

About

Mary Weilage is a Senior Editor for CBS Interactive. She has worked for TechRepublic since 1999.

31 comments
WritingEducator
WritingEducator

I waited to comment because I had to see whether I was interested in paying more - I really liked the Netflix "free" streaming service, and I rented the max (3, I think) DVDs. The problem was that they often sat for a long time (sometimes weeks) before I actually watched them. I put my account on hold until I sort this out. I've been trying the Comcast streaming. I do not purchase the television service, but many of the programs are available via streaming because it's my ISP. I'm not crazy about the "commercials," and the spotty number of segments (Whole seasons aren't offered), but it's "good enough" as an add-on to my internet service. I decided to just by DVDs (television serials). I'll resell them when I'm finished. I already buy a few movies that I want to keep, and I'll resell movies, too - that I'm not interested in watching over and over. I still might subscribe to the Netflix streaming. There are dozens of documentary and indie movies that probably aren't available anywhere else. In the end, I just don't watch that much television, and I probably wasn't using the DVD rental optimally.

kalyan_revadi
kalyan_revadi

Suggested Streaming services are good but not great as they do not have the wide variety as in Netflix. There are many illegal paid online TV channels/ or recorded TV shows websites out there..I understand why Netflix raised the price.. it is because they have a huge variety of content when compared to any competitor on the web world. I do not understand why a company like Netflix or Hulu or any other is starting an online Live TV service... I do not mind paying $20/month for TV channels.

n.gurr
n.gurr

What about options that exist in English speaking countries outside the US. This site is read by IT pros (and others I presume) outside the US, how about articles like this being adjusted to be more appropriate for a global readership. Ridiculous.

trapper
trapper

Public library: free DVDs and, curiously, also free books. Earth: free sunsets and mojitos. A cancelled subscription will cover the rum.

jww99
jww99

Now that Netflix has eaten the lunches of both Hollywood Video and Blockbuster its time to focus on eating the subscribers lunch too!

kpoole
kpoole

Their streaming selection was at best, weak. You didn't have the option to add from streaming to dvd. I have a Blockbuster account, I get a movie in the mail, watch it, take it to Blockbuster (which is on my way home from work), exchange it for an in store movie (free as part of the plan, and I can do it up to 99 times a month), watch the in store movie, drop it off and it automatically triggers my next in the mail dvd. If they don't change their plan, I'll stay with Blockbuster (I have an upsampling DVD Blu Ray player and the streaming crap never looked as good as the DVD..yes I have high speed broadband). Good Bye Netflix.

adunstan
adunstan

...Netflix let me watch on Linux. That's all I use at home.

TNT
TNT

Why didn't Blockbuster's movies on demand make the list, its the obvious service alternative. Just curious.

winddrift03
winddrift03

$10 a month for Netflix??? guess what? i don't need the most recent series or movies. And I can watch two or three episodes of any one they have any time i want! Only HULU comes close to Netflix content for the price, and look at the costs of these"alternatives" I'll keep my Netflix thank you.....

GSG
GSG

I completely dropped them. If they would have had more streaming content, I'd have probably kept them, but they reduced the amount of streaming when they lost their contract with Sony. I choose not to pay more for less service. I adhere to a personal budget. Granted, I do allow for entertainment expenses, but this rise would have taken me over the budget, so I had to take a look and see if I would be willing to cut elsewhere. I wasn't, so the other option was to budget more out of my savings. It's not much, but I can keep letting all of these companies nickle and dime me to the point where I can't keep up with my bills, or I can stand my ground and stick to my allotted budget each month. In this case, I've chosen to stick to my current budget.

sperry532
sperry532

I've used NetFlix for about 4 years now. I've had the 4-Disk + Unlimited Streaming since they've offered it. The price increase of about $6/month at the beginning of the year was expected. It helped cover the additional costs. The additional increase of less than $2 just 9 months after the previous one kind of bothers me a little, but not so much considering the value I get out of it. I use the streaming for those programs where 1 - I don't need subtitles or commentary. 2 - When any additional material is uninteresting or non-existent or 3 - Where the viewing quality of the program isn't all that important (rock concert vids, etc). I get the disks for bonus features, or where I want the video and audio quality at the best available. I also like the disks when there's a reason to step through a vid frame-by-frame. You cannot do that with streaming. The disk turnaround is not long. I drop it in the mail on Monday, they get it and ship out the next one on Tuesday, and I get it Wednesday. I do NOT work for NetFlix, I just really like the service. It works for me. YMMV.

kizby
kizby

I plan to drop at least the streaming portion. Their selection is not that great and very dated. As for the DVD..., I am looking into other alternatives now. It doesn't bother me to pick up a DVD on the way home from work.

snowd
snowd

A problem we've had with Netflix is that their streaming movies don't have Close Captioning, except foreign films. Last year they said that their English ones would too, but that hasn't happened. Since I'm hard-of-hearing I need the subtitles. Many of their DVDs do have them. I wonder how they justify such a large rate increase when they haven't done what they said they would before. I haven't checked the alternative streaming sites listed in the article to see if they have Closed Captioning, but we'll think twice about renewing Netflix in September.

ra.kish
ra.kish

I am keeping the streaming service. I was finding that I was using the streaming service exclusively, anyhow. Any DVD that I wanted to watch early in its release schedule I was purchasing from Amazon. I am also an Amazon Prime member, so I get the benefit oof that service.

DBinNC
DBinNC

NetFlix split out their pricing more - and made it more flexible. This much for 1 dvd only and up to the maximum number of dvds you can rent per month with no streaming. Same for just streaming access and no dvd rental. And then combo packages for folks who want both. Covers the widest audience that way. Oh, wait. That would be the LOGICAL thing to do wouldn't it??? Hehe...silly me....I forgot where I was for a second!

wrex
wrex

Yeah, everythings going up . . . . Except my SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK!! We are still on a 'fixed income' so what are we supposed to do? There are millions of us & wouldn't it be nice if Netflix had a Senior Citizens rate or discount? . . . . Since the movies online are not that new, I'm going back to the mail.

dstoltz
dstoltz

I'd be much happier with Netflix if they had more recent movies available to stream.

cad7348
cad7348

I had Netflix both disc and streaming and became so upset over the DVD mail outs that I dropped them a long time ago. The basic problem lies when there is a movie or TV show that has multiple discs and you are only signed up for 1 or 2 disc at a time. You receive the first disc and then mail it back and 4-5 days later you receive the 2nd disc and so on for the remaining disc in the movie or series. Completely unacceptable for me. When I watch the first in a series I want to go on to the second, third, and so on. If they had treated sets as 1 disc I would probably still be subscribing. Long story short I have been on streaming only for some time now and expect to stay there. for the movie that I cannot get via streaming I will get from Red Box or local rental. Many of the local rental have become much more realistic with their return options with the advent of all the other options available to the movie watcher now. It is no longer like the old days when it was only Blockbuster and they could hold you over the coals and make you pay whatever they thought they could get away with as they were the only ones in the business. To sum it all up I will use Netflix for streaming and for disc will go elsewhere that takes the mailing time out of the equation.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I didn't even know you could rent DVD's from them... The cost of shipping alone would be huge.

kschwab
kschwab

Let's face it. There is nothing worth watching on TV. The "not so horrible" shows are so filled with commercials that they are not worth the effort. I purchased 2 Rokus and joined netflix and have never had such a great variety of programming to watch. I was wondering how long they could go without raising prices. $20.00 a month for a disc (bluray when available) and streaming online video is still absurbly low. Anyone who leaves the service because of the price increase will probably be back within a month.

bimhau
bimhau

I'm not put off by the price increase. Their service, selection, and price are still fantastic. I'm opting to pay the extra money on my subscription. And I realize it isn't something Netflix would have done, or wanted to do. It's the same old story about the content owners trying to bilk every bit of money they can from every possible avenue. I don't blame Netflix for Sony's greed.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I am not upset at Netflix for changing the price structure - I understand it. They don't want to mail me DVDs anymore. My plan is to change to streaming only from Netflix and use Redbox for the occasional DVD. That option is still inexpensive and I can pretty much see what I want to see when I want to see it.

sperry532
sperry532

I'm not sure where you get your information. NetFlix currently provides plans for unlimited streaming only, DVD's only (1-4 at a time with no monthly limit), and combination of DVD (1-4 at a time with no monthly limit) AND unlimited streaming. The only limited plans are 1 DVD at a time with a 2 disc monthly limit and StarZ Play streaming only.

qspamalot
qspamalot

You have cost of living increases every year since 1975. (except 2009, 2010).

Slayer_
Slayer_

That's way cheaper than a movie rental or 2, and you can watch as many movies and TV shows as you want.

krystyne20
krystyne20

I totally agree. I don't understand how they can increase their price when their selection of movies is so horrible. I don't mind spending more money as long as I can get the movies that I want to see. That's why I actually subscribe to NetFlix for streaming (mostly for my kids), and Blockbuster Online for DVD rentals.

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

Lets all drop the DVD portion and demand that we get every movie ever made streaming at lightning speeds in HD. It may be a tall order but someone has to do it. Bring on the future!

martian
martian

Not to mention the polluting footprint! Ugh.

nrhudson
nrhudson

Agreed. Keeing the Netflix streaming with the Wii, xbox and roku in use across the house. If I need something now, red box has me covered.

nate.irvin
nate.irvin

Seriously. From all the hub-bub, you'd have thought that Netflix was sending armed men to everyone's house to personally rob them. Raising prices a few dollars shouldn't warrant so much grumbling. It's not like someone proposed raising taxes. Thanks though to Mary for pointing out that you can, you know, just switch providers. I think it a little misleading to put Redbox on a DVD alternative though; Redbox has maybe 10% of the selection of Netflix. Unless one of these streaming services has a Wii app, I don't plan on switching.