Sometime during the holidays in 2004, I got fed up with the lack of good television and the dvd rentals at my local Hollywood Video no longer satisfied me, I started to look at Netflix. If you don’t know by now, Netflix is a rental service that delivers to your door via the good old US Postal Service. For $18 a month you can rent out 3 rental dvds at a time. You order the dvds through their website at Netflix.com.
On the website, you create an account and then set it up to bill directly to your credit card or checking account. You can then try the service for a couple of weeks for free and then pay the $18 after the 14 day trial is up. Once you have an account, you can add your movies to your queue by clicking on the ones you want. The site features a short description for every dvd and also user submitted reviews. You can submit reviews for dvds you have rented and after an initial editorial review they too will show up for the dvd you reviewed. You can also rate a movie using a 5 star rating system, by clicking on the number of stars you think a dvd deserves.
Your personal queue can hold as many movies as you like. I think Netflix offers around 25,000 dvds. I usually have about 30 in my queue, but many Netflix users have many more in their queue. You can also setup different profiles now for each account, in my case, the girlfriend can have her own profile with her own queue. You can set it up so that one profile rents one dvd, and the other rents the other two. The other feature which Netflix just added are Friends. This allows you to see what your friend has reviewed.
I have only had one problem with the service and it was that their website was not working for one morning, when I was adding selections to my queue.
As for the dvd delivery times, they range from two to three days. Most selections are shipped out the next day, after they receive my last dvd. Supposedly they are suppose to ship the same day, but one day delay in shipping seems to be pretty standard for me.
I usually don’t use Netflix for latest releases, instead I use Netflix for those hard to find dvds that I can never find at Hollywood Video, like the NBA at 50 dvd and some animation dvds which I never see at Best Buy.
Overall I like the service a lot and was planning on cancelling it after a month, but now I am convinced that the hour I sometimes waste by driving to the video store, looking at the same old selections while I’m there, and then driving back are definitely worth more than $18 a month, so I’ve decided to keep the service and save myself a lot of time in the process.