NetFlix: The Divx Alternative
There is nothing more despised amongst DVD consumers than the concept of Divx- the pay-per-view DVD system being touted by Circuit City. The fact that Divx discs are incompatible with existing DVD players has outraged many DVD consumers. Personally, I have nothing against the concept of pay-per-view; the satellite and cable companies are doing a fine job with it. What irks most DVD consumers is having to purchasing discs that require a special Divx player that has to be hooked to a phone line. Additionally the consumer must have an account with Divx, so the company knows what they watch and how many times they watch it. I don’t think this constitutes anyone’s idea of a consumer friendly or convenient system. Sure Divx says that there sole objective is to make DVD rentals easy by eliminating the need for consumers to return discs. Well, if consumers don’t return the Divx discs, what will they do with them? Should they warehouse the Divx discs in their homes on the outside chance that we may want pay to see them again? Or, should they throw them away? Yeah, just what the landfills need- more non-biodegradable material to fill them up even faster. Sorry, but neither option sounds appealing.
For consumers who want to rent DVDs, there is another option that is only a few mouse clicks away. NetFlix (www.netflix.com) is the first on-line DVD rental store. With NetFlix, DVD consumers can choose from virtually every DVD title that is available. NetFlix offers same day shipping, two to three day delivery, and consumers get seven days to enjoy the films they rent (this sure beats the Divx 48 viewing window). NetFlix also includes pre-addressed and pre-paid mailer to return their DVDs. NetFlix also offers a "Like It? Keep It!" option. Say you rent a movie from NetFlix that you enjoy so much that you want to own it forever- you can just notify NetFlix and purchase the DVD outright. So, not only does NetFlix offer DVD rentals, it is also a retailer, which allows consumers to rent and purchase DVDs from the same place. With Divx, if you like a film and want to upgrade it to unlimited viewing, you can’t take that Divx disc to a friend’s house and expect to watch it. NetFlix rents and sells "open DVD" titles that can be viewed on any DVD player in anyone’s home.
If you are a DVD consumer with few (or no) DVD rental/retail options in your area, NetFlix could solve your problems. Visit NetFlix on the World Wide Web at: www.netflix.com.