Netflix is testing new ways to maximize revenue by creating different package choices for DVDs, streaming and a combination of the two. They just launched yet another choice to the mix this week. Here is how to gauge what plan is best for you.
This plan at $7.99 a month allows you to connect streaming ready devices and apps like the Xbox, Wii and across iOS and Android. You can also pop open the webpage at any time and stream away from any computer.
The downside is that it works only in the USA and Canada, forcing you to have a VPN capability when traveling. You are reliant on bandwidth constraints, speed and maximums for the month. Look at the end where I talk about bandwidth settings.
This plan is best if you need only an occasional movie on DVD that can be rented from Redbox and do not mind that not everything stays in the on demand world they created. Too many times I have seen movies/shows available, added them to my queue and found that they have been removed from streaming. I am not sure what benefit Netflix gets from removing content from the stream instead of growing the library.
Unlimited DVDs Monthly
This is a new plan released this week from Netflix. For $7.99 per month you can now rent unlimited DVDs, one out at a time. Keep in mind the maximum you could rent in a month is about fifteen if you assume you could ship one back and have them ship to you the very same day. I would think 10-12 per month on the rotation basis would be expected.
If you do not have the bandwidth or only travel international, this plan makes a lot of sense. Also, if you only want new movies faster, this plan rocks. Streaming is behind in getting movies available after they leave theaters.
Limited DVDs Per Month
Netflix also offers the ability for $4.99 per month to have one (1) DVD out at a time to a maximum of 2 rentals for the entire month. I do not think this works for anyone since for the same amount you could rent 5 from Redbox.
Starz Play Only
This gives you no DVDs per month for the $6.99 per month, but only unlimited Starz and Starz Play channel and streaming. You do not have access to the entire Netflix catalog.
Unlimited Streaming and (XX) DVDs Per Month
This is where it gets confusing comparing the plans to the above. With these plans you get the unlimited streaming (see bandwidth controls below), Starz Play and some DVD amount rental.
- One DVD out at a time plus streaming – $9.99 per month
- Two DVDs out at a time plus streaming – $14.99 per month
- Three DVDs out at a time plus streaming – $19.99 per month
- Four DVDs out at a time plus streaming – $27.99 per month
- Five DVDs out at a time plus streaming – $34.99 per month
- Six DVDs out at a time plus streaming – $41.99 per month
- Seven DVDs out at a time plus streaming – $48.99 per month
- Eight DVDs out at a time plus streaming – $55.99 per month
This falls into the best of both worlds if you always seem to rent movies from Redbox during the month. If you rent more than two in a 30 day window but do not never more than one at a time, then the very first option is fully exploitable. You get free shipping, a queue for on demand streaming and rentals allowing you to grab movies within a day or so of them becoming available.
Moving up to 2 at a time is too much of a jump. If it was around $12.99 a month it would make more sense. I know we are talking a couple dollars per month but I can see a hesitation in myself at the leap in pricing. I will gladly wait for the next to arrive. Having another in my hand simultaneously is not worth it or the higher plans.
Manage Streaming Video Quality
If you go into your settings for Netflix you can control the maximum output they will provide to your devices. You have only three choices, but they can prove beneficial to making sure you can continue to use your Internet for the month.
- Good – up to .3GB per hour
- Better – up to .7GB per hour
- Best – up to 1GB per hour or 2.3GB per hour for HD
After reading through all of the choices you have, grabbing the unlimited streaming with one DVD out at a time for $9.99 becomes the logical decision. This then includes your game units (Xbox, Wii, PlayStation), your computer and mobile devices. Starz is available for streaming. Plus taking a DVD along for a trip or catching the latest release.