The New York Times is running a story comparing Netflix, Blockbuster and Walmart in today's edition. I highly recommend reading the entire story, but here are a few choice tidbits:
By their admission, Blockbuster (www.blockbuster.com) and Wal-Mart (www.walmart.com/dvdrentals) are still playing catch-up. Wal-Mart, for example, has only a small fraction of its rivals' movies and distribution centers. It is often the last of the three companies to get a new movie in stock. Its Web site doesn't offer any customer reviews. Surprisingly, its three-DVD plan is not even the price leader (Blockbuster has that distinction). So unless you believe in rooting for the underdog - has that word ever appeared in the same sentence with Wal-Mart before? - there's no good reason to choose it.
There are, in other words, two winners here. Blockbuster is the value king, undercutting Netflix by $3 a month and offering in-store rentals; it's as though it is reimbursing you for tolerating its start-up glitches.
Netflix is the service king, the smoothest and the most reliable program. It's the only outfit with highly evolved features like separate queues for each family member (including individually addressed envelopes), each limited by movie rating, if you like. Netflix also offers far more plans than Blockbuster or Wal-Mart; you can sign up to have any number from two to eight discs out at a time, at prices from $12 to $48 a month. For busy people, a two-DVD plan is especially attractive; Blockbuster offers no such plan.
Be sure to watch David Pogue's video...
Thanks to Eric for sending this in.