Posts Tagged ‘rental’

Blockbuster, Netflix, Hulu, Oh My!

DSCF1162There’s been a lot of news recently in mail-home and online streaming space, which are two places college students enjoy.   The ease of getting movies mailed to you to watch when you’re bored, or the ability to go online and stream your favorite movie or that TV show you missed last week.  But Blockbuster, Netflix, and Hulu have made announcements to diversify not only what you get, but how you get it.  Read through to see what’s new.

Blockbuster Adds Games To “By Mail” Plans

While the company that used to be a behemoth in the rental industry flirts with bankruptcy and tries to compete with Netflix, it is trying to differentiate itself.  Blockbuster By Mail, their DVD rentals at home program, announced today that games would also be included.  So users can rent movies, games, and TV series at their home via the mailbox.  $9 a month will get you 1 DVD or vide game at a time, with plans going up to $17 a month for 3 DVD’s or games at a time.  The Total Access plans are only worthwhile if there is a Blockbuster in the area (the nearest stores are in Belpre and Parkersburg).

If you’ve been tempted by this deal, consider the major points between Blockbuster and Netflix.  Sure, you get to rent games with Blockbuster.  But at the same price point ($9) you could stream movies to your computer, XBOX 360, Wii, Playstation, and eventually, mobile phones.  Online streaming is separate with Blockbuster, and costs vary from rental to outright purchase (but offers streaming to computers, mobile phones, and TV’s).  So the question is, which do you value more?  Online movie streaming, or Video Game Rentals?

Netflix Gets More Online Movies

Speaking about the whole online streaming universe, Netflix announced today that it’s increasing their streaming library in a huge way.  New movies from Paramount, MGM, and Lionsgate will be able to be streamed online 90 days after their DVD release, starting September 1st.

This also means that their back catalogues will also be available, starting that same day.  According to the press release, this could mean nearly 3,000 new movies available for streaming via Netflix.  Like I mentioned earlier, $9 will get you one DVD at a time, and unlimited movie and tv streaming.

Hulu Plus Coming

Most students don’t have TiVo’s or DVR’s on campus, and with busy lives away from the TV, yet great shows on every day, it’s hard to keep up.  Hulu fixes that problem, for the most part, but if you were looking for more, it’s here.

Hulu Plus gives you access to previous seasons of shows, and unlocks a back catalogue of many other shows not available to the typical Hulu user.  It also allows you to stream Hulu Plus content to your TV, Playstation 3, iPhone, and iPad (supposedly more devices are coming soon, including the XBOX 360).  Costs $10 a month, but is currently in a limited preview, so you have to apply for the privilege to use the service at the moment.

Even with the monthly payment, you’ll still be forced to watch ads during the shows.  And don’t worry, free Hulu will still be around.

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Posted by    Date: Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Categories: Deals, Entertainment, Gaming, Movies, Off Campus, Students

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Chegg.com: Rent Textbooks, Save Money

DSCF1160Over at The Consumerist, they highlighted an article from Clark Howard on Chegg.com, a textbook rental service.

Chegg.com is like the Zappos of the Textbook industry, in a way, as you pay less for the book than you normally would, don’t pay for shipping back to their warehouse at the end of the semester, everything is recyclable and made of recyclable materials, and they plant a tree for every book rented.  Better yet, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if it turns out you don’t need the book, or the quality of the book is not what you had been promised.

Now, you may be asking yourself, what’s the catch?  Well, there really isn’t one that i can find.  The length of a rental is 125 days for those on the semester system, 85 days for those on the quarter system, and 60 days for those poor souls taking summer classes.  Considering that Marietta’s semester is 15 weeks long, and only uses 105 days, you’ll have plenty of time to ship the book back on time.

Their rental rates are based on supply and demand, so a popular book will be much more expensive to rent than a less popular one, so some savings may not be as good as others.

If you really fall in love with the book you rented, you can buy the book from Chegg (they charge you on top of what you paid for the rental and shipping, then tax is applied).  You can also extend rentals from 15 to 30 days, all the way up to another full semester.

On the flip side, a 25 percent penalty fee is assessed on books not postmarked by the return date listed on the account.  If your book is one week past due, you are charged the entire price of the book, as they assume you want to own it at that point.

The site has been around since 2004, and has claimed to have saved over $42 million dollars for students nationwide.  If you’re up for trying it out, then go for it.  It seems like the cheapest option out there, as far as textbook shopping goes.  Just remember that this is only one of many options, so make sure that you use our book-buying guide and save yourself some money this year!

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Posted by    Date: Friday, August 7, 2009

Categories: Academics, Deals

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