Looking for an alternative to Netflix? Here are five options that could work for you -- maybe even for less.
It's been a rough couple of months for Netflix users. First the company said Netflix is splitting in two and increasing pricing, then they backtracked and said everything would stay the same. Though for some customers, the damage has already been done and they are jumping ship in droves. If you're looking for Netflix alternatives, check out this list of five other services that are similar -- and in some cases, cheaper.
In addition to offering members free two-day shipping, for just $80 Amazon Prime gives you instant movies and TV shows streaming straight to your computer or on over 100 web-connected TV boxes. That works out to less per year than Netflix, but the selection is more limited. Not a Prime member? You can still watch movies a la cart via their Instant Video service at a cost of $1 to $5 per rental.
Think downloading movies on iTunes only allows you to watch them on your laptop? Think again. Add Apple TV and you can download those same movies and shows straight to your television. While there is no option for unlimited rentals like Netflix, prices run from $.99 to $4.99 for high-def rentals, and you can purchase and download, too. If you find you're only watching a few movies a month, this could be a great option for you.
If you don't want to mess around with downloading or streaming and would rather just pop the DVD in your player -- you know, the old fashioned way -- then Redbox is a great option. While you lose the convenience of having your movies delivered to your mailbox you don't necessarily have to make an extra trip, as the kiosks are located in places you frequent anyway: grocery, drug and convenience stores.
If you're mainly looking for TV shows, check out Hulu Plus. While on the free Hulu service shows are available over a week after they have first aired, for $8 a month you can catch your favorites as soon as the day after the original air. As far as movies go, the titles are rather limited, numbering in the hundreds, but if your main concern is Grey's Anatomy and Breaking Bad, this could be your best bet.
Offering service to Windows-based PCs, Playstation 3 and OSX, Vudu allows you to watch movies the same day the DVD is released -- unlike other services where there's a waiting period. Rentals run $1 to $5 with purchase prices starting at $5 and no unlimited membership option.
Image courtesy Amazon.com