Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Buying DVDs No Longer Makes Sense

Having recently signed up for a 30 day trial of DVD and games rental site LOVEFiLM, I have to admit that it's a very appealing service and one that will probably change the way we buy and watch DVD movies. They have over 65,000 titles available and you simply build yourself a list of the films you want to see or games you want to play and, based on what rental plan you're on, the discs get mailed to you by first-class post as soon as you have a rental slot available. You can even set the priority of the titles you want to get and you can then keep the disc as long as you want and then mail it back to them in a postage-paid envelope once you're done with it.

I chose the simplest option for the trial - unlimited rentals of one disc at a time, which I thought was enough to try it out and it works out at roughly two films a week assuming that we watch it the day it arrives and return it the next day. Frankly I doubt if we could watch more than that as we really don't want to turn into that kind of couch potato. There are lighter plans available that limit the number of rentals per month and heavier plans of unlimited rentals of up to three discs at a time. You can even add video games onto your rental plan if you want to.

Of course there'll always be discs that we'll want to buy and own for watching again and sometimes again or just for the loads of extras some of them come with but for the most part, once we've watched a disc, it gets stuffed away in a cupboard and will probably never be watched again. We've got over 300 DVDs at home now that adds up to quite a sum of money spent over the last few years. Sure, you can always sell them via eBay or Amazon, etc., and I have done quite a few times, but that's a lot of hassle for very little return and now that there's no Post Office near my work, it's simply not worth the bother.

The one disc at a time plan comes in at just under £10 a month, which equates to roughly £120 a year for about 90 discs and I'm factoring in a fair chunk of holidays there. Now think about how much it'd cost you to buy 90 DVDs and it works out at well over £120 doesn't it? Even if you wait until they're cheaper, say £7 each, then that's a massive £560! If we slowed the watching momentum to one movie a week, which I reckon we'll eventually get to once the novelty wears off a bit, it still works out that we're saving an awful lot of money renting instead of buying.

The only downside I can see to renting is the fact that rental copies often don't contain extra material or extended/director's editions and the discs themselves go through a lot of hands so can get a bit worn out. However, buying DVDs, for me, is now a thing of the past unless it's a very special disc that I simply couldn't rent or one that has enough interesting or entertaining extras on it to make it worth the purchase.

The standard trial period for LOVEFiLM is 14 days but if anyone wants a 30 day trial, then get in touch and I can send you a code for it. It gets me a month's free rental as well so even better!

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