Is Netflix Worth It Anymore?

I’ve been a Netflix subscriber from damn near day one.

I’ve certainly appreciated having the service there as an entertainment alternative long before video streaming was a remote possibility. I’d have three DVDs out at a time and often forget I was holding onto them for months on end. You could say that I’ve wasted a lot of money on Netflix – far more than I would have spent at a local video rental store.

So, last year, I decided to drop the 3-disc option and go with the 1-disc plan plus the on-demand streaming – even though the streaming selection was seemingly stunted (though nowhere as bad as Hulu’s lackluster movie library). For the most part, that’s worked out well – but I still feel like I’m overpaying for media that I’m not remembering to digest.

This morning, news came down the pike (yes, pike – not pipe) that Netflix is staging new subscription plans for us. Yippee? Nope.

There are now 2 DVD-Only plans:

  • $8 a month for one disc at a time
  • $12 a month for two discs at a time

Now there’s a separate option:

  • Unlimited Streaming (no DVDs) for $8 a month

They think that this change “is a terrific value.” I think it’s a load of shit. This is “forcing” me to drop their disc-only plan altogether (based on my patterns). When I want to rent a DVD, I’ll simply make an online reservation for my local Redbox station. I’d be tempted to drop the Netflix streaming plan if there were a viable alternative elsewhere – but judging by how many documentaries my girlfriend loves to watch, that’s not practical.

I guess at the end of the day, I’m going to be spending less money with Netflix (by $2). Thanks?

Useless Technology

Raise your hand if you actually still have a land-line in your home – and use it. I have a feeling not many hands will be up in the air. Many people simply don’t see the need to pay for this type of service when they already shell out money for their cellular device every month. We need our cell phones, right? However, if we have those, do we really need a land line as well? The answer – for millions of users – is a big fat NO.

This makes me wonder what other types of technologies are considered outdated or useless. Things such as CDs are obsolete in large part these days. They aren’t gone, no. But they certainly don’t sell the way they used to. With services to listen to and download your favorite music out there, who wants to go buy a disc that you aren’t supposed to rip onto your devices? I’m pretty sure almost no one does, which is why record companies keep screaming about their bottom line.

Head to any electronics department, and you’ll find a number of VCRs for sale. Who the hell uses one of those anymore? If you still have old VHS tapes lying around, you’ve likely converted them into digital media to use on your computer or other (newer) devices. We want to save those memories, right? Those little tapes don’t last forever, and they just don’t play well, anyway.

Another piece of “obsolete” tech I see everywhere are fax machines. Can anyone tell me who still USES those things? I wish they would die a terrible death in a fire or something. There is actually one of these devices in my home. I can’t tell you when the last time was that I used it, though. These days, I scan documents into the computer and transmit them via email. Remember, no one has land lines so how the heck are they going to receive a fax?

What other types of technologies currently being sold make you scratch your head and wonder why anyone bothers? What is obsolete in your mind?

It’s a Wonderful Life


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Have you ever actually watched the entire movie? I did – once. It is a wonderful life, but it would be so much more wonderful if they updated the movie with 3D effects and Dolby Surround Sound.

JibJab is so much fun! You really should try it yourself sometime!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

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Free Studio Pack


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Marques has contributed a few screencasts to our community in the past few weeks – and has done an excellent job. This week, he’s demonstrating for us a software bundle full of useful tools… all at no cost. With these tools, you’ll be able to do numerous things with video, audio and even YouTube!

The first thing you’ll need to do is head over to the DVDVideoSoft website. Once there, you’ll see a listing of all of the available software titles that they have – for free! You can, of course, pick and choose amongst them based on your particular needs. For the purposes of this screencast, Marques has downloaded the full studio suite, which is found on the right side of the page.

The suite includes ALL of the software you see listed on the page. As soon as you run it for the first time, you’re going to see a beautiful opening screen. This lumps the things you can do into four categories, to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for. There’s “Internet”, where you can manage your video downloads and uploads. Then we have “DVD and Video”, where you can do things like edit video and convert to other formats. Next you’ll see “MP3 and Audio”, which allows you to edit, convert, rip and burn your audio files. Lastly, you’ll find the “CD / DVD / BD” category, which helps you to burn or rip your media.

This software bundle comes loaded with several powerful tools, all of which will make your life easier. How cool is it that you don’t need twelve programs to do all of this? You only need to download the free suite from the folks at DVDVideoSoft, and let it do the work for you.

Thanks, Marques, for another great tutorial screencast!

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Where to Get Blu-ray DVD Movies for Cheap

The Amazon Movies & TV Team is offering several special sales in the month of March. First is a Blu-ray sale with over 300 Blu-ray as Low as $13.99 while supplies last. This is a great opportunity for you to build your Blu-ray library from their selection of titles – including Iron Man, Transformers and Wall-E.

Next is a chance for you to save up to $60 off James Bond on Blu-ray while supplies last.
Finally, they have their Big DVD Sale with hundreds of DVDs as Low as $6.49 while supplies last.

There are further pre-order bargains on Quantum of Solace [Blu-ray], Slumdog Millionaire [Blu-ray] and Bolt [Blu-ray]. Also explore Amazon’s huge selection of over 1,500 Blu-ray titles, with everyday savings up to 40%.

Now all I need is a Blu-ray player!