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CNET Top 5
Netflix alternativesFive 5 ways to watch movies that don't involve Netflix.
OK, so a bunch of you are all red & angry over NetflixÃ¯Â¿Â½ recent price increases. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m not with you on that one, but that wonÃ¯Â¿Â½t stop me from helping in your time of indignation. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m B.C. with the Top 5 places to watch movies while sticking it to Netflix, ranked by consensus of CNETÃ¯Â¿Â½s editors. #5 Vudu, which BTW also just launched on Walmart.com. No subscription plan or disc rentals to counter Netflix, but online movies from 1-6 bucks -- $4-$7 for 3D. ThereÃ¯Â¿Â½s HD as well. Just started a daily Ã¯Â¿Â½movie of the dayÃ¯Â¿Â½ for 99 cents and on Friday that movie is selected by users so it might actually be something good. About 10,000 movies and 150 TV series in the catalog. And of course, Walmart.com sells DVDÃ¯Â¿Â½s. #4. Poor old Blockbuster. Broke, adrift and not entirely sure who owns it this week, Blockbuster still has some rather compelling features not the least of which is over 1 million titles all in. ThatÃ¯Â¿Â½s the kind of catalog we all want. Unfortunately, you first have to find a store that isnÃ¯Â¿Â½t boarded up. TheyÃ¯Â¿Â½re hopping to settle in at 600 locations, down from 4,000 they used to have. Its $12 a month for their a one disc at a time DVD plan -- more than Netflix. They also have on demand streaming for around $4 title, but not to iOS devices. #3 Redbox, you know the red kiosks in some 27,000 stores. TheyÃ¯Â¿Â½re in retail spaces because this is a division of Coin Star, the coin counting machine folks, and was originally bankrolled by McDonaldÃ¯Â¿Â½s. Redbox is known for being strong on current releases for a buck a rental as long as you get it back by 9 the next night. After that late charges start to accrue until 25 days as which point your own the disc. Redbox is also working on a streaming service to more closely parallel Netflix. #2 Hulu Plus. This is your main competitor to NetflixÃ¯Â¿Â½ $8 a month AYCE plan -- same price at Hulu, but youÃ¯Â¿Â½ll watch with Ã¯Â¿Â½limited commercial interruptionÃ¯Â¿Â½ even though youÃ¯Â¿Â½re paying. Hulu is largely owned by Comcast, Disney and News Corp -- all of whom, BTW, are trying unload it. Good device support on Hulu, including XBOX and PS3 and Roku. Before we get to #1, whereÃ¯Â¿Â½s iTunes? It belongs in a sort of class of its own, since it is largely married to Apple TV and their other devices for the kind of service weÃ¯Â¿Â½re looking at here. Its not built into other companies TVÃ¯Â¿Â½s, Blu-ray decks, or tablets. So weÃ¯Â¿Â½ll give it a special place all its own... ...as weÃ¯Â¿Â½ll do for your cable companyÃ¯Â¿Â½s VOD service and streaming apps. But those are limited by the cable service available to you, so its not a wide open choice like the others in our list. OK., the #1 other video service if youÃ¯Â¿Â½re convinced Netflix is the devil is Amazon. With their Instant Video service you can get movies for roughly $4 and TV shows for about half that for a 24-48 hour watching window -- typical industry stuff, but the key difference with Amazon is that if you are an Amazon Prime member you can get access to an admittedly modest 6,000 titles for free. Broad device support, but no Apple TV or PS3. Finally, Amazon is sort of a DVD service in that they sell just about every new DVD for great prices and their Marketplace vendors have just about any DVD used for real cheap. And when youÃ¯Â¿Â½re done, you can sell you discs there too. So thatÃ¯Â¿Â½s sort of like a Netflix for people who like their DVDÃ¯Â¿Â½s slow and cumbersome. So, did any of these jump out as the Netflix killer? Exactly. For everything DVD, streaming and video related, make sure you keep tabs on CNETÃ¯Â¿Â½s home Video section (http://reviews.cnet.com/home-video/) and thanks for Katz and Falcone there for help with todayÃ¯Â¿Â½s list. Man, they watch a lot of TV. More like this, head on over to top5.cnet.com.