Netflix Separates Unlimited DVDs & Streaming [Update]

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NetflixNetflix announced new rate plans for the company’s DVD-by-mail and Internet streaming services on Monday. The new rates make leave the unlimited streaming service at US$7.99 per month, but the company created a DVD-only plan at $7.99, and made it more expensive to get both, at $15.98.

The reason for the change is that it turns out there are still plenty of folks who want DVDs. When unlimited streaming was announced, in November of 2010, users could could fork over an extra $2 per month to get DVDs as “add-on” to that streaming service.

“Given the long life we think DVDs by mail will have,” the company said in a blog post, “treating DVDs as a $2 add on to our unlimited streaming plan neither makes great financial sense nor satisfies people who just want DVDs.”

In other words, it turns out that DVDs are quite dead after all, despite the Apple TV, despite Netflix streaming itself, despite Netflix being available through Apple TV, despite Apple’s refusal to support Blu-ray on its Macs, despite Hulu, despite Amazon’s streaming service, and despite Google TV, not that anyone actually has that.

The $7.99 DVD plan is a one-at-a-time price, and users can still choose to bump up the number of DVDs they can have out at any one time for more money.

The Mac Observer asked Netflix if the plans would affect the number of movies available for streaming. As of now, many movies, including a lot of recent titles, are not available as streaming movies.

A Netflix spokesperson effectively said that there were no changes to be announced for what is currently offered as streaming content, saying, “Netflix is adding to the streaming catalog all the time but some titles are not available for streaming because they are tied up with other license windows.”

[Update: The article was updated with comment from Netflix about which movies would be available as streaming titles. - Editor]



I think you mean “aren’t quite dead yet.”

Only “Mostly dead.” Not quite ready to rifle through its pockets looking for loose change.


LOL! It figures, I just ordered a refurb Apple TV last night to use with my new HDTV, specifically to stream Nertflix. :D

Joe Computer User

DVDs are absolutely not dead!

Being that there are now far fewer BlockBuster DVD retail/rental stores, the few that still exist are booming with business!

And, the Blu-ray isles are being ignored for the most part! Besides the top very-new titles, every other Blu-ray title is on the shelves gathering dust.  Virtually nobody is renting Blu-ray.

DVD’s are the thing!  They are “clear enough” watched on a big screen 1080p television with any good upscaling DVD player, they are cheap to rent, cheap to buy used, and easy to rip for all of your electronic mobile gizmos and laptops!


The only need I have for the DVDs is when the title isn’t available for streaming.  That side of the equation is still woefully lacking (for all the streaming services, not just Netflix.)  If and when they ever get that ridiculous situation cleared up, goodbye DVDs.

Lee Dronick

Being that there are now far fewer BlockBuster DVD retail/rental stores, the few that still exist are booming with business!

I can speak from experience on that. A few years ago the Blockbuster up the street from us closed, but a few weeks ago it reopened down the street. We have gone back to renting DVDs from them in part because we can browse the shelves and in part so as not to exceed our bandwidth with online downloads. I see a lot of people in the store renting videos so yes they may be doing well as a business. I can’t speak on the matter of Blu-Ray as I don’t have a player.


An echo: DVDs absolutely are not dead!

I’ve been a Netflix customer for several years using both DVDs and online. Unfortunately, in the rural area where I live I am the victim of a monopolistic telephone company whose quality of service borders not only on fraud but the technical problems of an ancient copper system which “they? have absolutely no intention of bringing into the 21st century. I pay for 6 MBS download but lately have been getting less than 100 KBS. Complaining has done no good. Hence, gave up with Netflix online and went back to DVDs.

Those coastal cliff-dwellers who are leading us to “cloud only? service have no idea of what it’s like to live where I do (and I know they don’t give a “blank” about us that choose to not live in cities). Moreover, if I could get the ear of anybody influential - Steve Jobs would do - I would tell them that the cloud, itunes, streaming audio/software, et. al. will be a massive failure until this nation gets its phone service under control to extent of uniform service standards that are brutally enforced at the federal level.

Lee Dronick


I am not a coastal cliff-dweller, but I am coastal mesa dweller in San Diego smile

Anyway, I am on DSL copper wire, but about 15 years ago both PacBell (now AT&T) and Time-Warner Cable TV ran fiber optic in our neighborhood. However, the fiber just terminates outside the house, they never offered any service!

We have had two major brush/forest fires in the County that burned up utility lines in the rural burned areas. AT&T said that they were going to replace those lines with fiber optic, but I don’t know if that ever happened or not. The fires also burned homes in the city, but here most utilities are underground and were not affected by the fire.

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