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Redbox Instant finally available to the public
Redbox Instant is now available to US residents, with a free one-month trial
Netflix has long been the frontrunner for subscription-based streaming movies. Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video are hot on its heels, and now kiosk-based Redbox is entering the fray with the public launch of its own instant streaming service, aptly named Redbox Instant. The service has existed in beta for quite a while now, and it's finally available to the public in the United States.
Interested subscribers receive a one-month trial of the service, and are automatically charged US$8 per month thereafter. A credit card is required to sign up, so users will need to remember to cancel at the end of the month if the service doesn't work out for them.
With Redbox Instant, users get access to a wide range of streaming video and four credits to use per month for a free disc-based rental at any Redbox kiosk. These credits cannot be used to rent games, but Blu-Ray discs are available. Each night with the movie counts as a credit, so a user who keeps a single movie for four days would use up all their credits in one go. After four nights, the nightly charge is added automatically.
One problem with the service is that not all available movies are included in the subscription. Instead, many newer releases feature an individual charge to stream them.
Redbox Instant is available in a browser, on Samsung smart TVs, Samsung Blu-Ray players, iOS and Android devices, and the Xbox 360. With the 360, you can't download the app directly from the Xbox App Store. Instead, Redbox is sending download codes to users gradually, so people who sign up will have to wait to receive the code before they can take advantage of the service on the console.
About the Author
Dave is an avid follower of all things mobile, gaming, and any kind of new technology he can get his hands on. Ever since he first played an NES as a child, he's been an absolute tech and gaming junkie.
All articles by Dave LeClair
I would argue that it is still in the BETA phase. Just last night I tried this free-trial and attempted to watch Gattaca. I got about half way through it and ran into some strange video issues.
I have no doubt it will get better. And I'd be very happy to see that happen. Netflix streaming selection is a joke. B-grade movies w/ a few decent ones thrown in. The problem is the B-grade movies are the only ones from the selection that seem to change. Any decent movies are released to streaming at a rate of 1 a month.
I'm waiting for a streaming service that allows you to stream any movie for a dollar. I'd gladly spent 20 bucks a month to watch 20 decent movies. Perhaps RedBox Streaming will turn into that.
This could work for me. I have used Netflix for many years, but now that I just use streaming , I am frustrated by the selection. If the price is one or two dollars extra per movie to stream blockbusters and newer movies, I'm fine with that.
Well... turns out is 5 bucks to "rent" online, and 6 bucks if you want to rent the "HD". Totally lame. 1.20 to rent at a redbox, yet 5 bucks to rent from home. How does that make any sense at all ? Come on people.
@Milton I'd be willing to bet that that price is not set by RedBox. It's set by the movie industry as it is consistent with pricing I have seen everywhere. All of the cable providers I have used have had this exorbitant "rental" pricing on pay-per-view style services. It's yet another example of how recording oganizations are collusions designed to fix prices. This behavior in another industry would be considered blatantly illegal and immediately prosecuted, but somehow entertainment doesn't qualify for the anti-collusion and anti-monopoly laws.
I just looked through the entire list of "subscription" movies and I won't be leaving Netflix for Redbox anytime soon. There are a few A movies (but I am sure they are all on Netflix), more B movies, but I would estimate that 95% of the available selections are C movies or worse. Until the industry realizes that this is the way of the future, that they are only shooting themselves in the foot by resisting, and only throw Netflix and Redbox meager scraps from their table this will be the unfortunate reality.
I've been running this on my phone and through the browser a few times. Over the phone has been really good through wifi, although the hdmi output is pretty low quality. And over 3G it's been decent. I tried a couple of times through xBox, but it keeps buffering. Then I end up getting a message that my bandwidth is too low, which I really doubt is the problem. But overall I'd opt for this service over Netflix if they get the bugs worked out. It's a better deal.
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