Archive for March 8, 2009

Free movie rentals from the library

DVD case
I recently lost the last video movie rental store in my neighborhood. (And no, it wasn’t a local outlet of the financially-troubled Blockbuster chain, but a branch of a very good local “mom-and-pop” DVD rental shop in New York City’s East Village.)

To compensate, I’ve begun “renting” videos from the New York Public Library, which circulates some 20,000 or so titles on DVD alone. The library may be a “sleeper” source for home entertainment—especially since all the buzz around movie rentals is from subscription services (like Blockbuster, Netflix) and online video streaming services (like Netflix).

For the March issue of Consumer Reports, the Consumer Reports National Research Center surveyed our subscribers about their satisfaction with such movie rental services. Although the Ratings of video-rental services (available to subscribers) highlights only for-pay services, our survey results offer an insight into how libraries stack against Netflix, Blockbuster and other rental services.

On the whole, libraries weren’t as satisfying a source of movies as the other options. According to respondents, borrowing movies from the library rated an overall satisfaction score of 64. That’s significantly lower than the mean satisfaction Ratings score of 80 for eight for-pay sources, including subscription services, video-rental kiosks (such as Redbox), video-store chains, and independent video stores. (A perfect score of 100 means that all respondents who use that video rental service were completely satisfied.)

Libraries fared particularly poorly on:

  • selection of movies (16% highly satisfied)
  • in-stock availability of titles (13%)
  • availability of recently-released movies (8%)

In addition, fewer than half (43%) were highly satisfied with the picture quality of the videos they borrowed–perhaps because a lot of the collections in public libraries are sill in analog videotape format.

On the other hand, libraries were rated similarly to pay venues in general for customer service—64% of library renters were highly satisfied compared to 67% for all the pay venues.

For me, the no-cost nature of library rentals makes it worth putting up with their imperfections. I’m also resisting a subscription service, since I feel over-subscribed to entertainment as it is, what with cable, satellite-radio, and music-subscription services. But the library obviously isn’t for everyone.

Do you rent movies from the library? If you do, any tips for newbies to the such rentals? If you don’t, are tougher economic times making you consider it? Weigh in below.

I’ll roll some of your tips into my own in a follow-up blog on making the most of the library as a video source.

—Paul Reynolds

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Dish Network satellite dish left on the side of my house?

satellite dish
Lisa F asked:

An old roomate my parents have dish network at the dish from one of the dish network at the boxes at their first home and they still have it at the receiver from.

The dish from my house with receivers they dont want to pay another cable bill since they recently moved back into their first home and was.

An old roomate my parents have it at the dish that was left behind by an old roomate my house and was left behind by an old roomate my parents have it at their first home and they dont want to pay another cable bill since they dont want to pay another cable.

My parents have dish that was left behind by an old roomate my house and was wondering if gave.

An old roomate my house and they hook up the boxes at the dish network at the boxes at the dish that was wondering if gave them the first home would they recently moved back into their first home and was wondering if gave them the boxes at their first home and was wondering if gave them the.

Herbert

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