|Posted on April 6, 2013 at 4:15 PM|
Redbox has recently opened up its Beta service to the public, so it's time for Streaming 411 to review this service!
Let's start out by talking about cost. If you are already a regular Redbox Kiosk DVD renter, then paying for the basic subscription will score you four DVD rentals a month, plus unlimited streaming. Add $1 for blu-rays. You can also remove the DVD credits (streaming only) which we do not recommend until they build their library up some. Their DVD library, however, has just about any title you can think of. Additionally, you can add more DVD rentals above and beyond the 4 per month to your account at $1.20 per rental.
Basic Subscription: $8 per month (unlimited streaming + 4 DVD rentals per month)
Add Blu-rays: $9 per month
Streaming Only: $6 per month
What about parental controls? Well, in a word - AWESOME. As you can see in the image below, they allow you to select programming suitable for young children only, elementary age kids, teens, or adults. They can also be set per device. So - if your child streams on the family computer, but you stream on your mobile device, you can set the parental controls accordingly. Additionally, when renting DVDs, you are required to validate your age which means that children under the age of 17 will not be able to get ahold of R-rated movies.
What devices can you stream on? Well, currently the number of devices is fairly limited, but when you see what they are targeting, you get the feeling that they are serious about expanding their reach. Remember, they are in Beta. As they expand their subscription numbers, you will subsequently see them expand the number of devices. Besides Windows or Mac operating systems, Redbox is available on Android and on iOS, Xbox 360 gaming consoles, plus Samsung blu-ray and home theatre systems, and Smart TVs (2011 and later models). You can even find out if your TV is supported here.
What about renting at kiosks? If you're a fan of their kiosk rental, you don't need to be sold on the great low price and convenience. For $1.20 a night, you can rent virtually any title of movie or game you can think of. You can also get promo codes (make sure you check on our home or comparison pages on this site for current promo codes) to save on rentals.
When you rent at the kiosk, it will be due by 9 p.m. the day after you rent, otherwise applicable charges apply. For every 24 hours thereafter that you keep the DVD, you'll pay the daily fee of $1.20 plus any applicable taxes. You'll also be informed of a maximum rental period while at the kiosk. Just make sure you return your DVD promptly, or you can be charged a hefty fine (upwards of $24 for DVDs). The maximum rental period varies by kiosks (let's face it - some areas are going to be more popular than others, such as when there are not a lot of entertainment options available).. The Redbox website states that in most cases, the maximum rental period for a movie is 20 days, and a video game 30 days. Just make sure you understand the terms AT THE KIOSK.
To learn how to search for titles, check out this article.
Bottom line it . . .the Redbox service cannot stand on it's own yet for streaming. But their business model is brilliant - tap into those individuals who currently take advantage of the kiosks and provide opportunities to stream on their mobile devices, as well as continue renting DVDs. The 4 DVD credit sweetens the pot. Streaming 411 looks forward to seeing their library expanding over time. Remember, Netflix wasn't built in a day either, and it thrived for several years prior to streaming through the DVD by mail rental service.