6 Alternatives to Netflix

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Netflix subscribers are an unhappy bunch these days. In case you hadn't heard, the company recently announced that customers would have to pay extra for unlimited online video streaming starting September 1. Currently, Netflix members can get unlimited streaming and unlimited (mailed) DVDs for $9.99 a month. Under the new plan announced, members will have to pay $15.98 a month to get both services ($7.99 for unlimited streaming and $7.99 for unlimited DVDs).

More than 12,000 -- mostly angry -- comments have been posted on Netflix's blog since it announced the new plan July 12. Many said they would be dropping their membership and taking their business someplace else.

So if you're looking for alternatives to Netflix, here are some options:

Amazon Instant Video . You can choose from nearly 50,000 movies and TV shows to watch instantly on your computer or on TV with a streaming device. COST: $3.99 for a 48-hour rental; Amazon Prime ($79 a year) members get access to 5,000 movies and TV shows at no additional charge.

Apple TV . This device lets you stream thousands of movies and TV shows directly to your TV. Many movies are available the day they're released on DVD. You have 30 days to start watching but, once you start, you have only 24 hours to finish viewing. COST: $99 for the Apple TV device; 99 cents for TV rentals, $2.99 and up for movie rentals.

Blockbuster . Like Netflix, Blockbuster will mail DVD rentals. You can choose from more than 100,000 titles. COST: $4.99 for a seven-day rental. Or with Blockbuster On Demand , you can watch movies instantly. COST: Free to $3.99 (depending on the movie) for a 24-hour rental.

Hulu . The Web site known for online streaming of TV shows also has hundreds of movies -- older releases, though. COST: Many of the movies are free , but you can gain access to more with a Hulu Plus membership for $7.99 a month (the same as what you'd pay for Netflix unlimited streaming, which offers a lot more movies).

Redbox . This DVD-rental company has kiosks at more than 27,000 locations nationwide -- from restaurants to grocery stores to national landmarks, such as the Empire State Building. The kiosks feature up to 200 titles (630 actual DVDs). Redbox isn't nearly as convenient as the instant video streaming or mail-delivery DVDs that the services above offer, but it's cheap. COST: $1 a day, but you can find codes for free Redbox rentals at Insideredbox.com .

Public library. The DVD selection at your local public library probably won't match what the services above offer, but it's a good source of free or dirt-cheap entertainment. COST: Free or a minimal fee.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Personal Finance , Insurance

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