The world's most anticipated streaming video service began its
beta rollout recently, providing an unknown number of customers
with the chance to stream films from Redbox Instant for free.
Created by Verizon (NYSE:
) and Redbox owner Coinstar (NASDAQ:
), Redbox Instant provides subscribers with unlimited streaming and
four DVD kiosk rentals for $8 per month. New subscribers get a
one-month free trial by just entering their credit card information
in order to access the account.
) employs a similar policy. Hulu Plus, which sells pre-paid cards
at retail, has offered consumers the chance to try the service
without entering any payment information.
reporter Alan Buckingham tested the service, he found that playback
was "incredibly smooth, especially given that I was using a
"There was no stutter and no buffering," he said.
Other users were not nearly as lucky.
"Good movie but streaming was horrible," Redbox Instant user
Movie4Stream wrote in his
of Thor. "Buffered every few seconds. I have wideband 40 mbps
internet so this is just ridiculous. Fix this Redbox or the service
Movie4Stream's problems are not an isolated incident, but they
might be tied to the browser or the app that consumers are using.
Buckingham was only able to successfully stream Redbox Instant
after switching to Firefox. Internet Explorer would not work at
all, and when he tried Chrome, he received error messages.
On iOS, Redbox Instant has a
2.5 star rating
for the current version of the app. Users have complained that the
The Google (NASDAQ:
) Play iteration has a mere
1.5 star rating
. Thus far, the user reviews have not been positive.
"The content selection is so poor I have yet to finishing any of
the movies I have started online," Google Play user Blake Richards
wrote. "Service works fine on my Samsung smart TV & Xoom tab.
Just have to see more choices than a whole bunch of B Horror Movies
no one has ever heard of and Transformers...ROFL!"
"You earned your one star rating because we don't have a
zero-star option," Paul Danger Kile wrote.
Many users also complained of Verizon's decision to block rooted
"Quit being like an old person afraid of change, Verizon," Steve
Bachmeier wrote. "Rooting will continue to happen whether you want
it to or not. You are vending an app here and whether rooted or not
should not matter one bit. And shame on Redbox...I thought you were
more forward thinking than this!"
In his hands-on assessment of the new service,
TechCrunch's Ryan Lawler
took note of the weak content options. "The first thing you should
know is that the number of options under the streaming subscription
is pretty limited, especially when compared to companies like
Netflix or Amazon, which have been doing this for much longer," he
It seems that Redbox has a long way to go before it will catch
up to Netflix or Amazon (NASDAQ:
Now that Netflix has signed exclusive agreements with both
DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:
) and Disney (NYSE:
), however, it might be too late.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice.
All rights reserved.
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