Online movie rentals

Has anyone tried out any of these online DVD-rental shops, like Zip.ca or Netflixx? I’m more specifically interested in Zip.ca, because it’s Canadian. We currently rent from a DVD place around the corner from us (GigaDVD), which is great, and has a similar set up to these online places (unlimited rentals for $20/mo, max 1 new release, 1 old movie at a time). But like all video stores, you gotta return them in a day or 2. With Liam now, we don’t always get to watch a movie when we think we will. We’ve now a couple of times rented a movie, and not actually got to watch it. So we’re thinking with something like Zip, because there isn’t this urgency to return the film so quickly, it might make life easier. They also have the advantage of being just a giant warehouse, where shelfspace isn’t an issue, so they can stock far more movies. All of these things sound good.

On the downside, you’re dependent on Canada post for this to work. Additionally, I can’t just “get a movie” – it’s what arrives in the post. Plus, who knows what their customer service is like. I did a quick check, and didn’t see any more horror stories online than I’d expect to (I always expect someone to rant about something online).

Has anyone out there used these services? Are they worth it? Should we try it?

10 Replies to “Online movie rentals”

  1. i haven’t tried them yet, but i found out that local video store Videomatica is doing online rentals now too. It’s pretty expensive though, cheapest option is $25/month, whereas Zip offers more affordable options. However, since it’s local, the turnaround time on returns is probably pretty quick.

  2. i haven’t tried them yet, but i found out that local video store Videomatica is doing online rentals now too. It’s pretty expensive though, cheapest option is $25/month, whereas Zip offers more affordable options. However, since it’s local, the turnaround time on returns is probably pretty quick.

  3. I used Zip.ca for a few months then switched to VHQOnline. Zip.ca has the best selection by far, but their queue-management options are limited. With Zip.ca the DVDs you add to your queue remain in the order that you added them. You can’t re-order them. You only have the option of designating 2 (depends on your plan) “ASAP” titles. With VHQ you can fully re-order your list.
    VHQ ship times are faster than Zip.ca because their warehouse is in Coquitlam. Average ship time is about 1.6 business days each way. Zip.ca was more like 3 business days, since their primary warehouse is in Ontario. The other reasons I switched to VHQ fom Zip:
    – the “ASAP” thing on Zip.ca didn’t seem to mean anything, they just sent stuff randomly
    – popular new releases took a very long time to come.. they would sit at the “ASAP” slot for a month or more
    – they are now introducing caps on total # of DVDs you get a month, though they still call it an “unlimited” plan

    Mind you, I “timeshift” watching the DVDs I receive by ripping them to the computer then returning them right away, to maximize how many I get in a month. If you are on a 4-DVD plan and you always return the movies the next day, you get about 17 movies a month which comes to something like $1.65/movie. You might want to calculate if it’s worthwhile for you if you plan to keep them much longer or just don’t plan to get that many movies.

    I have collected much more info from my own experience in a discussion thread on my site:
    http://ewerx.ca/forums/viewforum.php?f=5

    and there is also a whole website dedicated to the topic of Canadian online DVD rental services:
    http://onlinedvdrentalguide.ca/

  4. I used Zip.ca for a few months then switched to VHQOnline. Zip.ca has the best selection by far, but their queue-management options are limited. With Zip.ca the DVDs you add to your queue remain in the order that you added them. You can’t re-order them. You only have the option of designating 2 (depends on your plan) “ASAP” titles. With VHQ you can fully re-order your list.
    VHQ ship times are faster than Zip.ca because their warehouse is in Coquitlam. Average ship time is about 1.6 business days each way. Zip.ca was more like 3 business days, since their primary warehouse is in Ontario. The other reasons I switched to VHQ fom Zip:
    – the “ASAP” thing on Zip.ca didn’t seem to mean anything, they just sent stuff randomly
    – popular new releases took a very long time to come.. they would sit at the “ASAP” slot for a month or more
    – they are now introducing caps on total # of DVDs you get a month, though they still call it an “unlimited” plan

    Mind you, I “timeshift” watching the DVDs I receive by ripping them to the computer then returning them right away, to maximize how many I get in a month. If you are on a 4-DVD plan and you always return the movies the next day, you get about 17 movies a month which comes to something like $1.65/movie. You might want to calculate if it’s worthwhile for you if you plan to keep them much longer or just don’t plan to get that many movies.

    I have collected much more info from my own experience in a discussion thread on my site:
    http://ewerx.ca/forums/viewforum.php?f=5

    and there is also a whole website dedicated to the topic of Canadian online DVD rental services:
    http://onlinedvdrentalguide.ca/

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