Newest Review: ... website's he'd heard of, but never used, that did DVD rental. It sounded a bit far-fetched to me, but I had a hunt ... more
Track down an easier Movie rental
Member Name: clumsy1974
Date: 26/05/02, updated on 05/06/02 (245 review reads)
Advantages: Easy, Cheap , Convenient
Disadvantages: Can be slow
It's been a long time since I wrote an Op on anything at all, so please be gentle with me ;-). I decided to mark my return with an opinion about a superb website that I discovered some time ago completely by chance.
As a movie buff living in Oxford I am not that well served with cinematic treats. Yes, we have cinemas, but they are not the sparkling Multiplexes of my hometown of Milton Keynes. They are small, and despite a refit last year, not that comfy. The general moviegoer in Oxford tends to be a bit less considerate than I am used to (sorry Oxfordians, but you need to stop talking as you enter the cinema!).
Never mind you say there's always Blockbuster. Rent the movies you want to see later on. That's OK for most of us, as the local Blockbuster is just that - Local. Sadly my local store is a car ride across a very non-car friendly town. Renting a movie is a logistical nightmare, involving a scary parking experience on the Cowley road (any one who know Oxford knows the Cowley road..). This all means I miss out on lots and lots of films.
I was talking about this predicament one day at work. A college of mine lives out in the sticks, and has much the same woes as me. He mentioned some website's he'd heard of, but never used, that did DVD rental. It sounded a bit far-fetched to me, but I had a hunt round and came across Movietrak.com.
The concept of Movietrak is quite simple. You choose your film, enter your details and credit card number then check you post the next morning. The film is yours for up to seven days, giving you ample time to watch it a few times, loan it to your Mum, your friends then watch it again. It arrives in a clever little wallet that doubles as your return envelope, and is marked up with you return by date. All this for a mere £3.49. (Cheaper than a new release at Blockbuster I think). Watch the film, rip of the address label part of the envelope, pop the disk back in, reseal and post
. That's it.
Movietrack is quite a simple looking site. Its front page gives you a list of the newest titles available, a side bar with category links, forthcoming releases, favourites and a top twenty. A search function is provided for title, actor or director searches - handy if you are looking for a specific movie.
Select a film and you are taken to a new page showing all the information for that title. You get a good description of the movie, including the normal synopsis. You are given guidance about availability and the chance to view the trailer, in both low band (a normal dial up connection to you and me) and for you adventurous types, high bandwidth. The trailers are shown in the page via a Windows Media player viewer. If you decide to rent the film, just click Rent (obvious really..) and you will be taken to a secure server page where you can enter you details, make a payment on you card or return to select a few more discs. Once you have completed your order you can expect your films to pop through the door as early as the next day (if you order before 12 noon). My boss and I both ordered Harry Potter the day before it was due to release and received our disks the very next morning, an impressive turn around I think. There are numerous advantages to this type of service. As I have already said, you get to keep the films for seven days, you can select from the comfort of you Internet browser and best of all its cheaper than a real rental store. However there are a few downsides.
Movietrak is quite a new service. They have all the big movies of the last 12 months at least, but they don?t have the back catalogue that the big high street store might have. You are placing a lot of faith in the reliability of Consignia (Royal Mail to most of us), meaning you can be waiting a couple of days for your order. This sadly means you might not get the full seven days before your return date looms. Initially you can only order two disks
at a time. Once you have placed three orders you will be allowed to order up to six films at once.
They seem quite intent on staying around, and I hope they can win over anyone nsure about this new type of service. The site has recently seen a few tweaks and new ideas. I was pleased to see the introduction of an early return bonus scheme. Rent 6 titles and return them straight after you've watched them (next day after you receive the disk), fill in the special card included with the film and you will get a free rental when you next order a film. You can also buy pre-viewed copies of some films. I recently rented "The Fast and the Furious" and noticed you could get a copy of this for just £9.99 (don?t think I will though).
I tell everyone I know about this service. Try it out at least once. I hope you will be a convert, sorry Blockbusters, but you can have my membership card back!